Texas Longhorns should have no regrets about hiring Charlie Strong


After an underwhelming first season at Texas, will Charlie Strong find more success in his second season with the Longhorns and how soon until they’re a contender for the national title?

Charlie Strong’s first year at Texas saw the Longhorns finish with a 6-7 record after a humiliating loss to Arkansas in the Texas Bowl and failed to inspire much enthusiasm that he’s turn the program back into a national title contender.

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Strong came to Austin from Louisville, where he served as head coach for four seasons. In Strong’s first season at Louisville, his Cardinals made their first bowl appearance in four years with a victory over Southern Miss in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

Like Texas, when Strong first arrived at Louisville, he took over a program that hadn’t had much recent success. Strong’s predecessor at Louisville, Steve Kragthorpe, won 15 games in the three seasons before Strong turned the Cardinals into a BCS bowl winner.

Strong’s tenure as the Cardinals’ head coach was successful, but it took some time to build the program he inherited and change the culture of losing. Initially, Strong’s Cardinals won only seven games in their first two seasons, but the following two seasons produced better results, which is why Longhorn fans shouldn’t worry.

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In his final two seasons at Louisville, Strong led the Cardinals to 23 wins and back-to-back bowl wins, including a 33-23 win over the Florida Gators in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. One season later Texas made Strong an offer he couldn’t refuse and succeeded Brown as the head coach with the responsibility of bringing the program back to national prominence.

Strong’s first year in Austin wasn’t great. In fact, it was awful. Since 1998, Texas has failed to win less than seven games only in 2010 and last year.

The Longhorns’ season was a bit of a roller coaster, as they experienced some success and some failure. Strong’s Longhorns opened up the season strong with a large victory over North Texas, but the following week, Texas lost big to BYU, 41-7, in Austin.

That’s just doesn’t happen at Texas. You don’t get blown out at home, especially against BYU, who beat them one year earlier too. From there, the Longhorns’ season got better but still not up to Texas’ standards. The next week, Texas lost a close game to UCLA, a team who finished the season ranked in the top ten, but lost big to Baylor only a couple of weeks later.

The rest of Texas’ season went decently well. They lost a few other games, including a shutout loss to Kansas State, and a close loss to Oklahoma, but they were able to secure victories against their lesser competition and somehow were able to defeat West Virginia, who was ranked No. 24 at the time.

Everything was heading in the right direction for Texas until the TCU game in the final week of the regular season when Texas was demolished in Austin, 48-10. This beatdown carried over into the postseason, where Texas was defeated by Arkansas, 31-7.

Strong didn’t make a great first impression but that doesn’t mean the future isn’t bright.

This past February, Texas hauled in the No. 9 recruiting class in the country, which included five-star prospect, Malik Jefferson and thirteen four-star prospects, according to 247Sports.

Strong is recruiting well, and it will only continue to get better. He is and was the right man for the job, and in time, he will return Texas football back to Texas football. His second season will be better, but I don’t expect the Longhorns to be back just yet. It takes time. We are likely a year or two away from Texas winning Big 12 titles again.

Strong’s tenure at Louisville started off similar to his tenure at Texas. He inherited a poor team, didn’t see immediate success, but in time, he brought the Cardinals back to national relevancy.

I fully expect Strong to do the same at Texas; it just takes time.

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