ESPN report says Charlie Strong is top candidate for Tennessee head football coach

FILE - This Aug. 10, 2011 file photo shows Louisville football coach Charlie Strong gesturing as he speaks at a news conference in Louisville, Ky. A person familiar with the situation says that the Atlantic Coast Conference's presidents and chancellors have voted unanimously to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland.  The person says ACC leaders also considered Connecticut and Cincinnati over the past week before choosing to add the Cardinals from the Big East.  The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday morning, Nov. 28, 2012 on condition of anonymity because the ACC has not publicly discussed future expansion plans. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, File)

FILE - This Aug. 10, 2011 file photo shows Louisville football coach Charlie Strong gesturing as he speaks at a news conference in Louisville, Ky. A person familiar with the situation says that the Atlantic Coast Conference's presidents and chancellors have voted unanimously to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland. The person says ACC leaders also considered Connecticut and Cincinnati over the past week before choosing to add the Cardinals from the Big East. The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday morning, Nov. 28, 2012 on condition of anonymity because the ACC has not publicly discussed future expansion plans. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, File)

NEW YORK -- Louisville coach Charlie Strong has emerged as the top candidate in Tennessee’s search for a new head football coach, ESPN’s Chris Low reported this evening.

The search appeared to be focusing on Strong and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy entering today’s wild stretch of coaching news.

One newspaper briefly reported that Gundy, who interviewed with Tennessee on Sunday, would be hired as the new coach at Arkansas. Instead, Arkansas later announced that it had hired Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema.

Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart, who is in New York for the Hall of Fame induction of former Vols coach Phillip Fulmer tonight, may have interviewed other candidates during his trip. Reports that North Carolina coach Larry Fedora interviewed today were disputed by a UNC source, according to The News & Observer.

ESPN’s report stressed that no contract had been finalized.

Strong has been under pressure at Louisville after reports of his discussions with Tennessee and Auburn surfaced. Asked if he would return to Louisville in 2013, Strong said, “I will say that at the right time."

Auburn hired Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn earlier today.

Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich has vowed to fight to keep Strong, who has a 24-14 record in three seasons.

Jurich said the university would make Strong the highest-paid coach in the nation.

"We'll make him No. 1 if we have to," Jurich said in October.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/Tennesseebeat.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 367

VOLSnTITANS writes:

ZzzzZzzzzZzzzzz

greatdaysahead writes:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!

DalTexVol writes:

in response to VOLSnTITANS:

ZzzzZzzzzZzzzzz

"When they see what he (Strong) can do, you're probably going to have a lot of people disappointed they didn't hire him sooner." - Tony Dungy, Dec 9, 2009

VolzsFan writes:

We have completely became Mississippi State!!!

VolzsFan writes:

James Franklin would be the home run. Butch Davis would be the next best.

posivol writes:

better strong than gundy.whys tn scared of malhzahn,he could have helped our program way before auburn picked him up years ago

DalTexVol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

We have completely became Mississippi State!!!

Is Mississippi State in the Sugar Bowl? Because Louisville is.

volfanlostnbama writes:

seeing some tweets of some de-comiitted recruits of AL & AUB saying that this hire would get their attention and possible consideration.

VOLsince68 writes:

I have no issues with this if it is true. Of course, I would rather had Gruden for the recruiting effect, but I think Strong would be fine. He knows the SEC and is a DEFENSIVE mind; in which we need greatly if you guys haven't been watching.

GBO VFL!!!

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

Charlie Strong REALLY!, that stinks, thats the best we could do, let him know how louisville does vs florida, Im sure the rest of the SEC coaches will tell us what a great hire he is, wonder why florida didn't hire him then when Urban Meyer left. STRONG IS THE WRONG CHOICE IF THEY HIRE HIM.

Hrockytop writes:

Well If this true then Arky sure made the "BOOM" hire. Yawn.....

John_10065 writes:

Well...listening to the press conference yesterday in Louisville, there is no doubt that Strong isn't happy at U of L. It didn't help they had some punk reporter asking stupid questions which brought to mind those wonderful days of The General after the BB game in Indiana. Strong should have gave him the chair.

That doesn't mean that Strong is coming to Knoxville but it sounded pretty clear that if he got a decent offer, he would be gone.

bamavol42 writes:

Strong is the man. He is a winner who knows what it takes to win in the SEC. Go get him!

DalTexVol writes:

in response to Hrockytop:

Well If this true then Arky sure made the "BOOM" hire. Yawn.....

