Charlie Strong: 'I didn't want to do this anymore'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday January 08, 2013

Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 8, 2013

Charlie Strong remembers how angry he was.

He waited a long time before finally getting a head coaching job, and then quickly became one of the hottest names to jump to a higher one this offseason.

He turned down Tennessee to stay at Louisville, and a big reason was loyalty. While on The Tim Brando Show, Strong was asked about becoming an inspiration to many African American coaches for how long he stuck things out.

"I can remember (when I was defensive coordinator) at South Carolina, I was going through all these interviews and I wasn't getting any jobs," he said. "I sat down with a coach, him and I were talking, and I got frustrated. I said to him, 'I'm sick of these interviews. I'm not getting a shot. I think the guys are just bringing me in to bring me. They just want to say they interviewed a minority candidate.' I said to him, 'I'm done with this. I don't want to do this anymore.'

"He looked at me and said, ' Charlie, you can't." I said, 'Why can't I?' He said, 'There are so many guys out there counting on you. There are so many minorities counting on you, because they want you to get an opportunity so that you can open the door for them.' He told me that. I said then, as frustrated as I get, I can't quit now. I have to continue.

"I got so frustrated and said I wasn't going to quit, but I said would keep working hard. Even if it doesn't happen for me, maybe I can work well enough where my work can be noticed and it would happen for someone else. It is good when you hear coaches say, 'You inspire us. You are the reason why I do what I do.' That's why you don't want to let anyone down."



Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

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

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