TAMPA, Fla. — University of South Florida Athletic Director Mark Harlan said after former USF football coach Willie Taggart left for the University of Oregon, that the Bulls will take their time in finding the right coach to lead the program.
It took just one week of searching, Sunday Dec 11, Harlan named former University of Texas football coach Charlie Strong as the new football coach to guide the Bulls.
Strong is not a stranger to the state Florida or to the turf at Raymond James Stadium. He spent 15 years in the state, he was a vital part of the coaching staff of Urban Meyer that lead the University of Florida to a couple of National Championships.
Strong was named twice as Big East Conference Coach of the Year and he was the coach at the University of Louisville with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as his quarterback. After winning a couple of conference titles at Louisville, Strong left the Cardinals for the wide-open spaces of the state of Texas and became football coach at the University of Texas in 2014.
“I would like to think President (Judy) Genshaft and Mark Harlan for their confidence and belief in me,” Strong said. “I am humbled that we have a shared commitment to take this university and this program to even greater heights. Some of the best football talent in the country is right here in the Bay Area and throughout the state of Florida. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with the young men in the USF football program and build on the strong foundation already in place.”
Strong has a reputation as being a charismatic leader, strong recruiter and one of the best minds in college football. He coached 13 All-Americans and seven first-round NFL draft picks.
“Charlie is a tremendous leader and mentor for our student-athletes and a widely-respected coach with a resume full of achievements at the highest level of college football,” Harlan said. “He combines a drive to win with great integrity and deep and long standing connections in the state of Florida. The future of USF football is very bright under his direction.”
Interim coach for USF T.J. Weist will continue to coach the Bulls in preparation for the 2016 Birmingham Bowl being played Thursday afternoon Dec 29 at Legions Field against the University of South Carolina.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.