LOUISVILLE, Ky.(December 6, 2012) – A great couple of weeks just got better, as University of Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong announced Thursday morning he will remain at Louisville.
That announcement culminates a three-week span, where men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino agreed to a five-year extension and the Cardinals were invited to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The football coach said he turned down an offer from Tennessee and will stay with the Cardinals.
“It became clear to me that it was best to stay in Louisville,” Strong said at a press conference at the stadium on Thursday morning. “We haven’t finished the job yet.”
The No. 22 Cardinals (10-2) won a share of the Big East Conference championship and a BCS berth in the Sugar Bowl, where they’ll face Florida.
Strong, 52, came to Louisville after serving as defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer on Florida’s 2006 and 2008 national championship teams. He coached four times with the Gators between 1983 and 2009 and worked elsewhere in the Southeastern Conference at Mississippi and South Carolina.
“You look at those jobs, but I have a great job here,” Strong said. “I have a great person that I work for, and I think that’s what it comes down to. When you talk to an athletic director it’s more about not only your job, but it’s about your family and caring about your family. When they ask about your daughters, that’s when you know they care more about you as a person.”
All along, Jurich expressed confidence in keeping Strong. He vowed to beat any offer made to his coach. He gave Strong a seven-year contract last year that paid him $2.3 million per season.
The AD said Strong’s choice to remain with the Cardinals “says that we’re committed. But we’ve always been committed. Everybody always looks at us as a longshot, but we’re not an underdog. I’m probably biased, but I truly believe that as of 7:40 last Wednesday morning when (ACC President) John Swofford called, this is a top-10 job in the country in football.”
Strong will carry the Cardinals into their move to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. Last week’s move from the Big East to the ACC was considered a major factor in his decision to remain with the program.
“Charlie Strong is a great coach, role model and asset to our university and community,” said University of Louisville President James Ramsey. “His announcement today reinforces our message that UofL is on a big, upward trajectory athletically and academically. It also proves, once again, that Tom Jurich is the best athletics director in the country.”