LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - According to Chip Brown at Orangebloods.com, University of Texas athletic director Steve Patterson interviewed University of Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong at an undisclosed location on Tuesday.
Calls to Strong and UofL vice president of athletics Tom Jurich by WAVE 3 Sports have not been returned.
Strong talked with Tennessee in 2012, but turned down the Volunteers to stay at UofL.
At a press conference on December 7, 2012, Strong said, "When I thought about leaving, I kept going back, we haven't finished the job yet. We have a lot of work to do. As I talked with my family it became crystal clear that I needed to stay here at the University of Louisville. Louisville has a special place in our heart."
Strong ended his opening statement on that December day with this, "You can buy a person a lot, but you can't buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm is, where his loyalty is. My enthusiasm and heart are with the University of Louisville."
On Saturday night, Strong's fourth UofL team capped off a 12-1 season with a dominant 36-9 win over Miami (Florida) in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Strong became the first UofL head football coach to win three bowl games. He is 37-15 in his four seasons at UofL.
When you win, and win at the level that Strong has, opportunities will come, and Strong knows it.
On December 17, Strong told WAVE 3 Sports, "You're always going to get it from recruits, and you're always going to get it from coaches throughout the country because they're always going to say, they're going to use it against you in recruiting, he won't be there, look at the coaches that have been there, they have left, but we have something, we can build something special here. That's what it's about just building our own program and putting our own signature on the program."
Strong's current contract at UofL took effect on January 1, 2013 and does not expire until December 31, 2020. He is paid a base salary of $3,700,000 with bonuses. The buyout is currently set at $4,375,000. According to USA Today, former Texas head coach Mack Brown was paid $5,453,750 this past season.
Jurich and UofL president Dr. James Ramsey have stated that UofL will do whatever it takes to keep Strong.
The university undoubtedly earned loyalty points by sticking with Cards defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who was given a show cause penalty by the NCAA after infractions during his time as an assistant at Miami.
"It's amazing, but when you have a president like Dr. Ramsey and you have a boss like Tom Jurich, you know this, you know that they're always in your corner, and so when we spoke about the Clint case and even with myself, it has always been, whatever you think Charlie, whatever we need to do, we'll get it done," Strong said. "It's so good to work for someone like that because you know this, your best interest is at hand, and they don't want anything but the best. They want the best for this program, they want the best for this university."
UofL players and coaches are scheduled to meet on Friday prior to the start of the spring semester.
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