Charlie Strong turns down the Vols

NCAA Football: Florida International at Louisville

Pete Thamel from Sports Illustrated is reporting that Charlie Strong has turned down an offer from Tennessee to become the Vols’ next head football coach choosing instead to remain at Louisville.

Louisville and Strong are finalizing a long-term extension that could be announced as early as Thursday. It’s expected to be a significant commitment in both years and dollars and will reportedly put Strong in the top echelon of coaches in the ACC.

The Louisville extension ends Tennessee’s courtship of Strong, who had one brief meeting on Sunday with Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek in Louisville. That was Strong’s only direct contact with another university.

“It was Charlie’s desire to end this constant speculation and re-commit long-term to Louisville,” said a source.

Louisville, which has 31 players on its roster from the state of Florida, plays Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2. Louisville went 10-2 this season and won a share of the Big East title with a victory over Rutgers last week to clinch a BCS berth.

While we have said from the beginning that Charlie Strong would be a great hire for one of the SEC programs with a vacancy at the head coach position, getting into a bidding war and paying Strong more than the vast majority of SEC coaches is another story.

If you’re willing to bid upwards of $4 million to hire Strong away from Louisville, isn’t hiring Bobby Petrino at $2 million considerably less risky? Louisville had a good year at 10-2, but they also didn’t play a single ranked team all season. Again, Strong is a good coach, but is he worth $3.5-$4 million?

We’ll see where the Vols turn next…



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  • So far the SEC new coaches that have been hired have been disappointing. Looks like another year of dominance from LSU and Alabama in the west, and Georgia and Florida in the east. What do you think?

  • Must be trying to continue the tradition of fiscal irresponsibility

  • People are giving Hart alot of Flack… I think he is just doing it the right way. As opposed to making a knee-jerk hire on the first yes like Hamilton.

    • I tend to agree. Lots of people say this is a PR nightmare for Tennessee, but I think we’re just overreacting. Make a good hire. In a few months, nobody will remember the “panic” that is communicated on Twitter.

  • Maybe it’s just me but I think UT sort of messed up by firing Dooley. He did not have even a decent record but dang he inherited a mess when he came to Knoxville. Three years really is not that long to keep a coach around, even if he is doing poorly. I can’t help but some of these good coaches that UT is after are looking at the problems that still exist and the lack of patience that the athletics department has with coaches and are being turned off. I mean I would be hesitant to leave a job I am getting paid well at and that is easy to win at to head to UT, and I think they are too. I honestly don’t think UT will get a top notch coach.

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