Charlie Strong’s buyout has a hefty price tag, but the Texas Longhorns look prepared to sign the check.
It appears as though the Charlie Strong era in Austin, Texas is nearing an end.
On Sunday evening, reports surfaced that Texas would fire Strong as its head football coach. Longhorns AD Mike Perrin later released a statement that Strong was preparing for the regular-season finale and would be evaluated after Friday’s game against TCU. Strong also told ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit that he had yet to hear anything from the university.
But where there is smoke, there’s fire – Texas coaches simply don’t survive without winning seasons, especially when they’re punctuated by losses to the Iowa States and Kansases of the world. With the inevitable getting closer by the minute – sources have said an announcement could even come before Friday – what, financially, will it take for the Longhorns to part ways with Strong?
Strong, who is currently the sixth highest paid coach in the country making $5,200,130 per year, would be owed a $10 million buyout from Texas. While a sizable amount for most programs, nothing is too extreme when it comes to the Longhorns’ deep pockets.
Per Strong’s contract, if the university terminates him prior to completion without cause, Strong is owed 100 percent of the remaining salary.
Texas covered a $4,375,000 buyout just to get Strong to Austin from Louisville in 2014, so when all is said and done, the university will have paid $14,375,000 in buyouts alone.
Strong was hired by the Longhorns as one of the hottest names in the game just three years ago. He compiled a 37-15 record at Louisville, with 11-2 and 12-1 campaigns in his last two seasons, respectively.
However, it’s been a different story at Texas. Unless the Longhorns reverse course, Strong will finish his career without a season above .500, and with the worst winning percentage among head coaches in program history. He is 16-20 overall heading into the game against TCU.
Prior to last Saturday’s loss to Kansas, reports surfaced that Texas boosters were putting pressure on the administration to fire Strong and pursue Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman, 2016’s hottest coaching name.