After a weekend of rumors, twitter speculation, and eventually confirmation, Charlie Strong, the former head coach for the University of Louisville football team is now the Texas Longhorns new head football coach. In a press conference this morning with Athletic Director Steve Patterson, and University President Bill Powers, Strong answered questions from the media for the better part of thirty minutes, marking a new era for the University of Texas.
Charlie Strong is the first black head coach of a men's program at the University of Texas, a school where in his lifetime, struggled with integration (during the 1950's and 60s) and just until 2010 a dormitory on campus was still named after a Confederate colonel in the Civil War who was also a Klan member. Awkward.
But with all that history, today marks a new day in the historical record for UT, as mentioned by a relieved President Bill Powers. President Powers spoke briefly at the press conference today welcoming and introducing Charlie Strong to Texas as the new head football coach.
Click below the jump to read about how the Strong hiring could mean an end to President Powers drama with the Board of Regents.Within a week's time last month, President Powers and Mack Brown were both on the chopping block. Unfortunately Mack Brown did not make it out of the week with a job for the new year, as I reported earlier, due to Rick Perry's Board of Regents overreaching attempt to hire Nick Saban.
So the new year presented itself with some challenges for Steve Patterson. He needed to pick a football coach, show that Texas is still strong, despite his job only being a few months old, and Powers's job in constant jeopardy. Yet amid all the flurry and turmoil Patterson hires UT's first black head coach of a men's program instead of the Board of Regents choice Nick Saban, a white coach from the deep south. Well played Patterson, well played.
But what all this means in terms of Powers's job is still unclear, although now marks a time in the saga where Powers's job is perhaps the most stable it has been in months.
Strong did admirably in press conference this morning. When asked about how he wasn't the first choice (referring of course to the Nick Saban nonsense, as well as other rumors) he said he didn't care if he was the 15th choice, he's the head coach at UT now. Well played again, sirs.
The last time the Board of Regents met, Mack Brown was still the coach, and Powers got to keep his job. The very next day Mack Brown announced his retirement to the football players. The Board of Regents is slated to meet again in February, and there has been absolutely no chatter about the security, or lack thereof of President Powers. Strong seems to be walking into a stable environment at the University, even within the football program itself. Strong noted that Mack Brown left the program in great shape, which Brown did.
Meanwhile the House committee that is investigating whether Regent Wallace Hall should be impeached, has not made any action yet. Hall has been on a “witch hunt” for Powers for years. There are no postings of any future meetings currently, and when the committee last met, Hall was invited to testify yet did not show up. Perhaps Hall is finally finished with the spotlight, and with that UT is finally finished with the drama. Now about Rick Barnes…