Make no mistake — Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong doesn’t spend much time thinking about the numerous influential alums and powerful boosters who can often influence coaching decisions in Austin.
Strong just worries about his players.
"You win and you’re fine with the boosters,” Strong told SB Nation in August. “They’re going to say what they’re going to say anyway, but you have to win with them. If you tack on the outside stuff to [the coaching], where would you stop? It really could be something new every day. And you could deal with it all day, every day."
But on Saturday, when the Longhorns face off against the Baylor Bears at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in yet another referendum game on the third-year head coach, numerous “heavy hitters” will be in attendance, according to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News:
Friday, the Longhorn Foundation will conduct a meeting of its advisory council, and later that day, UT’s developmental board will gather. Both events were scheduled months in advance, but the result is that most of the Longhorns’ biggest boosters and most powerful alumni will be at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
“There will be more heavy hitters (at the Baylor game) than at any game this year,” the donor said.
So if Texas suffers a fifth loss in sixth contests, whether it’s another excruciatingly close failure or the 11th blowout in 33 games under Strong, there will be plenty of unhappy power brokers heading towards the exits in the aftermath.
And since Strong doesn’t go out of his way to build relationships with that constituency — as former head coach Mack Brown so notably did in keeping his job for four sub-standard seasons after the 2009 team finished as the national runners up — Strong therefore has less margin of error.
The embattled head coach may be able to save his job with a miraculous finish that must start with a win over the I-35 rival — that would be the case without the heavy hitters in attendance, but with so many present, the stakes are further increased.