Louisville coach Charlie Strong meets with players

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)

Louisville coach Charlie Strong met with players at the Cardinals’ football facility Wednesday afternoon, but didn’t answer the swirling questions about his future, according to multiple reports from Louisville media.

A group of reporters were camped outside the building, waiting for a conclusion to a story that has pitted two schools and involved millions of dollars.

Strong has an offer to be Tennessee’s next head coach, but also discussed a new contract with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich today, according to reports. Strong currently makes $2.3 million annually, and is line for a sizeable raise regardless of his decision.

Players were directed not to speak about this afternoon’s meeting, but multiple reporters tweeted that Strong told players he had not made a decision about his future. Eric Crawford, a reporter for WDRB in Louisville, said Strong told players he would meet with them before the talking to the media Thursday morning.

Louisville center and Rimington Award finalist Mario Benavides tweeted after the meeting: “All I'm gonna say is I'm not worried about my coach..we are a family.”

Meanwhile, Volquest.com reported that Dave Hart had returned to Knoxville late in the afternoon in a corporate jet registered to Pilot. The jet’s tail number is blocked from plane-tracking websites.

Strong, 52, is a native of Arkansas who had stints as a defensive coordinator at Florida and South Carolina before getting his first head coaching job at Louisville. The Cardinals (10-2) will represent the Big East in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, but are moving to the ACC in 2014.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Get up-to-the-second coaching search updates at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 134

VolinAustin writes:

Love the idea of Strong at UT....Go Vols

61NCVol writes:

If we get him....great! If not, the sun will still come up tomorrow. Patience fellow Vols. Let Hart do his job. Go Vols!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

If he hasn't given Hart an answer, he needs to pull the offer. Hart should not allow UT to be used to get a raise at Louisville. Give him a take it or leave it offer, and move on.

OLROCKYTOP writes:

There is an underlying reason why no one wants this job. What is being hidden from the fans and media? Makes me wonder.

clvolfan writes:

I cannot believe I am hearing callers to UT talk radio,that are actually wanting the administration to bring CPF back as head coach.He's the one who started this mess and took his 6 million and smiled all the way to the bank.His time has passed,and we can do better.Coach Chizik would probably talk to UT,which would be ok with me.

SCVOL90 writes:

So this we know, a coach of a team playing in an upcoming bowl game met with his players and planes are still, in fact, flying in and out of McGee-Tyson Airport.

Colliervol writes:

I don't like the suspense any better than anybody else. But if we don't get him, I'm not going to panic. There are other good coaches out there to throw money at and we aren't under pressure like we were when Lame bailed out and there were few choices to hire.

Coaches have to make their own decisions whether or not they are a good fit somewhere and I can't blame them for that. They darn sure aren't in the business of answering the whims of a fan of a school. Still time to get a good coach if Gundy and Strong decide to stay where they are. I'll wait for the press conference.

KDOG1973 writes:

We should know something by late this evening. There is a reason he is meeting with his players/former players.

pupvol writes:

if he can't make his mind up between Louisville and Tennessee for 3.5 mil then leave him alone! sounds like a another 13 men on the field guy to me! hire Petrino and get going!

tenndave writes:

in response to clvolfan:

I cannot believe I am hearing callers to UT talk radio,that are actually wanting the administration to bring CPF back as head coach.He's the one who started this mess and took his 6 million and smiled all the way to the bank.His time has passed,and we can do better.Coach Chizik would probably talk to UT,which would be ok with me.

I can't believe you said that. CPF's worst years were miles ahead of the last 4 we have suffered through. He is not going to be offered the job but I for one would not be disappointed if he was. Name me anyone outside Pat Summit that bleeds more orange the CPF. Go root for Ala.

85sugar writes:

PETRINO...Best on the board

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to pupvol:

if he can't make his mind up between Louisville and Tennessee for 3.5 mil then leave him alone! sounds like a another 13 men on the field guy to me! hire Petrino and get going!

Sounds like good advice to me.

td writes:

If or when all is lost with Strong, Why not Chaney? Tennessee only needs to correct the defensive side of the staff! A hungry Defensive Coordinator ready for SEC competition should be an easy hire for the Vols.

shorttail writes:

pay the big bucks, get the best coach to put the vols back in the sec title hunt, and they had 3 to choose from ? dosen't say much for the program

Vol_fan_4life writes:

If things dont work out with Strong, Jim Tressel or Tommy Tuberville wouldn't be bad pick.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

Its not blocked on ATC live radio or your eye balls, that would be Illegal. N681P a nice Lear 45.