Everyone looking for a "boom" hire, but most wouldn't know a good coach if he was standing next to them. Can you imagine what it would have been like in 1926 if the internet existed? All the Vols fans complaining that UT hired a mere assistant coach.

asleep#212036 writes:

He's a far cry splashier hire than Malzahn at Auburn and a much better fit than Bielema at Arkansas. He's a fierce recruiter who's had success in Florida for years, and that's pretty fast talking to get a kid from the Sunshine State to live in Louisville for 4 years. He's a well-respected defensive coach and more importantly, as such, might leave the offensive side of the ball relatively intact, ie., Chaney, Pittman, and Graham. He's also great with the boosters, HS coaches, etc... All the things he does well - recruit, coach a mean defense, and schmooze boosters - we have been in short supply of recently. I say quit goofing around and sign him up, we need to move forward. Go Vols!!!

whatthe84 writes:

Well, all things considered, Charlie Strong is the best at this point. He was always successful as a DC and his years at Louisville have been good. He has recruited better than UT has for the last few years. Heck, it could not get much worse could it. I think Strong will be able to recruit and I heard he has a relationship with Trooper Taylor and that would be another recruiting tool (emphasis on tool). I really don't know what kind of a coach Taylor is but he is a good cheerleader and towel waver for sure. His problem is he does not follow the rules and that could be a killer. I hope he leaves trooper alone. Time will tell but I think he could be a good selection.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to John_10065:

Well...listening to the press conference yesterday in Louisville, there is no doubt that Strong isn't happy at U of L. It didn't help they had some punk reporter asking stupid questions which brought to mind those wonderful days of The General after the BB game in Indiana. Strong should have gave him the chair.

That doesn't mean that Strong is coming to Knoxville but it sounded pretty clear that if he got a decent offer, he would be gone.

I bet Strong would kick John Adams up the backside.

suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts writes:

Are you honestly going to claim that Tony Dungy knows more about football than the geniuses on this site?

More than VOLSnTitans? More the Volzfan? SIDESHOWBOB? No Way!!

baldingalum writes:

It looks like this deal is done.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Mark my words, if true, this is a very bad move.
I really hoped the Vols could do better. I should have known better than to get my hopes up. You would think that after 64 years I would know better. Oh well, it's just football. Jimmy Sexton strikes again.

VOLSnTITANS writes:

If Strong hires a good lawyer for his contract negotiations his buyout in 3 years could pay for retirement. I know Dooley is looking for a job...just sayin.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts:

Are you honestly going to claim that Tony Dungy knows more about football than the geniuses on this site?

More than VOLSnTitans? More the Volzfan? SIDESHOWBOB? No Way!!

LOL! I don't know what got into me!

Hound_Dog69 writes:

Whomever they hire, true Vol fans will get behind him and the team,I would rather they hire a proven SEC head coach like petrino, but Strong has done well for UL and will do well for UT if given a chance!

hueypilot writes:

Better Strong than Butch Jones , Al Golden or Larry Fedora. Just for purposes of argument how would you rate Strong if he is the hire compared with Malzahn and Beleima at Auburn and Arkansas?

volfanlostnbama writes:

I believe that the AD stating they will match any offer in order to keep him speaks volumes. He's had the opportunity to watch Strong in all facets of the job and still wanted him no matter what. The thing he won't be able to match is the power T, all the intangibles of UT, & facilities along with the status of being in the SEC.

whatthe84 writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

He's a far cry splashier hire than Malzahn at Auburn and a much better fit than Bielema at Arkansas. He's a fierce recruiter who's had success in Florida for years, and that's pretty fast talking to get a kid from the Sunshine State to live in Louisville for 4 years. He's a well-respected defensive coach and more importantly, as such, might leave the offensive side of the ball relatively intact, ie., Chaney, Pittman, and Graham. He's also great with the boosters, HS coaches, etc... All the things he does well - recruit, coach a mean defense, and schmooze boosters - we have been in short supply of recently. I say quit goofing around and sign him up, we need to move forward. Go Vols!!!

I agree with him being a good posibility, but wow how often are doing sleepovers with Charlie, dude? You must have him on speed dial or you have been stalking him. You know all about him for sure...kinda over the top...com on man.

63vet (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

We have completely became Mississippi State!!!

'We have completely became'?? WOW!

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

James Franklin would be the home run. Butch Davis would be the next best.

