The Charlie Strong era is over at Texas.
The university announced Saturday it had fired the head coach of the Longhorns football team after he finished the 2016 season with a 5-7 record. Strong coached Texas for three seasons and finished under .500 at 16-21.
“Decisions like this are tough to make,” Longhorns men’s athletic director Mike Perrin said in a statement. “The responsibility is not taken lightly. I became friends with Charlie Strong before becoming Athletics Director. I have the utmost personal respect for him. His impact on college athletics and student-athletes should be celebrated. …
“However, after thorough evaluation, the body of work over three seasons has not shown the improvement we were hoping for. This was an important year for our program to take the next step, and the results simply aren’t there, so we’ve decided to make a change.”
Strong responded, too, saying he believes the team has a “championship foundation” after his three seasons as coach.
“It’s a very difficult day for me, my family and all of the people affected by this decision,” Strong said in a statement. “I’m most disappointed for these kids and our staff who have poured so much of their lives into this program for the last three years. I do understand that it comes down to wins and losses, and we have not done our job in that area yet. I accept full responsibility for that, but know in my heart that we accomplished our primary goal, which is the development of young men.
“We have had a positive impact on our campus and the community, and I’m proud of how our team is focused on earning their degrees. We were developing something really special. This program has a championship foundation built on great young men with tremendous character.”
Texas reportedly will hire Tom Herman to replace Strong in 2017. Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel tweeted Saturday, citing sources, that the Cougars coach told Houston he’d be leaving for Austin next season.
Herman led Houston to its second 13-win season in school history last season at 13-1, and the Cougars are 9-3 so far this season.
Thumbnail photo via Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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