Now, what' the difference between Illegal and Unlawful? Unlawful is when one breaks a given law, Illegal is a very sick bird.

GO VOLS!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

If he hasn't given Hart an answer, he needs to pull the offer. Hart should not allow UT to be used to get a raise at Louisville. Give him a take it or leave it offer, and move on.

No doubt, Strong needs to remember at Louisville he's already seen the highest plateau. UT's potential is limitless but much more pressure to win. Gut check time.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to tenndave:

I can't believe you said that. CPF's worst years were miles ahead of the last 4 we have suffered through. He is not going to be offered the job but I for one would not be disappointed if he was. Name me anyone outside Pat Summit that bleeds more orange the CPF. Go root for Ala.

Good post...CPF would be a great choice but he bot burned bad and he wont touch the stove again. His last year he lost 10 starters to injury so I guess that was his fault. All the fans look at is the wins and losses...very sad. I can only wish that they would be judged on their job the same way. The last thing we need is a coach with a orange heart, with character that can recruit and coach...and in the hall of fame and a national championship and SEC titles. What were we thinking?

edee writes:

A Strong coaching background..don't think so, but he would be better than Dooley and I think would be respected by the players and fans, I would hope. However, I have NO respect for Dave Hart......He should have BEEN SEARCHING AT LEAST TWO WEEKS AGO, he knew he was going to fire Dooley...I wonder what prospective recruits think about so many coaches saying No to Hart. I know one who committed long age...I say Hart should be fired, he has done an awful job....Have been attending games since 1970..never has there been so many people laughing at U.T. Don't know if thestadium will ever be full again......

jimr07 writes:

in response to OLROCKYTOP:

There is an underlying reason why no one wants this job. What is being hidden from the fans and media? Makes me wonder.

People like you.

FWBVol writes:

in response to td:

If or when all is lost with Strong, Why not Chaney? Tennessee only needs to correct the defensive side of the staff! A hungry Defensive Coordinator ready for SEC competition should be an easy hire for the Vols.

I can think of a lot worse things than what you suggested. Move Chaney to head coach and bring Tee Martin back to coach QBs or receivers. If needed, Hinshaw could move back to coaching QBs if Tee felt more comfortable coaching receivers.

I think one interesting thing, whoever the next coach is, might be to put a bonus system in for recruiting class ranks. Say if a coach pulls in a Top 25 class, which should be every year at Tennessee, he could get an extra $50,000 a year, a Top 10 class could go up to $100,000 and a Top 5 class would be worth $200,000. That's just a thought.

old54 writes:

in response to Vol_fan_4life:

If things dont work out with Strong, Jim Tressel or Tommy Tuberville wouldn't be bad pick.

Tuberville is not that good of a coach. Has not done anything in years.

TucsonVol writes:

Coach Strong,

Please stay with the Cardinals!! We do not want someone that has to mull over an offer and is halfway interested!! Stay where you are...we will keep Chaney!!!

orange_glory writes:

it may be strong actually cares about his players and is truly having a hard time with deciding. of course, money can help with all sorts of decisions. plus if he looks to eager to jump at the first little raise it undermines his loyality to a school. i don't have a problem with him mulling it over both for his loyality to his kids and loyality to a school. that bodes well for us in the future if we get him

vfl76 writes:

Saban makes over $5M, Miles makes over $5M, and we offer Strong $3.5M, come on now you want to play big boy ball, you have to pay big boy money. $3.5M won't do it, you see now that Strong cannot make up his mind whether to stay or go, probably because Louisv can match the $3.5...come on Tennessee open the pocketbook and go after a Big Boy Coach and pay the Big Boy Bucks.

edee writes:

in response to pupvol:

if he can't make his mind up between Louisville and Tennessee for 3.5 mil then leave him alone! sounds like a another 13 men on the field guy to me! hire Petrino and get going!

he is trying to get more money where he is....met with players and will again tomorrow according to local 11 tv..I agree with you U.T. should not wait at this point say YES or NO...these coaches are getting big bucks by saying mpo to UT..also said Hart has returned to Knoxville..I hope to pack and move

ETVOL writes:

in response to OLROCKYTOP:

There is an underlying reason why no one wants this job. What is being hidden from the fans and media? Makes me wonder.

How about fickle and impatient fans? Recent NCAA troubles? Recruiting, not the easiest at UT! Did I mention the fans?

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

I find no faults with Strong. A good man, ties to florida recruiting, known somewhat by the kids in Florida, National Championsip rings on his fingers, and is a winner. Much better than what UT had.

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to OLROCKYTOP:

There is an underlying reason why no one wants this job. What is being hidden from the fans and media? Makes me wonder.

