Charlie Strong has not yet been fired by Texas, but the writing is definitely on the wall for the embattled Longhorns head coach.
As the football sailed through the uprights at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, propelling now-two-win Kansas to a victory over Texas, one thing became clear: the clock on Charlie Strong’s time as the Longhorns head coach had essentially run out.
Immediately after the loss, which etched Strong’s name into Texas history books as having the worst all-time winning percentage among Longhorns coaches, speculation began to run rampant regarding UT’s next move. Reports surfaced on Twitter that Strong had been fired, however that’s not the case as of early Sunday afternoon.
However, the writing is on the wall for Strong. And that much was was evident in his post-game press conference.
“Do you have any idea what this means for your future,” a reporter asked Strong.
A dejected Strong responded, “No I don’t … no idea.”
Even prior to the loss against Kansas, the prevailing thought was that Strong was hanging on by a thread as Texas’ coach, and that two wins (and probably a bowl victory) were a necessity to prevent being fired. Strong had recorded 6-7 and 5-7 records in his first two seasons, respectively. Those were excusable, given the state of the program when he took over, but this was the year that counted. Year three is when it’s supposed to all come together for a head coach; it’s the time a program is supposed to show substantial progress.
Following the game, sources told ESPN that Strong will likely be fired, however a decision won’t be announced until after the end of the regular season.
“I do not see how he can survive,” stated the source. “He has been given every chance to succeed. Everyone wanted him to.”
To fire Strong, Texas would have to pony up $10 million for his buyout. Given the program’s deep pockets and desire to climb back onto the national stage, that’s likely an easy check to sign.
The Longhorns face off against TCU, who’s also wading through a subpar season, on Friday after Thanksgiving. Following that game, it’s likely only a matter of time until Texas parts ways with Strong and officially begins the coaching search process, with the hopes of landing one man and one man only – Tom Herman.