“We will work like it’s fourth-and-one or fourth-and-inches,” new Texas football coach Charlie Strong promised during his introductory press conference Monday, Jan. 6. He later added, “We’ll be a hard-nosed football team. We’ll be very exciting to watch. You know, for our fans, I think they’re going to be very pleased at what they’re going to see.”
With dozens of reporters and cameras watching, President Bill Powers and men’s athletic director Steve Patterson officially welcomed Charlie Strong as the 29th head coach of the University of Texas football program. Strong, who was previously the head coach at the University of Louisville, replaces Mack Brown, who resigned in December after 16 years at the helm of the Longhorns.
We’ve gathered a selection of quotes from the press conference, plus images from Strong’s first week at Texas and fan and expert reaction to the hiring.
President Bill Powers:
“He’s the right person to represent our university on the field, on the campus, in the community, in the living rooms of potential recruits. He’s the right person to carry on the winning tradition that we have here, winning with integrity that was cultivated by Darrell Royal, DeLoss Dodds, Mack Brown; he is the right person.”
“There is no question he’s a winner. He transformed the Louisville football program into champions. He was honored as Coach of the Year. His talents as a coach are truly evident. More important than that, he elevated the football program while increasing graduation rates, developing a culture rooted in academic success.”
Men’s Athletic Director Steve Patterson:
“We wanted somebody who was bright and an ethical leader, somebody who was physically and mentally tough, somebody who could really recruit and evaluate talent. Then once that talent is here, somebody who is a great coach and teacher who can really help our young football players grow both on the field and off.”
Coach Charlie Strong:
“I will ask the Longhorn football team to believe and trust in one another. We’re going to create a family atmosphere here. We’re going to be a program that has the right attitude. We’ll have the right commitment. It will be a program that’s built on accountability and responsibility.”
“Nationally, the Texas high school coaches are king,” said Strong. “My staff and I will be committed to closing the borders on this great state and making them realize that this is their program. We’ll recruit with fire, and we’ll recruit with passion.”
“It’s never about me; it’s always about the young men. I want to make sure this is all about building them and making sure they represent this university the right way. I’m so happy and proud. Hook ‘em.”
“Number one, I want our players to understand that you’re here to graduate. You’re here to get a degree. When you get a degree, you will always have options in life. Number two, let’s go win football games, let’s go win championships. Number three, I want to make sure when they leave here, they’re a better person than when they came into this university.”
Strong makes his Longhorn Network debut with lead anchor Lowell Galindo.