"No, I would not have imagined it," Strong
said Thursday morning during a news conference
to announce he was doing just that. "But I could
never imagine I would have a great job like I
have now also." Strong was offered the Tennessee
job on Tuesday and thought long and hard about it
on Wednesday, he said. In the end, the decision
came down to the loyalty shown to him by
Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich and the
Cardinals community, he said. "We were 2-4 (last
year), and I was 9-10 at the time (overall), and
the guy hands me an extension," Strong said. "I
am like, 'How do you walk away from someone who
really trusts and believes in you?' It's about
relationship and people believing in you and
trusting in you. "As I talked to my family, it
became crystal clear to me that I needed to stay
at the University of Louisville," Strong said.
Tennessee first approached Strong on Friday
through a phone call the day after his team
rallied to beat Rutgers. He met with a Tennessee
official on Monday and received an official offer
on Tuesday. The lure of coaching in the SEC was
very, very strong, he said. "You say, 'I can go
beat this team, I can go beat this team,'" he
said. "You let your ego get in the way, but you
realize it's about people and how you affect
their lives. Leading to me is not about telling
people what to do. It's about serving others.
When I thought about leaving, I kept going back
to we haven't finished the job yet. We are still
growing together. We have a lot of work to do."
Strong informed his players of his decision late
Wednesday. "I said, 'When we talk to you we
always talk about trust, and we talk about being
committed," he said. "A lot of you guys grew up
without a father figure and a lot of people
walked out of your life. Now you are looking at
me and saying, 'Coach, you might do the same
thing.' I couldn't do that to them." Strong and
Jurich have spoken about a new contract for him
at Louisville but not in detail, he said. "I
want to make sure my assistant coaches are taken
care of," he said. "I am fine." Strong hopes his
commitment to the program will convince more
people in the community to back the Cardinals,
who will play in the Sugar Bowl next month. "I
guarantee you probably 80 percent of the
community thought we were walking out of here,"
he said. "I wanted the community to understand
that we have an outstanding program here so now
let's start backing this program. We are just
scratching the surface." Strong, who is nearing
the end of his third year, said he hopes not to
have to deal with this kind of situation every
year. "I just hate what I put our players
through," he said. "I did not want much attention
He was asked why he stayed at UL when a team like UT calls......he said UT isn't really UT anymore.
It was all about $$$$$$. 4.1 million worth.
...........you telling me UL is paying Strong over $4 mil a year?
Holy shit, dude better start delivering NCs next year for that kinda money. I mean, I think Strong is a damn good coach, but that is just plain fricking stupid if true. What does that make him, #3 or #4 on the highest paid list? El oh fricking el.
quote:UT hasn't been, and won't be, UT for a long time. They've screwed the pooch on a lot of things but it has more to do with the schools in states from which they used to poach top notch recruits doing great than anything else.
UT isn't really UT anymore.