Strong won’t poach coaches, recruits from Gators

By Adam Silverstein
December 9, 2009

Speaking with reporters at the end of his introductory press conference, Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong said he has no plans to poaching assistant coaches or incoming recruits from the Florida Gators. “As of right now, no. I’m not going to raid Urban Meyer’s staff,” Strong said. “What I want to do is take my time with the staff. The key thing is to make sure you get some good recruiters, some good teachers and make sure they have good character. I want to make sure I get the right people, the right fit for the University of Louisville.”

“I won’t talk to [the Gators’ recruits] because I don’t feel that is right. If they call me, then I will talk to them, but I’m not going to pick up the phone. There are some guys they are recruiting that I know they are not going to take that I’m going to call. Their guys that are already committed, and that I know they really want, I am not going to touch.”

Strong, who signed a five-year contract with a base salary of $1.6 million per season, also said he plans to stay in Louisville, KY, through the week before returning to Gainesville, FL, to help prepare the Gators for the 2010 Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats. “I have been there for awhile and I am the coordinator there, so I feel like I still owe it to them,” he said.

He also acknowledged that Florida did not make him a lucrative counter offer as was originally expected. “What happened was, I have been at the University of Florida so long,” Strong said. “When I sat down with Jeremy or Urban said, ‘This is what I want to do,’ and everything kind of stops and it’s like, ‘Okay, Charlie, I know that’s what you want and we aren’t going to stop you because you are going to an outstanding program and you are going to work for an outstanding athletic director.’ The thing about Urban is that he and I have grown so close and we are kind of like brothers. It is like anything else, where you do not want to see no separation, but he finally realized that this was a great opportunity for me and that I need to take it. I even sat down with our athletic director, Jeremy Foley, and Jeremy said the same thing. When I said that I wanted to become a head football coach, the conversation kind of stopped.”

At the beginning of his press conference, Strong made it a point to thank Florida’s athletic director Jeremy Foley and head coach Urban Meyer as well as Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier, who he also coached under. When speaking of the Gators, Strong was exceptionally emotional. “It is so special to when you’re able to go back to a program that you have been with four different times,” he said.

5 Comments

  1. Gatorfan33 says:

    Class act 100%.

  2. Adam says:

    Charlie is a great coach and person. He will be truly missed for more then just his coaching. I am glad he was finally given the opportunity to be a head coach. It also makes it better that he is at a school that Florida does not directly compete with. I can honestly say I will watch Lousiville football and cheer them on as long as he is there. Thank you Charlie for everything you have done for Florida.

  3. No doubt about it. Have no problem rooting for coach Strong at Louisville. Same as I rooted for Anthony Grant at VCU. Unfortunately, he has now become an enemy.

  4. O-town Gator says:

    First class; I agree with Gatorfan33. It shows that he respects Coach Meyer as well as the Gator football program and refuses to undermine or sabotage it in any way.

  5. Brittany says:

    I agree with everyone that says he is classy. It’s obvious he is a great guy, and I wish him lots of success at Louisville.

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