University of South Florida Hires Ex-Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong

(CBS SPORTS) - Two weeks after being fired by Texas, Charlie Strong is a head coach again, agreeing to take over at South Florida. Strong replaces Willie Taggart, who left the Bulls to coach at Oregon.

USF announced the hire Sunday afternoon.

"I would like to thank President Genshaft and Mark Harlan for their confidence and belief in me," Strong said in a release from the school. "I am humbled that we have a shared commitment to take this university and this football program to even greater heights. Some of the best football talent in the country is right here in the Bay Area and throughout the state of Florida, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with the young men in the USF football program and build on the strong foundation already in place."

ESPN's Chris Low reported that USF and Strong were close to a deal earlier on Sunday, and Strong hopes to bring much of his former Texas staff with him to Tampa.

Strong was in Tampa on Friday to interview for the job and considered the front-runner, according to 247Sports. With a few days to mull over the offer, Strong has now traded in his Texas burnt orange for the green and gold of USF.

Though Strong went 16-21 in three seasons at Texas and was fired following a 5-7 campaign in 2016, he saw great success as the head man at his previous stop, Louisville. Strong led the Cardinals to a 37-15 record from 2010-13 and went 23-3 over his final two seasons, leading Louisville (then in the Big East and later the AAC) to a Sugar Bowl victory following the 2012 campaign.

Strong is a tremendous hire for South Florida not only because of his coaching acumen but his ability and experience recruiting in the Sunshine State. He spent 15 years working at Florida over three stints with the Gators, most recently serving as defensive coordinator under Ron Zook and Urban Meyer from 2003-09.

While at Louisville, Strong opened a pipeline of Florida talent to the Cardinals, recruiting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, among others, to the program. Strong also showed his loyalty to Louisville, remaining with the team until he received an opportunity he simply could not pass up at Texas.

With Strong now returning to the state of Florida and USF back on the rise having found success under Taggart, everything may be in place for the Bulls to be serious players nationally.


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