Former USF coach Charlie Strong returns to the state college ranks.
ESPN first reported late Friday night that Strong, who spent the 2021 season on Urban Meyer’s team with the Jaguars, is finalizing a deal to coach linebackers at the University of Miami.
Strong, 61, did not immediately respond to a phone message Saturday morning.
He joins a distinguished and proven team built by new Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal, which includes former Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis; and former LSU, Alabama and Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
While Strong’s relationship with the state spans nearly 40 years, he fell short at his last college gig in Florida. Inheriting a stacked roster from predecessor Willie Taggart at USF in 2017, the program regressed under his watch, going from 10-2 to 7-6 to 4-8 in three seasons. When Strong was fired in December 2019, the Bulls had lost 14 of their last 18 games and the roster was essentially barren.
But he mostly thrived during a seven-year run (2003-2009) as the Gators’ defensive coordinator (one of four stints he had at UF), helping lead the program to a pair of national titles during Meyer’s tenure. Hired as Louisville’s head coach in December 2009, Strong lured Northwest Miami star Teddy Bridgewater to the Commonwealth, and the Cardinals amassed a 23-3 record in 2012 and 2013, with a Sugar Bowl in Florida after the 2012 season.
Strong’s other head coaching stoppage was a mediocre three-year run (16-21) at Texas from 2014-2016. In 2020, a year before joining Meyer with the Jags, he served as a defensive analyst for Nick Saban in Alabama.
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