Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Charlie Strong Gets What's Owed To Him

The University of Louisville is set to name Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong as the school's knew head coach this afternoon. The school is holding a 4 p.m. press conference to introduce Strong as the Cardinals head coach, and I, for one, could not be happier for Strong.

As most of you know, I do some college football work over at College Game Balls. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post where I made a case for Strong to get a head coaching position. In it, I made a nifty little table of Strong's defenses at Florida over the last five years, which were overall pretty elite units. Check for yourself:

Now mind you, the 2009 rankings were as of mid-November, so they don't include the Alabama debacle. But Strong was putting out a consistently dominant product during his tenure at Florida. He has also widely been considered one of the best recruiters around, which I'm sure will only help him succeed at Louisville.

In that same piece, I argued that Strong should get his first head coaching shot at a BCS school, where he actually has a chance to do big things. Which is just another reason why I am thrilled for him that Louisville is making the hire. It's great to see that his race -- or his wife's race -- didn't matter to a school, especially after it's been thought for years now that that's the reason why Strong was never hired as a head coach before.

But Louisville was able to look past his skin, and his interracial marriage, and will be hiring one of the hardest working coaches in college football. The bottom line is that Louisville is making a great hire in Strong. Yet while part of me, as a Florida fan, is sad to see Strong leave after turning Florida's defenses into some of the best in the nation over most of the last decade, the rest of me couldn't be happier for him.

Why? Because Charlie Strong is finally getting what has been owed to him, and it's long overdue.

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