The University of Texas at Austin
  • Coach Strong’s First Week at Texas

    By Tracy Mueller
    Published: Jan. 7

    University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong

    [Credit: UT Athletics]

    “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.

    University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong

    [Credit: UT Athletics]

    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.”

    University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong and Edith Royal

    Strong with Edith Royal, widow of legendary Longhorns football coach Darrell Royal. [Credit: UT Athletics]

    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.”

    University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong and family

    Strong and his wife and daughters get the star treatment at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, including a custom scoreboard message. [Credit: UT Athletics]

    “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.”

    University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong with Vince Young and David Thomas

    Strong chats with former Texas standouts Vince Young and David Thomas, who played together on the 2005 national championship team. [Credit: UT Athletics]

    Strong makes his Longhorn Network debut with lead anchor Lowell Galindo.

    University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong interviewed by Craig Way

    AM 1300 radio host and Longhorn football play-by-play announcer Craig Way interviews Strong after the press conference. [Credit: UT Athletics]

    University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong and women's basketball coach Karen Aston

    Strong meets women’s basketball head coach Karen Aston. [Credit: UT Athletics]
    • Quote 2
      Leland Walton said on Feb. 6 at 3:36 p.m.
      I grew up across the street from Memorial stadium and watched all the games in the days of Bobby Layne,Tom Landry,Hub Bechtol, and many other post-war greats (Coach Blair Cherry). We, of the knothole gang used to play a sand lot game after it was all over (until Jake ran us out of there). Sometimes the black kids would get up a team to play against us. Now they are with us. How times have changed (for the better)! I was in school at UT when DKR came and am looking forward to the same national success under Coach Strong. I also am a great fan of Mack Brown. I bet UF would love to trade us our"Coach in waiting" for their old DC.
    • Quote 2
      Clyde H. Fendley said on Jan. 13 at 3:37 p.m.
      I believe we have a winner in Coach Strong and look forward to watching the team regain there place on the football field. Good luck to Coach Strong on building a winner and recruiting the best young men in the state. HOOK UM HORNS!
    • Quote 2
      John V. Peet said on Jan. 12 at 4:31 p.m.
      Charlie, Glad you're here and you'll have my wife,Betty, and my support unconditionally. We wish you all the success and welcome your wife and daughters without any hesitation into all the Longhorn family. Hope to meet you soon. Hook'em (and beat OU) John Peet
    • Quote 2
      F Pat Foy said on Jan. 11 at 7:29 p.m.
      BA, 1969; MA, 1971; PhD, 1973 & never prouder of an AD or President as I am now. Good job, gentlemen!! There's no way I'll ever get to meet Coach Strong, but along with thousands of us who live on the "outside" of the UT limelight/politics, but whose hearts pump orange blood, I extend a proud, warm and appreciative hand-shake to Coach Strong and his beautiful family. HOOK'EM!!
    • Quote 2
      Frank Sieling said on Jan. 10 at 8:03 a.m.
      A Great Hire! I am excited for Longhorns football this fall. Red McCombs should keep his comments to himself. Jon Gruden was not going to coach a college team so get over it. Charlie Strong is this right hire at the right time for Texas. I am looking for strong defense and hopes that he hires the Offense Coordinator away from Clemson to give the offense a wide open approach. Hook 'em Horms!!!
    • Quote 2
      RCruz said on Jan. 9 at 9:54 p.m.
      Negative comments not needed/this man is winner. Let him do his job and you won't be sorry.
    • Quote 2
      Jim Sczech said on Jan. 9 at 7:25 p.m.
      I congratulate UT on their hiring of Coach Strong. I welcome him and his family to Austin. My wife and I attended Texas during the 31 straight wins seasons under Coach Royal. It was fantastic! I sense that we will embark on another winning streak in the near future. It may take a while to get things going but Charlie Strong is the right man for the job. We will again rule the State of Texas in football recruiting. A&M had better gear up!
