Don’t ever expect Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong to pull a page out of the playbook of Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen and show up at Big 12 Media Days wearing some Adidas Yeezy Boosts, as Mullen recently did for the second straight year in Hoover.
Or any other flashy footwear, for that matter.
Strong has his style and sticks to it, for better or worse, recently hosting No. 1 inside linebacker Anthony Hines before the Under the Lights camp in late July rocking his signature look — mock turtleneck, khaki shorts, Birkenstock sandals, and socks, much to the chagrin of his players.
The look tends to cause quite a bit of commotion, as it did in early August as the ‘Horns opened camp with a large-scale media availability and SB Nation’s Steven Godrey sat down with Strong for an exclusive one-on-one interview:
"Oooooh," says 2015 quarterback Jerrod Heard, opening the door and pointing at Strong. Next to him is fellow QB Tyrone Swoopes.
"Aye man, you OLD!" Swoopes says to Strong.
Strong, 56 years old, tries not to laugh, but it overtakes him. He’s wearing a burnt orange Nike coaches polo and khaki shorts. This is the uniform for Texas’ local media day, plus a bit of personal flair: white tube socks and khaki Birkenstocks sandals.
News of this ensemble has been quickly texted around the facility. Heard and Swoopes reach for their phones.
Swoopes: "You so old."
Heard: "Oh my goodness."
Swoopes: "My goodness."
Heard: "I thought you was younger."
Strong rolls his eyes.
Strong: "I just look young. Black don’t crack."
This sends the pair into stitches and out of the room.
The former quarterback and current contender for the starting job settled for simply teasing Strong, as previous reform efforts by senior cornerback Sheroid Evans, a textiles and apparel major who designs and sew his own clothing in addition to altering and distressing shirts and pants for his teammates, haven’t produced much impact.
“I gotta get him out of those,” Evans said of his head coach’s preferred ensemble.
Strong isn’t having it.
“I tell him, I see his shorts and they have holes in them, so I know I’m not going to dress like that.”
A beat reporter noted that recruits are now dressing like that.
“Yeah, that’s the recruits’ style, but I’m not going to be dressing like that. I tell them all the time, ‘How much did you pay for those jeans and they’re all ripped up?’”
So don’t be surprised if the pleas of Evans continue to fall on deaf ears and players like Heard and Swoopes continue to periodically roll by Strong’s office and tease him about his attire.
Strong will be on the sideline this fall and at some point he’ll be back in his signature mock turtleneck and he’s okay with that — he’s got his old man style and he’s sticking to it, no matter what the players and recruits and coaches trying to impress players and recruits are wearing.