LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Tom Jurich said the University of Louisville is working through a new deal with football coach Charlie Strong. The negotiations come after Strong announced Thursday morning that he had turned down an offer from the University of Tennessee and would remain as coach of the Cardinals.
During a press conference, Jurich said the first conversation of a new deal with Strong came at 10 a.m. that morning, two hours after Strong announced he would remain at Louisville and just 65 minutes before Jurich spoke to the media.
When asked by a reporter if he was nervous about losing Strong, Jurich laughingly replied, "are you nuts? Of course I was nervous."
Previously, Jurich had stated that Strong would have to "want to be here." In response to a question by WAVE 3's Kent Taylor, Jurich said he knew that Strong wanted to be at Louisville when he talked to him Wednesday night. Jurich would not reveal what was said, but stated that it was very emotional and called Strong "a man of integrity."
Jurich said fit is very important to him and that Strong fits. He called what Strong does off the football field for his players as important as what he does on the field.
To remain at Louisville, Strong turned down a chance to lead a Southeastern Conference football program. With Strong doing so before signing a new deal, Jurich said that shows Louisville is committed to the football program. Jurich also said that since UofL was approved for membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference on November 28, the Louisville job is one of the top 10 jobs in the country.
Jurich said keeping Strong is not just about paying a coaching salary, but is an investment in the football program.