USF Coaching Search Live Updates: Charlie Strong Agrees To Become USF Coach

Charlie Strong Agreed To Deal, Becomes USF Head Coach

Sunday, December 11th 11:31 a.m.

According to Chris Low with ESPN, Charlie Strong has agreed to become South Florida’s new head coach.

Charlie Strong And USF Closing In On A Deal

Sunday, December 11th 10:30 a.m.

By: Jim Williams

Sources tell News and Sports Talk Florida that USF and Charlie Strong are nearly 95 percent done on a deal that would have him coaching the Bulls for at least five years. Those same sources give a great deal of credit to USF A.D. Mark Harlan and his search team for their creativity and their professionalism throughout what has a very “unique process.”

Harlan and his team have been working on a deal with two parties, Strong and the University of Texas. The complexity of the Longhorns $10.4 million buyout of Strong after firing him at the end of the season (read the details below) has been what has really made this process such a tough deal to craft.

The two sides continue to talk about the deal and have kept up a dialog that started on Thursday and now is entering what they hope is the home stretch. Both sides know that despite good faith efforts from each camp, this deal could go south, but all involved remain optimistic.

Our sources said that there is no doubt that Strong would love to be the next head coach at USF and the Bulls would love to have him. But as the saying goes the devil is in the details and if those details can be worked out then later today or at the latest Monday, Strong will coaching USF.

For those keeping track Houston promoted their offensive coordinator Major Lee Applewhite to head coach. Lane Kiffin and Les Miles had been in the mix for that opening, but the 38 year old Applewhite, was always considered the favorite.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati is going with Ohio State associate defensive coordinator Luke Fickell as the Bearcats new head coach. The Ohio native, has agreed to a six-year deal, which is pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees.

Lastly, Temple is still in the process of finding a coach to take over for Matt Rhile who left to take the Baylor job. They could promote defensive coordinator Phil Snow, someone that the players have told the administration they would like to see get the job.

There is also word that their former head coach Al Golden, not coaching the tight ends with the Detroit Lions would like his old job back, Greg Schiano, from the Bucs is in the mix as is Penn State offensive coordinator John Moorhead.

Temple, spoke with Charlie Strong a day before USF got to him but he never interviewed for the job.

Sunday, December 11th 10:03 a.m.

By: Allison Leslie

According to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, USF and Charlie Strong are “closing in on a five-year contract.”

On Saturday Joey Knight with the Tampa Bay Times reported that USF had a 60-40 shot at landing Strong after he had met with USF officials over the weekend.

Though Strong left without a signed contract he told Tom Korun with WFTS-TV, “I’ll be back.”

So what could possibly be holding up the contract so many Bulls fans want to see signed? A Texas contract.

Last month Strong was dismissed as the head coach at Texas after three season and a 16-21 record. As of now Texas still owes him about $10 million, which equals his final two years of base salary.

According to the contract, obtained by Joey Knight, if he lands another job during his payout period, Texas must be paid 50 percent of what he earns in his new position.

Hold the edge of your seat Bulls fan, this Sunday just might get exciting.

USF works on contract as Charlie Strong leaves vowing to return

Happy Saturday and Bulls Nation is waiting to hear if Charlie Strong will replace Willie Taggart as the head coach at USF. For the moment USF is pushing hard to get Strong signed.

UPDATE: 10:00 A.M. – After spending all over six hours meeting with the USF search committee, Strong left Tampa this morning. When asked by the media as he was about to board the private jet that brought him here about 24 hours ago. He simply smiled and that “I will be back,” then his plane took off from the Tampa International Airport, executive jet area.

Strong returned to his home just outside of Austin without an offer from USF. The problem remains his ability to keep as much of the estimated $10.4 owed him by the University of Texas over the next two years, while signing a multi-year deal with USF.

He remains the front runner for the job and the next move is likely to be an offer from USF that can allow Strong to keep a good chunk of Texas cash, while getting a nice package from the Bulls.

Kudos to WFTS Tom Korun for the following tweets.

MUST READ: South Florida and Strong in talks

Let’s start with a rumor that Taggart was talking to Charlie Strong about being his defensive coordinator at Oregon. No, conversations have taken place about that job, in the past 48 hours. Strong and USF have been in conversations exclusively.

So, how quickly did decide that Strong was their man?

Just a few hours after Taggart left USF on Thursday, A.D. Mark Harlan and his search team reached out to  Charlie Strong. After the two sides spoke Thursday, Strong’s camp informed that he was very interested in the opening.

Friday, Charlie Strong came to Tampa on a private jet owned by University of Texas booster Gary H. Martin. He is with Strong because Texas owes him approximately $10.4 million over the next two seasons as part of his buyout when they fired him at the end of the season.

So, why then is Martin in Tampa with Strong?

The $10.4 million that Texas owes Charlie Strong could be considerably less depending on how much USF offers him to be their next coach. Any money coming his way from USF is deducted from the amount that the Longhorns have pay their former coach.

Assuming that he wants the USF job, which is why he was in Tampa and not Philadelphia where Temple wants to talk with him about their opening. Then the goal is to craft a five-year deal that allows Ccharlie Strong to keep as much Texas money as possible while, USF gives what is likely a back loaded deal where the big money comes, starting in year three, so his two years of Longhorn cash is there.

Okay, now let’s talk about Martin’s role in this complex deal. He is in the meeting to see that USF doesn’t low ball Strong for the first two years of the deal meaning Texas would footing the bill for the USF head coach.

Make no mistake about it, Strong remains the main target of USF but in essence crafting a deal that Strong and the University of Texas can live with is like playing three-dimensional chess.

Both sides want this deal to happen but there is a chance that it could go side-ways. If for some reason the Bulls and Strong can’t make a deal, then Plan B needs to go into effect quickly.

Enter Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, he seemed to be the leader for the University of Houston job. But, Houston decided to stay in house and hire, 38-year-old Major Applewhite. He served as the team’s offensive coordinator and his name was mentioned for a number of head coaching jobs.

That keeps Kiffin back on the market and should the USF deal with Strong not workout then he is back on the Bulls short list.



Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.