I have wondered the same thing ever since we went down the list all the way to Kiffen !

orange_glory writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

I find no faults with Strong. A good man, ties to florida recruiting, known somewhat by the kids in Florida, National Championsip rings on his fingers, and is a winner. Much better than what UT had.

agree

pcshowtime writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

If he hasn't given Hart an answer, he needs to pull the offer. Hart should not allow UT to be used to get a raise at Louisville. Give him a take it or leave it offer, and move on.

exactly pull the offer

RoyaltyVol writes:

There is one man who for sure would come here and would do great. John Chavis would come in a heartbeat and I believe that's if he is given the $$ to hire great asst coaches, then he would do great. Hart should at least interview him.

ETVOL writes:

in response to OLROCKYTOP:

There is an underlying reason why no one wants this job. What is being hidden from the fans and media? Makes me wonder.

Fulmer's record. 2 losing seasons and you're out!

1992 Tennessee 4–0* 2–0* 3rd (East)* W Hall of Fame

1993 Tennessee 10–2^ 7–1^ 2nd (East) L Florida Citrus

1994 Tennessee 8–4 5–3 2nd (East) W Gator†

1995 Tennessee 11–1 7–1 2nd (East) W Florida Citrus

1996 Tennessee 10–2 7–1 2nd (East) W Florida Citrus

1997 Tennessee 11–2 7–1 1st (East) L Orange†

1998 Tennessee 13–0 8–0 1st (East) W Fiesta†

1999 Tennessee 9–3 6–2 2nd (East) L Fiesta†

2000 Tennessee 8–4 5–3 2nd (East) L Cotton

2001 Tennessee 11–2 7–1 1st (East) W Florida Citrus

2002 Tennessee 8–5 5–3 3rd (East) L Peach

2003 Tennessee 10–3 6–2 T–1st (East) L Peach

2004 Tennessee 10–3 7–1 1st (East) W Cotton

2005 Tennessee 5–6 3–5 4th (East)

2006 Tennessee 9–4 5–3 2nd (East) L Outback

2007 Tennessee 10–4 6–2 T–1st (East) W Outback

2008 Tennessee 5–7 3–5 5th (East)

orange_glory writes:

in response to vfl76:

Saban makes over $5M, Miles makes over $5M, and we offer Strong $3.5M, come on now you want to play big boy ball, you have to pay big boy money. $3.5M won't do it, you see now that Strong cannot make up his mind whether to stay or go, probably because Louisv can match the $3.5...come on Tennessee open the pocketbook and go after a Big Boy Coach and pay the Big Boy Bucks.

those figures are because they have success at current school(raises,contract renegotiations) not what they started at. auburn is paying malzhan around 2 million so 3 million sounds fair for a coach starting at a new school

KDOG1973 writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

exactly pull the offer

Agree 100%.....This is TENNESSEE, not some ACC or BIG EAST school!

tater872 writes:

in response to clvolfan:

I cannot believe I am hearing callers to UT talk radio,that are actually wanting the administration to bring CPF back as head coach.He's the one who started this mess and took his 6 million and smiled all the way to the bank.His time has passed,and we can do better.Coach Chizik would probably talk to UT,which would be ok with me.

No, it was fans and boosters with your same attitude that got us in this mess.

pingkr62 writes:

What happened to Butch Jones? Apparently I've missed something? But if we can't hire Charlie Strong, who would be another viable candidate. When I say viable, that eliminates Bobby Petrino.

blueze2 writes:

in response to tenndave:

I can't believe you said that. CPF's worst years were miles ahead of the last 4 we have suffered through. He is not going to be offered the job but I for one would not be disappointed if he was. Name me anyone outside Pat Summit that bleeds more orange the CPF. Go root for Ala.

You are clueless... After CPF won the national championship he was barley .500 and never won another SEC title. Hiring Kiffen didn't make it any better but CPF should have been gone years before he was fired.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to vfl76:

Saban makes over $5M, Miles makes over $5M, and we offer Strong $3.5M, come on now you want to play big boy ball, you have to pay big boy money. $3.5M won't do it, you see now that Strong cannot make up his mind whether to stay or go, probably because Louisv can match the $3.5...come on Tennessee open the pocketbook and go after a Big Boy Coach and pay the Big Boy Bucks.

Uhhh, Saban is the best CFB coach in America. You can't offer a coach that has had success in a mid-major type conference the same money NS earns..That's just p1ssing money away.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to clvolfan:

I cannot believe I am hearing callers to UT talk radio,that are actually wanting the administration to bring CPF back as head coach.He's the one who started this mess and took his 6 million and smiled all the way to the bank.His time has passed,and we can do better.Coach Chizik would probably talk to UT,which would be ok with me.

