Should Charlie Strong Make a Return?

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The University of Louisville football program has had its difficulties, but many colleges would love to have the success of the program. The Cardinal’s history includes a Heisman Trophy winner, an NFL MVP, numerous BCS bowl games and wins, a run of players in the NFL, and an NFL Hall of Famer. By any measure, the program has a rich history.  

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As college realignment began to take shape in the early 2000s, the Cardinals moved to the Big East and secured success with Bobby Petrino. After another shake-up, Petrino returned to early success before a downturn season. And conference realignment has begun again; Louisville would be wise to make another return. As Louisville has been mediocre under the current head coach, Scott Satterfield’s days could be numbered. Satterfield is currently under 500%.  

 

Worse than his record, Satterfield has tried to play for the Cardinals for a better contract in the job market. In 2020 he bungled a flirtation with South Carolina by interviewing with the Gamecocks after declaring he was not interested, all while keeping UL leaders in the dark. Some sources felt like Satterfield was trying to push for a better deal, and some thought he was legitimately fleeing a city and culture he did not connect with. Satterfield approach just has not come together at Louisville.  

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Over the offseason, Louisville made perceived upgrades following their disappointing end to the 2021 season. Satterfield hired coordinators from the Power Five level on both sides of the ball, and the program addressed some of their roster needs via the transfer portal.

 

Complicating matters is the unexpected success in recruiting the 2023 class. Despite the malaise on the field, Satterfield’s staff has 14 commits for 2023, ranking them third in the ACC and 17th nationally by 247Sports. A coach like Charlie Strong turned his talent into NFL players. Louisville believed in him unlike his time at Texas. During his stint, Louisville had their best run of players getting drafted with numerous first-round picks. Strong has deep ties in South Florida and 40 years as a collegiate coach. South Florida is one of the prime locations for great football players. With NIL and Strong’s ability to recruit, it could make a perfect return.

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Charlie Strong could bring back energy into the program. Strong became the 21st head football coach at the University of Louisville on December 9, 2009. Strong led Louisville to a victory in the 2013 Sugar Bowl over his former team, the Florida Gators, by a final score of 33–23. It was the biggest upset victory in terms of points spread in any BCS bowl game since the inception of the BCS in 1998, as Florida entered the game favored by almost two touchdowns. On January 23, 2013, Strong signed for a $1.4 million raise, which brought his annual compensation to $3.7 million and raised his buyout to $5 million. At the time, he was the 7th highest-paid active coach in college football and highest paid coach outside the SEC, Big 12, and Big Ten conferences. He was worth every penny.  

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Currently, he’s the Hurricanes’ co-defensive coordinator and linebacker’s coach. Miami overall has not lived up to exceptions, but their defense has been strong at moments. They have allowed 13 touchdowns in 5 games thus far. Most of those came in one game against Middle Tennessee State. Charlie connects with the community, and after scandals in the athletic departments, a nonsense coach who demands attention to detail is what UofL (University of Louisville) needs. 

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