    • Quote 2
      Ross Wisdom said on Jan. 9 at 5:27 p.m.
      I am a huge Mack Brown fan, still am, hate to see him go; but I love this guy. Would not have felt the same way about Saban or some of the other "big" names out there. This is a whole new chapter in Texas football: "Texas Strong" winning with dignity. Only guy who should have a problem with this is Bob Stoops, his time is up!
    • Quote 2
      Audrey Sorrells said on Jan. 9 at 5:19 p.m.
      Having been on the faculty for 17 years and associate dean of students the past 4 years, I am more than thrilled to witness the hiring of Coach Charlie Strong as the next among many great UT coaches. He's an excellent choice and once again I feel confident going back into the community to encourage young people from all walks of life to keep striving for quality education and opportunity--your gifts, talents, and integrity WILL make room for you at the table. Congratulations to all who made this happen for Texas and the nation. It's a great moment, indeed!
    • Quote 2
      Hugh Smith said on Jan. 9 at 5:02 p.m.
      Having attended UT during the James Street National Championship and my kids attended UT during the Vince Young Championship and then the magical years of the Colt McCoy era; I look forward to Coach Strong bring us our next great Championship Quarterback. He is a great judge of talent and if he can just stop the migration of our best Texans to above the Red River we will be back in National Championship running. Great man, great coach and refreshing personality. But we still love the Big Mack and will never forget the wonderful time!
    • Quote 2
      Dr Bill Riesser said on Jan. 9 at 4:49 p.m.
      I played on the football field during every one of our 31 straight wins and two (or one and a half actually) straight national championships under Darryl Royal. I lettered all four years and did graduate. I watched as our country's last all-white national championship team accepted their football letters at the award banquet in 1971(I did NOT myself letter in football). It is a significant commentary on my alma mater that it has hired an African-American head football coach. There had been a member of the football team who began that season, but left the university in disgust at the lack of social opportunities at a university which did not have but a few hundred students of color on the entire campus.
    • Quote 2
      KathleenBergeron said on Jan. 9 at 3:28 p.m.
      Saw this video on YouTube of the post-game celebration from the Sugar Bowl when Louisville defeated Florida, where Strong had coached previously: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnU9KVdKIgA. Seeing those Florida players go up to him and shake his hand is worth a thousand words. Tells me UT made a great choice.
    • Quote 2
      Betty Boynton said on Jan. 9 at 2:46 p.m.
      Hook 'em! I am looking forward to football season under Charlie Strong. His hire is a done deal and I think it is wrong for alumni to criticize him before he's even had a spring practice! He certainly looks the real thing. Yes, Mack Brown was a super guy and I'm betting that Charlie Strong will be there before long! And one more thing - I think it is time for the media to get off the first black coach in UT men's sports. His reputation has nothing to do with his color.
    • Quote 2
      Charlie said on Jan. 8 at 9:53 p.m.
      so we are losing our DT's, well zip up to Whitehouse and grab Colston Wallace, benches over 400, quicker than lightning, totally rules the inside running game.........5 FT, 11 inches, 340 lbs..........Meaner than dirt. This kid is amazing. I have watched him shut down teams for 3 years. Total domination. Need to get him with the horns. someone forward this to Strong please
    • Quote 2
      Pat said on Jan. 8 at 7:57 p.m.
      As a mother of 2Longhorns and Grandmother of 4 lets go Horns.
    • Quote 2
      Luis said on Jan. 8 at 7:22 p.m.
      Understand It might be a slow start for coach Strong to get this program back to championship form. So let's not put too much pressure on him and let him do his Job. But if I can sum up Charlie Strong in one word... WINNER!!!
    • Quote 2
      Curt Vaughan said on Jan. 7 at 4:31 p.m.
      Having graduated from U.T. the year Earl C. won the Heisman, and having been employed at U.T. for 34 years before retiring several years ago, I have never had such an optimistic feeling about the positive influence on the U.T. football program Charlie Strong will bring. Congratulations to President Powers and Director Patterson on this hire!
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