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January 4, 2014
Coaching the Cards or not?
It's Saturday night almost two days after word came that Louisville coach Charlie Strong was being wooed by Texas (or vice-versa) and would probably become the next head football coach at Texas, the football mega-presence in college athletics.
At first I didn't know what to think and after all these hours I still don't know what to think. The reason is I don't know how Charlie Strong thinks.
I don't know what is important to him; how much he cares for people around him including his family and how loyal he truly is to those that have been a major factor in his success. I also don't know how much his word counts to the fans, his players, recruits and his staff. After all he did say that he was here for the long haul after the 2013 version of "Go after the big money" Part I.
The result of that was at least a million dollar raise and hopefully that is the result of Part II. I certainly don't begrudge him every opportunity to increase his income. That's no difference than the rest of us.
One person I do know is Tom Jurich and, like Rick Bozich, I am positive he will do what is best for the University of Louisville, long term.
I hope Tom gets a chance to set down with Charlie and I think he will say the following things:
• ''Charlie, I will pay you $5M a year but I want a $10M escape clause and a commitment from you that we don't go through this every year".
I would point out the following facts:
• "A lot of people are depending on you at Louisville, your family, coaching staff, existing players, recruits and fans that have supported the program with their money and presence; If you are concerned with the fan base it is growing rapidly and with increased on-campus students and the number of young families attending the games and an improved schedule that will take care of itself; With your distain for the media limelight the environment at Texas will be stifling and much more demands will be made on your time; Boosters have a much greater impact on what goes on at Texas than at Louisville where the only people you are accountable to are Jim Ramsey and me; I went our on a limb for Clint Hurtt and paid your assistants as you requested; And lastly, you can reach all your goals here without starting from scratch."
Like all Card fans I will be watching Charlie on ESPN tomorrow and hope things turn our well for the home team.
One other thing for you Charlie: Four previous successful coaches have left Derby City prematurely and all faltered.
Why not be the wise one and cross the finish line with a lifetime legacy?