Charlie Strong sends a message to Texas high school coaches

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday January 06, 2014

It was clear from the beginning of his introduction that Charlie Strong wanted to make an impression on Texas high school coaches and players.

Louisville’s 2013 roster didn’t feature a single player from Texas. Rick Neuheisel said Monday that the biggest key will be how quickly Texas high school coaches warm up to Strong.

The state is one of the most talent-rich in the country. It’s not possible for Texas to keep every player in the state, but Strong wants to make sure they get the best ones.

“My staff and I will be committed to closing the borders on this great state and making them realize this is their program,” Strong said at his press conference. “We will recruit with fire, and we will recruit with passion. We’re devoted to making Austin the state capital for college football, as well as the state. I want to thank the great high school coaches in this state. It will be an honor to represent them and represent this great university.”

Louisville’s roster was full of players from Florida, due to the proximity and ties in the staff. Strong wouldn’t comment on any potential staff members at Texas, but did say he would like to have the majority together by the first team meeting. Ties to the state of Texas are very important for his new staff.

“You have to have Texas ties, because we’re going to recruit this state,” he said.”You look at a number of players, you want a coach that has recruited in this state and knows the state and knows the high school coaches. So much has been built. High school coaches in this state are great coaches, and I want to make sure the coaches on this staff have Texas ties.

“I want to make sure I control this state, and then we’ll cherry-pick outside the state, whether it’s Florida because of the ties I’ve had, whether it be Georgia. I want the high school coaches to understand, when we leave this state, don’t think your player isn’t good enough to play here. I want the best players. Wherever they are, wherever we have to go, let’s go get them, but most of them are here in this state.”

Strong said he doesn’t care if he was the 15th choice for the Texas head-coaching job, he’d still be happy to be at Texas. Asked if he was prepared for the pressure of the job, Strong said there is no pressure.

“If you surround yourself with the right people, you have an outstanding president here, an outstanding athletic director, you have the support staff,” he said. “When you have the right support around you, there’s no pressure. When you’re not prepared, there’s pressure. It’s all about being surrounded by the right people, with an outstanding coaching staff, there won’t be any pressure. Go recruit the right people and continue to build on something great, and that pressure eases for you.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to