LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Charlie Strong is just the latest. Why have UofL head football coaches had so much trouble finding success at their next stop?
Strong will reportedly be fired later this week, after three seasons and a 16-20 record at Texas. He'll get $10.7 million dollars to walk away.
He was 37-15 in four seasons at UofL. Strong left UofL, when the Cards job was arguably as attractive as ever. They were just about to make the move into the Atlantic Coast Conference.
While Texas is a more prestigious job, the administrative uncertainty made his job difficult. Prominent boosters were never on his side and he replaced a popular head coach, Mack Brown, who had won a National Championship.
Howard Schnellenberger won 54 games in 10 seasons at UofL. He rescued the program, and led UofL to the historic win over Alabama in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl. However, the move to join Conference USA was not one that he supported. He left for Oklahoma in 1995. Another high-profile job in a conference where football is king. The end result was one season and a 5-5-1 record.
John L. Smith won 41 games in five seasons at UofL. He led the Cards to the iconic 2002 win over Florida State. He also started a bowl streak after taking over a 1-10 team. Smith left after that 2002 season for Michigan State. UofL was still in Conference USA and fighting for a spot at the table with the big boys. He also got a big contract, 6 years at $1.5 million per year.
He was fired after four seasons and a 22-26 overall record.
Even Bobby Petrino made the jump. After winning 41 games from 2003-2006, he left after the 2007 Orange Bowl win for the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL. That ended 13 games into the next season, with the Falcons 3-10.
UofL is still building tradition, and is years behind other schools in the nation. What the Cards do have is a supportive administration and competitive facilities.
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium didn't even open until 1998, and yet is about to undergo it's second expansion.
With the school now positioned in the ACC, the outside perception that it is a stepping stone job are all but gone.
Coaches are confident men, they think they can win anywhere. However, winning here has not translated to winning at the next stop, for whatever reason.
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