Strong takes over UT football

AUSTIN -- Charlie Strong was introduced Monday as the 29th head coach for the University of Texas football program.

"I am so thrilled to be the head coach here at the University of Texas," Strong said. "I can't wait to get started. I want to make sure that we represent the history and the tradition of this great program."

"He's the right person to carry on the winning tradition we have, and winning with integrity," said Texas President Bill Powers.

Strong said that the man he replaced, Mack Brown, was a leader and set an example for all the coaches. He said he told Brown that he will always be a part of this program.

Strong spent the last four seasons at Louisville, helping develop that school into a top 20 program. Now he hopes to re-energize a Texas program that has been in a slump in recent years.

"I already a job; I had a great job where I was," Strong said. "When this job became available, this is the best of the best. I always think about the one percent. This is the top-of-the-line. When you have an opportunity to go to the best, put your name in it and see where it's going to take you."

First on is agenda is recruiting. He said he will start by recruiting Texas players.

"My staff and I will be committed to closing the borders on this great state," Strong said. "We will recruit with fire and we will recruit with passion. We're committed to make this the state capitol of college football, as well as the state capitol of this state."

Strong's teams have had a reputation of developing toughness and strong defenses.

"You have to build you're program on toughness," Strong said. "Players understand that."

He also downplayed the pressure of his new job -- having to please the UT fan base.

"If you [don't] surround yourself with the right people and if you're not prepared, there there is more pressure," Strong said. "It's all about being surrounded with the right coaching staff."

Strong said he plans to meet with the current staff either Monday night or Tuesday but would not say what changes might be in store. He did say he wants to keep recruiters who know the state of Texas and who know the high school coaches within the state.

Strong brought up the history and the tradition of football at Texas.

"The bricks are here," Strong said. "I just need to put another brick on top of it."

No one knows for sure whether Strong was the first choice to replace Brown, but Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said afterward that he was only man who received an offer.

"I could have been the 15th choice, and I'm so happy to be head football coach," Strong said. "Whatever choice I was, I'm happy."


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