Please give your reason why replacing a coach with a 1-7 SEC record with a coach who had an 0-8 SEC record makes any sense. Try and convince me.

Lvillebill writes:

in response to 61NCVol:

If we get him....great! If not, the sun will still come up tomorrow. Patience fellow Vols. Let Hart do his job. Go Vols!

Not sure if 61 is your birth year, but your comment was a mature assessment of the situation. I'm a Vol grad living in Louisville and the rhetoric on both sides is amazing. Charlie Strong would make a great coach in Knoxville, but if we don't get him there are other "strong" candidates out there. Everyone chill out and relax.

BankerVol writes:

in response to OLROCKYTOP:

There is an underlying reason why no one wants this job. What is being hidden from the fans and media? Makes me wonder.

Maybe you need to change your name to PARANOIDOLROCKYTOP. Just sayin...

John_10065 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No doubt, Strong needs to remember at Louisville he's already seen the highest plateau. UT's potential is limitless but much more pressure to win. Gut check time.

I think you guys are a bit off base here. Strong can have a long career at U of L and be well praised while earning more than 90% of the college coaches out there. More than you or I would ever hope for in our careers.

He'll be appreciated and loved in Louisville and long remembered if he stays 10 - 15 years. He'll have his pick of the local talent which is extensive and probably the state talent. He'll do better then his big brother up the road in Lexington and gladly share the spot light with the BB program rather than being blinded by it.

On the otherhand, he can come to Knoxville. He'll be expected to take UT to the December Atlanta game every year and win the SEC outright at least once every 3 or 4 years or be considered a failure. And he has to do it immediately, 7 wins or less next year and the torches and pitchforks will come out.

A potential goat in Knoxville or a god in Louisville?

SouthTexasVol writes:

Petrino is the man we want Hart, so hire him already. Stop playing cornhole with charlie. We don't want charlie!!

alavol writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

If he hasn't given Hart an answer, he needs to pull the offer. Hart should not allow UT to be used to get a raise at Louisville. Give him a take it or leave it offer, and move on.

when will it dawn on hart and gruden groupies that the best coach out there is Bobby Petrino? Pull Strong's offer if hart is back in knoxville on his Pilot jet and offer Bobby. You will not regret it. You may have to get used to winning the big games- i bet he would have won in atlanta with the personnel georgia has

VolinCalif writes:

in response to edee:

A Strong coaching background..don't think so, but he would be better than Dooley and I think would be respected by the players and fans, I would hope. However, I have NO respect for Dave Hart......He should have BEEN SEARCHING AT LEAST TWO WEEKS AGO, he knew he was going to fire Dooley...I wonder what prospective recruits think about so many coaches saying No to Hart. I know one who committed long age...I say Hart should be fired, he has done an awful job....Have been attending games since 1970..never has there been so many people laughing at U.T. Don't know if thestadium will ever be full again......

DEE
I am not sure that anyone has really said no to Hart. Just where is it proven fact that he has offered this job to anyone at this time? Hart isn't in a rush to make a mistake and who could blame him? There are plenty of big time coaches available. Hart hasn't even touched on those available from the NFL. So don't get worried he'll do this OK.

Vol_In_The_Ville writes:

in response to orange_glory:

it may be strong actually cares about his players and is truly having a hard time with deciding. of course, money can help with all sorts of decisions. plus if he looks to eager to jump at the first little raise it undermines his loyality to a school. i don't have a problem with him mulling it over both for his loyality to his kids and loyality to a school. that bodes well for us in the future if we get him

Agreed. I live in Louisville and watch most of his pressers. He is loyal and feels in debt to UL for his first HC chance when nobody else would give him a serious look. He is a class act that can get 4* kids from the South to come to Louisville. Last I checked we need to improve in two main areas: recruiting and defense. I believe he specializes in both. This would be a solid higher.. I bet its hard to tell a kid you just recruited last year that you won't be around. Give the guy at least a day to mull it over.

1bigvolman writes:

The underlying issue just might be an unrealistic fan base, who demanded that a coach with a record of 152-52, be fired one year after a 7 pt loss to LSU in the SEC Championship game. An LSU team that, oh by the way, won the National Championship! Some coaches may see that as a no win situation.

SouthTexasVol writes:

Also charlie strong looks to much like louis farrakhan.

TucsonVol writes:

Nobody wants a coach that we have to drag here...DO NOT HIRE STRONG! He will never be all in for Tennessee!!

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