USF works on offer while Charlie Strong returns to Texas vowing to come back to Tampa
Happy Saturday and Bulls Nation is waiting to hear if Charlie Strong will replace Willie Taggart as the head coach at USF. For the moment USF is pushing hard to get Strong signed and word out of the USF camp could come at any moment.
UPDATE: 10:00 A.M. – After spending six hours meeting with the USF search committee, Strong left Tampa this morning. When asked by the media as he was about to board the private jet that brought him here about 24 hours ago. He simply smiled and that “I will be back,” then his plane took off from the Tampa International Airport, executive jet area.
Strong returned to his home just outside of Autin without an offer from USF. The problem remains his ability to keep as much of the estimated $10.4 owed him by the University of Texas over the next two years, while signing a multi-year deal with USF.
He remains the front runner for the job and the next move is likely to be an offer from USF that can allow Strong to keep a good chunk of Texas cash, while getting a nice package from the Bulls.
Kudos to WFTS Tom Korun for the following tweets.
— tom korun (@tkorunwfts) December 10, 2016
Must Read: South Florida and strong are in discussions.
Let’s start with a rumor that Taggart was talking to Strong about being his defensive coordinator at Oregon. No, conversations have taken place about that job, in the past 48 hours. Strong and USF have been in conversations exclusively.
So, how quickly did decide that Strong was their man?
Just a few hours after Taggart left the Bulls on Thursday, A.D. Mark Harlan and his search team reached out to Strong. After the two sides spoke Thursday, Strong’s camp informed that he was very interested in the opening.
Friday, Strong came to Tampa on a private jet owned by University of Texas booster Gary H. Martin. He is with Strong because Texas owes him approximately $10.4 million over the next two seasons as part of his buyout when they fired him at the end of the season.
So, why then is Martin in Tampa with Strong?
The $10.4 million that Texas owes Strong could be considerably less depending on how much USF offers him to be their next coach. Any money coming Strong’s way from USF is deducted from the amount that the Longhorns have pay their former coach.
Assuming that Strong wants the USF job, which is why he was in Tampa and not Philadelphia where Temple wants to talk with him about their opening. Then the goal is to craft a five-year deal that allows Strong to keep as much Texas money as possible while, USF gives what is likely a back loaded deal where the big money comes, starting in year three, so his two years of Longhorn cash is there.
Okay, now let’s talk about Martin’s role in this complex deal. He is in the meeting to see that South Florida doesn’t low ball Strong for the first two years of the deal meaning Texas would footing the bill for the Bulls head coach.
Make no mistake about it, Strong remains the main target of USF but in essence crafting a deal that Strong and the University of Texas can live with is like playing three-dimensional chess.
Both sides want this deal to happen but there is a chance that it could go side-ways. If for some reason USF and Strong can’t make a deal, then Plan B needs to go into effect quickly.
Enter Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, he seemed to be the leader for the University of Houston job. But, Houston decided to stay in house and hire, 38-year-old Major Applewhite. He served as the team’s offensive coordinator and his name was mentioned for a number of head coaching jobs.
That keeps Kiffin back on the market and should the USF deal with Strong not workout then he is back on the South Florida short list.