Urban Meyer and Charlie Strong were a formidable duo at the University of Florida. Meyer was head coach while Strong was his right hand man and the two won a couple national championships with the Gators. Over a decade later, the two seem to be reuniting as they both embark on the NFL for the first time.
Even though it’s been reported ever since Meyer took the Jaguars head coaching job there are now more concrete reports that Strong is expected to join the Jaguars as part of Meyer’s coaching staff. Some of the specifics provided by Yahoo’s Pete Thamel include Strong being Meyer’s assistant head coach and likely being a linebackers coach, a similar setup when Strong was at Florida.
Sources: Charlie Strong is finalizing a deal to become Urban Meyer’s assistant head coach in Jacksonville. He’ll also coach a position, likely linebackers. Stadium first reported.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 16, 2021
Strong’s time in between Florida and the Jags has been tumultuous. Head coaching stints at Louisville, Texas, and South Florida were solid but largely unspectacular other than a couple 10+ win seasons. In 2020, Strong went to Alabama as a defensive analyst to hopefully get things back on track and was part of their national championship team.
Now, after a year at Alabama, Strong is likely to start a new challenge in the NFL with Meyer. Many have had their say on how Meyer’s tenure will turn out in Jacksonville, given he has no NFL head coaching experience. Sometimes, as Pete Carroll and Jimmy Johnson have shown, a lack of NFL experience doesn’t mean a successful college coach won’t be successful. Other times, as Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier have shown, the NFL can be a different beast than college. Having said that, Meyer appears to be surrounding himself with those he has previously worked with and obviously trusts. The Strong move seems to be the first indication of that.