If the burnt orange brass had their sites set on firing Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong following Saturday’s loss to Kansas, they made their job much more difficult after allowing the ‘Horns head coach to take the podium during his Monday morning press conference.
No way Charlie Strong 'knows' he is out at Texas. He is lobbying and selling every positive point and characteristic of his program. #Texas— Sean Adams (@thatsean) November 21, 2016
In a perfect blend of selling himself to the masses on he and the programs future at Texas, along with plenty of heartfelt words about his team and their relationship going far beyond what happens on the field, Strong endured one question after another about his job status.
With a swarm of players gathered in the hallway looking on, Strong did so about as courageously as anyone could ask of him.
Thought it was remarkable how well Charlie Strong handled that press conference. As always, his focus was on the players. Much respect.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) November 21, 2016
There was very little talk of TCU, whom Texas plays on Friday and Strong believes a victory would aid in the chances of his return in 2017. According to Strong, he’s not sold on the rumors that a decision has been made on his future in Austin:
Charlie Strong: "I've been told we'll be evaluated at the end of the season. After the last game against TCU, a decision will be made."— Max Olson (@max_olson) November 21, 2016
Strong was well aware that the on-field results this season haven’t been up to the standard many expected. Following the loss to then-1-9 Kansas, which is what kickstarted the reports of his termination, Strong said he just stared at the wall at home. But far more evident was Strong’s belief in his players and the direction of the program, both on and off the field.
Strong said he would bring himself back. "We have built a foundation. I look at what's in the program now. I'm not one to make excuses."— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) November 21, 2016
Strong speaking of "character and class the team has exhibited. The program is going in the right direction."— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) November 21, 2016
As part of the positive progress, Strong raved about the current crop of Longhorns under his guidance and the ways in which they’ve grown as young men more than anything else during their time on the 40 Acres. While some may not agree on its significance during a decision on his future, it was clear Strong’s goal for his players in life goes far beyond winning, such the character of his players beyond the field and academic achievement. Strong didn’t fail to mention the future he sees for this team in a big way, either, as Strong said he strongly believes the team in Austin right now will win a national championship.
If Strong had once chance to sell himself on being the coach to lead Texas to said championship, he left it all at the podium Monday morning. With what seemed like half of his team only feet away providing support, just as they did in bulk via Twitter Sunday night, Strong delivered his most powerful presser to date.
Obviously, press conferences don’t ensure another season on the 40 Acres, but Strong did everything he could to point out why he believes his should return as the ‘Horns head coach and the bright future of the program.
If Mike Perrin and the decision makers in Austin plan on firing Strong, that task just become much more difficult.