College Football: Charlie Strong tells Louisville he’s off to Texas

DALLAS — Louisville’s Charlie Strong will become the new football coach at the University of Texas.

A University of Louisville source confirmed that Strong informed athletic director Tom Jurich late Saturday night that he was leaving to accept the Texas job. An industry source also indicated that Strong would be going to Texas.

The official announcement will come Sunday, with a news conference to introduce Strong as coach Monday in Austin. Strong was offered the job Friday.

One of four names that surfaced last week as Texas narrowed its search, Strong was an early favorite. Other possibilities, such as Baylor’s Art Briles and UCLA’s Jim Mora, took their names out of consideration Friday.

Strong will bring a no-nonsense approach to Austin, although he may have to learn how to deal with the political and media environment surrounding the Longhorns.

Strong spent Saturday watching one of his daughters play in a volleyball tournament while waiting to meet face to face with Jurich. Jurich was on a vacation in Colorado, and weather conditions had delayed his return to Louisville.

Because Jurich gave Strong a chance to be a Division I head coach, Strong maintained a considerable loyalty to the AD and the school. The industry source said Texas was willing to let the situation play out, to make sure Strong was comfortable with the decision to replace Mack Brown.

“He wants to do the right thing,” the source said.

Strong compiled a 37-15 record in four seasons at Louisville, including a 23-3 record the last two seasons. He will be the first black head coach in a major men’s sport at Texas.

Last year, Strong, 53, withdrew at the last minute after accepting an offer to lead the University of Tennessee program. But there was no change of heart this time. One reason: the resources and possibilities associated with the Texas job.

“Texas ain’t Tennessee,” the industry source said.

But Texas hasn’t quite been Texas lately — one reason that Brown resigned, citing a divided fan base.

From 1998 to 2009, Texas won more games than any other Division I-A program. Since a loss to Alabama in the BCS national championship game after the 2009 season, Texas has won 30 of 51 games and is just 18-17 in Big 12 play.