Charlie Strong Texas

Bet you didn’t see this one coming: Texas has fired coach Charlie Strong.

Or maybe you did see it coming, given that the firing has been rumored for a week and speculated on for longer than that, given that Texas said it would evaluate Strong after the TCU game, which ended up a 31-9 Horned Frogs win, and given that Strong has coached the Longhorns to three straight seven-loss seasons.

Here’s Strong’s statement on the firing:

So what comes next for Texas?

Well, probably Houston coach Tom Herman. Herman was the front-runner for the LSU job, but  he reportedly turned down the Tigers’ advances, planning to instead take the Texas job. LSU went with Ed Orgeron, and Texas did its part by firing Strong on Saturday. Now the Longhorns will meet with Herman, whose hiring should be official before long.

Strong, who went 37-15 at Louisville and turned the Cardinals into an ACC power, never figured things out in Austin. After a 6-7 first season that ended with a bowl loss, his teams submitted back-t0-back 5-7 campaigns. This year, Texas beat Notre Dame to kick off the season, then lost four of its next six. The Longhorns upset Baylor and beat Texas Tech to improve to 5-4 but ended the year with three straight losses.

At a program with the brand name, fan base and resources of Texas, there’s not really an excuse for a seven-loss season, let alone three of them. Strong seems to command a lot of respect, from players, media and fans, but that wasn’t enough to win games. It will be interesting to see where he goes next, whether it’s a coordinator job in a prominent program or a head coaching gig at a smaller school. The success Strong had at Louisville shows he’s no chump, but Texas was apparently a poor fit.

We’ll soon see if Herman, who was offensive coordinator at Ohio State before taking over at Houston, will have better luck.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.