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NCAA Football Texas Longhorns

5 Reasons Why Charlie Strong is a Great Fit for Texas Longhorns

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5 Reasons Why Charlie Strong is a Great Fit for Texas Longhorns

charlie strong
Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns have their man as they have named Charlie Strong as their next head coach. Strong comes to Austin to replace Mack Brown who revitalized the program early in his career but had seen his message grow stale towards the end of his 16-year tenure with the Horns. Strong comes into one of the elite jobs in college football with the task of replacing a legend in Brown and restoring Texas to the top of the Big 12 and into the national championship conversation.

It’s certainly a challenging job but it also comes with some huge rewards if you can make it work. Winning at Texas instantly makes you a college football legend as it remains one of the premier programs in the history of college football. Big-time jobs like this one can make a Hall-of-Fame career for a coach but it can also send them spiraling into coordinator purgatory if it goes south. After all, nobody wants to hire the guy who ruined an elite program, right?

But Texas shouldn’t worry about things going south under Strong. Throughout his career, the 53-year old head coach has proven that he knows what it takes to win football games and brings a toughness and discipline with him that helped build the Louisville Cardinals into a top-10 team the last two seasons. He has all the makings of a great fit at Texas with his coaching acumen and will quickly put his mark on the Horns in 2014 to get them heading in the right direction.

As Strong prepares to officially take control of the Texas Longhorns heading into what will be a whirlwind recruiting period, here are five reasons why Strong will be a great hire for the Texas Longhorns in the very near future.

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5. Defensive Pedigree

charlie strong
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

Before becoming the head coach at Louisville, Strong was building his reputation as a defensive mastermind as the defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators where he helped UF win two national titles in eight seasons. While there, he coached 13 All-American defenders, six first-round draft picks and multiple top-five scoring defenses. At Louisville, he built an underrated tough defense which ranked No. 2 in scoring defense and No. 1 in total defense in 2013. Texas has seen its defense slip in recent years and could use a defensive guy like Strong to whip it back into shape.

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4. Tenacious Recruiter

charlie strong
Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports

Strong has developed a reputation as a strong recruiter at Louisville, often going into Florida and stealing some great talent out of the back yards of the established powers in the Sunshine State. Opening up the state of Florida will be a huge boost to Texas, who has not recruited that state strongly, but Strong must first set his sights on recruiting his new home state. The Horns must re-establish themselves as the go-to destination for the Lone Star State’s top recruits and keep pace with the likes of Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies. While Strong doesn’t have a lot of ties to the state to begin with, he’ll make sure that changes in a hurry as he dives into recruiting with unparalleled fervor.

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3. Program Builder

charlie strong
Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports

When Louisville was looking for a head coach four years ago, they were a program in decline. In the three years before Strong was hired, Lousiville went 15-21 with no bowl appearances, low-lighted by their 4-8 campaign in 2009. Since Strong took over, the Cardinals have been to four straight bowl games (winning three) while going 37-15, including 23-3 in the last two seasons as he’s posted back-to-back seasons with 10 wins or more. Texas isn’t a patient program and they have not enjoyed watching control of the Big 12 slip away from them, so having a quick-fixer like Strong will be a major boost for them.

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2. Player Development

charlie strong
Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Strong won 12 games with a starting lineup that featured 13 former three-star recruits and eight two-stars. Projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft Teddy Bridgewater was one of just two four-star recruits in the starting lineup. Strong was able to get the most out of his players by developing their game and helping them grow into elite football players. Texas can get the top recruits to Austin, but they have struggled to develop them once they’ve gotten there. Strong can fix that problem and take elite recruits to the next level to make them great football players.

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1. Elite Football Mind

charlie strong
David Manning - USA TODAY Sports

The biggest thing Texas needed in a new football coach was someone who could win and win big. Charlie Strong fits that description perfectly. Strong is a sharp football mind who knows how to coach and win football games and will give his all to making the product on the field as elite as it can be. While there are questions about how he will handle the unique media situation that comes with the Horns’ job, there’s no questioning the coaching ability of Strong. At the end of the day, that’s what you want most in your head coach: a great ability to coach.