Charlie Strong said after Friday’s loss to TCU that he hasn’t been told about his future and expects to have a discussion with Texas Longhorns officials Saturday.
Few believe Charlie Strong will be the Texas Longhorns’ coach next season, but Strong still is holding out hope.
The Longhorns ended their season with a 5-7 record following a 31-9 loss to TCU, finishing Strong’s third losing campaign in as many years. It’s the first time Texas has had three consecutive losing seasons since it had four in a row from 1935-38.
One report states that Strong is expected to be fired or resign by Saturday, but Strong said at his press conference that he hasn’t been told he’s been fired and hopes to have a conversation with athletic director Mike Perrin and school president Gregory L. Fenves regarding his future early Saturday.
“I told our players I look forward to coming back,” Strong said.
Strong made clear he hoped his legacy at Texas, should it end soon, would be that people don’t simply look at wins and losses. He said he believes the Longhorns have the core of a team that could win a national championship.
That hasn’t looked the case on the field, where Texas has gone 16-21 since Strong took the job after a successful run at Louisville. There have been rumors dating back to last season that Strong was on the hot seat, though they’ve been tamed for brief periods. Texas beat Oklahoma last season opened this year with a thrilling overtime win over then-No. 10 Notre Dame and rose to No. 11 in the AP Top 25.
But as the Longhorns dipped below .500 with a three-game skid shortly after, Strong’s status again was a hot topic. He believes that hurt his players and caused a distraction.
“It turned in to (being) all about me, and it never should’ve been all about me,” Strong said.
Standout running back D’Onta Freeman, who rushed for at least 100 yards in his 13th consecutive game, said after the game Friday that he wants to make a decision as soon as possible about whether or not to declare for the NFL draft, and that Strong’s status would be a factor.
Offensive coordinator Sterling Gilbert shared Strong’s belief that Texas is a young team and could be very competitive next season. He also said that the constant distraction regarding Strong’s status played a roll in the Longhorns’ disappointing season.
It’s not secret that Texas boosters have been upset with the Longhorns’ performance under Strong and that they’ve been pushing for the school to hire Houston coach Tom Herman. Reports state that Texas is hoping to set up an interview Saturday with Herman, who also is being heavily pursued by LSU.