You have no right to call yourself a football fan, please stop drinking.

govolsgo8586 writes:

Most of the ppl on this board wanted to hire a proven coach if Charlie Strong isn't considered proven I don't know who is look at what he has done with Louisville with limited resources. And for those pointing out Louisville's record against Florida and are trying to say that is why he shouldn't be hired are morons. Look at Louisville's recruiting classes versus Florida's it is hard to beat a team that is in a state full of talent who all they dreamed about since being kids was playing for the Gators. Of course only time will tell if we do hire him if it was a good decision however, the same could be said about any coach they hire. I firmly believe the ppl on here who wouldn't be happy with Strong being the coach are still stuck on Gruden which was never going to happen in the first place. Stop being delusional and start being realistic because you are setting yourself up for disappointment if your still stuck on Gruden.

Hrockytop writes:

So the AD freed up all that money for this? Talk about Anticippointment!!

DalTexVol writes:

in response to govolsgo8586:

Most of the ppl on this board wanted to hire a proven coach if Charlie Strong isn't considered proven I don't know who is look at what he has done with Louisville with limited resources. And for those pointing out Louisville's record against Florida and are trying to say that is why he shouldn't be hired are morons. Look at Louisville's recruiting classes versus Florida's it is hard to beat a team that is in a state full of talent who all they dreamed about since being kids was playing for the Gators. Of course only time will tell if we do hire him if it was a good decision however, the same could be said about any coach they hire. I firmly believe the ppl on here who wouldn't be happy with Strong being the coach are still stuck on Gruden which was never going to happen in the first place. Stop being delusional and start being realistic because you are setting yourself up for disappointment if your still stuck on Gruden.

I agree with everything you said.

twin942 writes:

This is looking good. This is the guy i wanted all along. This explains why the other SEC schools are announcing with none of them announcing Mr. strong as coach...

The guy has intensity, great recruiter, has all kinds of SEC connections, and he can get that defense in shape soon. Pair him with a very good OC (Chaney?) and we will win. And you can't beat his name...Coach Strong.

Dave (Hart) - dump the flirtation with Gundy and sign Strong. Lets get it done.

Esau writes:

I sure hope so!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

We have completely became Mississippi State!!!

No idea what that even means. Franklin has proven only that Vandy now can beat teams with losing records, something they didn't always do in the past. They are paying him well and he doesn't have to win to keep his job. Plus, do you really think Hart would have given Franklin, who's obviously loyal to Vandy, the chance to publicly turn down the UT job? No way, it's a PR nightmare. Butch Davis is a great coach and I would love to have him but despite all his pleadings to the contrary, UNC did get in NCAA trouble on his watch and in our situation with the NCAA, we just don't need that right now. Strong is solid and Louisville is in the BCS with a team full of sophomores and juniors. Our team was full of sophomores and juniors...... And before you say "that's the Big East not the SEC," I'll say if you beat your peers, whatever conference you play in, you're a winner. Is Chris Peterson no good because he's at Boise? Saban won at Toledo, Meyer at Bowling Green, Tressel at Youngstown - are they not worthy? Strong's a winner and reportedly wants the job. I'd take him over any of the three other SEC hires this offseason, no question. Go Vols!!!

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to whatthe84:

Well, all things considered, Charlie Strong is the best at this point. He was always successful as a DC and his years at Louisville have been good. He has recruited better than UT has for the last few years. Heck, it could not get much worse could it. I think Strong will be able to recruit and I heard he has a relationship with Trooper Taylor and that would be another recruiting tool (emphasis on tool). I really don't know what kind of a coach Taylor is but he is a good cheerleader and towel waver for sure. His problem is he does not follow the rules and that could be a killer. I hope he leaves trooper alone. Time will tell but I think he could be a good selection.

Trooper Taylor was under investigation for illegal recruiting (helping pay for airfare tickets and or hotels on unofficial visit to Auburn), may want to drop his name in the future.

FWBVol writes:

in response to whatthe84:

Well, all things considered, Charlie Strong is the best at this point. He was always successful as a DC and his years at Louisville have been good. He has recruited better than UT has for the last few years. Heck, it could not get much worse could it. I think Strong will be able to recruit and I heard he has a relationship with Trooper Taylor and that would be another recruiting tool (emphasis on tool). I really don't know what kind of a coach Taylor is but he is a good cheerleader and towel waver for sure. His problem is he does not follow the rules and that could be a killer. I hope he leaves trooper alone. Time will tell but I think he could be a good selection.

