AUSTIN (AP) — New Texas coach Charlie Strong may be happy to have the job, but he certainly doesn’t like what he’s seen from the Longhorns the last four years: No Big 12 titles and at least four losses every season.
Since his introduction as their new coach on Jan. 6, Strong has met with every Longhorns player and told them he expects a change.
“Each player on the team, I met with them one on one,” Strong said Wednesday. “I told them how unhappy I was where the program is right now. It’s going to fall upon all of us to go get it right … They want to win. They sense we need to raise standards.”
Strong inherits a team that went 8-5 last season but was just 30 minutes away from winning a Big 12 title before losing to Baylor 30-7 in the regular season finale. Strong said the point of meeting each player was to get to know them. Not to scare them off, but tell them what will be expected.
“When you’re the top program in the country, you have to be about championships,” Strong said.
Strong also started laying down new expectations, such as having players move back on campus and demanding they sit up front in class. The housing change is to promote team unity and remove cliques. The class rules, such as no hats or cell phones, are about teaching players to respect the academic side of their time at Texas and their professors.
“I want them in the front row … Give the professor the same respect you give me,” Strong said.
Strong also announced his coaching staff, which includes four from his staff at Louisville: defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson and strength and conditioning coordinator Pat Moorer.
Strong hired Joe Wickline from Oklahoma State as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Tight ends coach Bruce Chambers was the only member of previous head coach Mack Brown’s staff to stay on under Strong.
Salaries for the assistant coaches were not announced and must still be approved by the school’s board of regents. The board on Monday approved Strong’s 5-year contract, which will pay him $5 million this year with $100,000 annual raise.
Texas is also paying for Strong’s $4.38 million buyout from his previous contract with Louisville.