Former Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong is already drawing buzz in coaching circles eight days after his termination by the Longhorns, as the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Sunday that Strong is one of three early candidates to become the next head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The other reported candidates are Western Michigan’s PJ Fleck and Western Kentucky’s Jeff Brohm, two of the hottest names on the market right now.
More than the fact that Strong is a good man and, at the worst, a solid coach, the news concerns Texas because it could impact the $10 million owed to Strong for the final two years of his guaranteed contract, which has a 50-percent offset.
Let’s work through what that means.
Tommy Tuberville stepped down on Sunday after going 29-22 over four seasons. His recently-revised contract called for him to make $1.6 million this season, down from $2.2 million due to an increase in his retention bonuses.
Let’s assume that Strong would receive $2 million per season from Cincinnati. Texas would owe him the difference between his Cincinnati salary and the salary he was due from the Longhorns — $3 million — plus half of his salary from the Bearcats.
If Strong receives a non-Power Five job, Texas likely wouldn’t save much money on his buyout, but it could be money that new head coach Tom Herman could devote towards building his personnel staff.