I'd be a little worried about Trooper right now. He's one of the Auburn coaches that is being closely investigated by the NCAA for possible major recruiting violations.

govolsgo8586 writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Mark my words, if true, this is a very bad move.
I really hoped the Vols could do better. I should have known better than to get my hopes up. You would think that after 64 years I would know better. Oh well, it's just football. Jimmy Sexton strikes again.

How is this a bad move have you not looked at this mans record. Only time will tell if they do hire him. Who do you want as a coach then?

Lvillebill writes:

Those questioning this (possible) hire haven't seen this man in action. He's a tireless recruiter, great teacher, and best yet for UT, a disciplinarian. Since coming to UofL, there have been zero discipline issues. He's first class and Tennessee will be lucky to get him.

GBO!

go_to_work (Inactive) writes:

good choice he will win the 7 to 9 games a year UT is a custom to.

thevoice writes:

Like I said yesterday, it would have been interesting to see Charlie go up against UF in the Sugar Bowl.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to go_to_work:

good choice he will win the 7 to 9 games a year UT is a custom to.

Troll.

UTByrd writes:

I haven't had access to the internet for a couple of months so I am playing catch-up on UT news (no jail time, just moved too far out in the country...plus money). Anyway, I would like to say that I still think good things about Dooley. Did you all see the final BCS standings? 5 of UT's 7 losses came by way of teams ranked in the top 10. If we had an experienced defense, Dooley would still be coach.
Basically, what I am trying to say is this: The cupboard at UT has a lot more groceries in it now than when Derrick Dooley arrived. I would also like to say "Thank you" Coach Dooley for helping to bring UT up from the ashes that you inherited. May good fortune follow you where ever you go.
Any new coach is going to walk into a much more improved organization than we had 3 years ago. Surely, that will help attract an excellent hire.
Get the right guy, Mr. Hart, get the right guy.

Go VOLS!!!!!

Razzle writes:

Wikipedia already has Strong listed as the new Tennessee coach.

Lvillebill writes:

CMKSIDESHOW writes:
"Charlie Strong REALLY!, that stinks, thats the best we could do, let him know how louisville does vs florida, Im sure the rest of the SEC coaches will tell us what a great hire he is, wonder why florida didn't hire him then when Urban Meyer left. STRONG IS THE WRONG CHOICE IF THEY HIRE HIM."

Utterly absurd. TN will have twice the talent level than UofL. Basing Strongs results at TN on The Sugar Bowl is idiocy.

volbob writes:

I said before that this would be a lateral move with respect to Dooley. I withdraw that comment - Strong seems to be more defensive-minded, which is what UT needs. If Hart keeps screwing around, Strong will be gone, too. I, too, think that Gruden would have been the 'choice', for recruiting if nothing else. With him gone, Strong may be the best out there with head coaching experience. Whether him or Mary, Queen of Scot, just get on with it already, Hart! As an aside, I still think Fulmer should be AD. We had Hammy, who was a good business-minded AD but blew with respect to athletics; seems to be more of the same with Hart. Fulmer would be great on the athletics side, and there are assistant/associate ADs who concentrate on the business aspects - just like any other business. Just sayin...

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to twin942:

This is looking good. This is the guy i wanted all along. This explains why the other SEC schools are announcing with none of them announcing Mr. strong as coach...

The guy has intensity, great recruiter, has all kinds of SEC connections, and he can get that defense in shape soon. Pair him with a very good OC (Chaney?) and we will win. And you can't beat his name...Coach Strong.

Dave (Hart) - dump the flirtation with Gundy and sign Strong. Lets get it done.

No to Chaney, get that throw it first, never run the ball idiot out of here now!

Time to get rid of all the Kiffin holdovers and everyone else and move forward.

If he keeps Graham that would be fine and great, but clean the house otherwise.

twin942 writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Better Strong than Butch Jones , Al Golden or Larry Fedora. Just for purposes of argument how would you rate Strong if he is the hire compared with Malzahn and Beleima at Auburn and Arkansas?

I rate Strong as the best of the three, which as Vols fans, we expected from our AD. The only guy you mentioned that I would be reasonably happy with outside of Strong would be Larry Fedora. No way on Gundy, although I don't see him leaving his alma mater. But Strong was the pick of the hot coaches club this year. And it certainly seems like we are in good shape to get him.

MurfVol77 writes:

hmm an Alabama guy hiring a Florida guy to coach at Tennessee. There is just something wrong with that! LOL

BMSvol writes:

oh boy, a few more years of moral victories

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features