2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search: Charlie Strong
Candidate Tier: Stretch
Who Is He?
Charlie Strong is the head coach at the University of Texas, where is in his third season since taking over for legend Mack Brown. Strong was previously the head man at Louisville, where he parlayed two good seasons (11-2 in 2012 and 12-1 in 2013) into the Texas job. Strong is 50-32 as a head coach but 27-29 in the 4+ seasons that weren’t ’12 or ’13. He’s now on the proverbial hot seat at Texas (again) and there are many who feel he’ll be ousted after the season (or during) in favor of Houston’s Tom Herman.
I personally don’t think Strong has that great a resume. It’s a matter of whether you believe he’s the sub-.500 coach he appears to be at Texas or the guy who went 23-3 in those two years at Louisville.
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
Strong wouldn’t allow any BS on the team, I can tell you that. He proved there was a new sheriff in town when he got to Texas and booted several players off the team for disciplinary reasons. We obviously love that trait in a coach and Charlie Strong would be proof that Purdue was eager to win and do things the right way – a hire like this would symbolize those desires. Strong and his contacts are good recruiters, too, having put together top ten national classes at Texas and recruiting guys like Teddy Bridgewater to Louisville. He would also excite the alums and donors because of his energy, commitment, enthusiasm and the mere fact that Purdue hired a high-profile guy.
Why could he flop at Purdue?
I mentioned that Strong has had some highly-ranked classes at Texas but, come on, that’s Texas. I’m always wary of a guy who fails at a place like that, where absolutelyeverything is in your favor. Texas bought out Strong’s $5M buyout at Louisville and signed him to a $25M contract, meaning they spent about $10M in year one for him. Mercy. There will be no such money being thrown around at Purdue, even with a renewed commitment to winning and there will be no facilities like Texas, environment like Austin or talent pool like the Lone Star State. Those concern me with regard to how successful Charlie could be in West Lafayette.
Would he come to Purdue?
Possibly. He’s in the “stretch” category because we don’t think it’s probable, but if he were indeed dumped by Texas, then he could be another one of those guys looking to rebuild his reputation by rebuilding a moribund program. Obviously it’s not likely, but it might be more likely than some of the dream options being thrown around by fans.