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What’s latest with USF coach Charlie Strong’s future?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The USF Bulls have just concluded the second season under coach Charlie Strong in dismal fashion. Although they finished with a winning record, obviously having been 7 – 0 and then losing the five remaining games, has left much of the fanbase outraged at how the program regressed the second half of the season.

The question becomes: what is Strong’s future with the program? This is in light of a couple of significant factors:

The first one, as we have written previously, is that Strong’s third year and beyond in his contract is now mostly the financial responsibility of USF. This is after 2017 and 2018 contract years being mostly covered to the tune of almost $5 million each season by the University of Texas. That was part of Strong’s buyout from having been fired in Austin in December of 2016.

So now, his salary which will top out at around $3 million will now have to be paid through USF funding and donations. It’s also significant that Strong (unless he gets a re-worked contract) is agreeing to take a pay cut in the short-term to still coach the Bulls.

The second biggest factor is: Would Strong look to jump to another job shortly?

The obvious place where he could return is the University of Louisville, which has an opening after firing Bobby Petrino with a 2 -10 record this season. Strong successfully brought Louisville into prominence, including a BCS Sugar Bowl win over Florida January of 2013.

There has been much discussion and debate amongst Bulls fans on social media and the internet about what the truth is with Strong’s interest in going elsewhere, and what the actual buyout in his current contract is?

An item in the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday afternoon only touched on the reported buyout and provided no real insight into what the actual number is, if Strong where to try to leave or if the school was looking to fire him. USF is shielding that info from a public records request, because the private USF Foundation is paying a large portion of Strong’s deal and isn’t required to release the details.

It is believed that Strong’s buyout to try to leave is at least seven figures for him, because that’s common in contracts were a coach is making $3 or more million a year.

It’s not clear whether Louisville’s new athletic director Vince Tyra really has interest in Strong, but he does have a history there and a lot of positive memories for their fan base, should he want to return. Louisville was turned down by former player and now Purdue coach, Jeff Brohm earlier this week, and they continue their search.

Also, the Louisville job is much more attractive than the USF job, because of the revenue at the school and through the Atlantic Coast Conference and their television deal. This includes, the ACC television network that will be coming on next season.

New USF athletic director Michael Kelly has got to manage the situation with Strong, his deal, but most importantly, with getting back to winning, especially at the end of the year.

Bear in mind Strong inherited a 10-win program, when Willie Taggart left for Oregon in 2016. This included the best quarterback in the history of the school, Quinton Flowers, who helped lead them to another 10-win season in 2017 and a bowl game victory over Texas Tech.

Strong’s forte’ is defense and unfortunately, as 2018 unraveled with five consecutive losses against the tougher competition, his defense was repeatedly riddled and exposed. That must improve too, if he’s sticking around.

It all remains to be seen what if any interest, Strong has in trying to jump to another school and how committed he is to the Bulls.

We will know those answers soon.

USF Bulls

Report- Alabama will hire Charlie Strong as consultant

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former USF coach Charlie Strong has decided on a new role for the upcoming 2020 season, and it won’t be in Gainesville.

ESPN college football insider Chris Low reported Tuesday morning that Strong has agreed to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as a defensive “consultant” for this season

As we wrote last week, Strong had visited Saban and the Tide about the possible position on his staff, while considering a similar opportunity to join either Dan Mullen’s Gators staff or a couple of others in a consulting role. None of this will affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart.

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USF Bulls

Former USF coach Strong to be consultant for Alabama?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

And intriguing item popped up Friday morning involving former USF head coach Charlie Strong and him visiting Nick Saban the Alabama football program.

According to Alabama Insider and radio host, Aaron Suttles, Strong, who was dismissed last December after his third season with the Bulls, was in Tuscaloosa Thursday meeting with Saban and his staff:

Strong had also been reportedly talking with the University of Florida about a possible consultant role, which likely would not affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart

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