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Top 5 schools that should hire Florida Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong

GAINESVILLE -- So, UF won national championships thanks to its defense in 2006 and 2008. That's no secret.

And UF's 2009 defense is currently ranked No.1 in the nation in pretty much every major category, including the category of stomping a mud hole in No.4 LSU in front of a record crowd at Death Valley. Oooh, soooo scary, Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. Please.

The mastermind of UF's defense is Charlie Strong, the Gators' defensive coordinator. Strong has either turned down or been passed over for jobs as a head coach in the past. That shouldn't happen any longer. If Strong wants to be a head coach, there should be plenty of teams after this season who would love to hire him. Strong should have the luxury of picking the best school to fit his strengths. From my vantage point, here are the top five schools who should hire Strong next season. (Or, put another, here are the top five schools Strong should consider when they come calling.)

1. Memphis. The Memphis Tigers are so bad this season and they shouldn't be. Charlie Strong is the perfect fit for this job. There are great recruits in Memphis every year and Strong is a good enough recruiter to compete against Lane Kiffin, Houston Nutt, Dan Mullen and Nick Saban.

2. N.C. State. Strong was the defensive coordinator at South Carolina in 1999, so he's not totally unfamiliar with the territory. The Wolfpack is a soft team in need of a tough coach. Strong would kick these boys into shape in no time.

3. UCF. If Strong wants this job, it's his for the taking. Kind of close to UF, though.

4. FAU. Schnellenberger has done a nice job at FAU but it's time to move on. Strong would absolutely dominate the Sun Belt. (Or at least put together a team that could compete with Troy every year.)

5. Kentucky. Now that would be something! Hey, why not? Mississippi State hired Mullen last year and he's doing OK.



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I love Charlie Strong as all Gators do. His defenses are filthy.

Maybe Charlie Strong isn't head coach material? He has a very quiet subdued demeanor from what I've seen. Maybe that's the incorrect image I have of him and he's a ball buster deluxe in practice. I dunno. I do know that when I see him on the sidelines he is extremely reserved.

Because his defenses are so good are we to automatically ascertain that he would be a good HC? HC's jump to a whole new level of leadership and responsibility. I'm not next to the program and have no way of knowing if he has the things needed.

I'm not saying that he wouldn't be a good head coach. I'm saying that a top defense doesn't mean he would be a good head coach.

I do have a tough time believing that he has yet to be offered a HC position because he is black or has a white wife.

In this Gators perfect world, he would get a million a year and stay put. Considering how loaded the UAA is and that Monte's pulling over a million bucks, I can't believe we can't do the same for Chuck. I'd venture a guess that if he was offered a million dollars a year or a HC position elsewhere, he'd remain a Gator.

Was anyone saying he should get a HC position in 07?

My thoughts on Charlie Strong being a head coach and what has prevented him from doing so thus far -


Charlie Strong at FAU would definitely put my ass in a seat in Boca.

How about FSU?

Their in need of a new coach, especially one who can recruit like he does.

Ooooh, interesting thought, MTX-Cane! I like it! Hiring Strong at FSU sort of parallels my reasoning for hiring him at Kentucky.

1. Kentucky wants to win the East SEC.

2. The SEC East championship runs through Florida.

3. To win the SEC East, you've got to knock off the Gators.

4. Kentucky plays Florida every year and hasn't defeated the Gators in like 1,000 years.

5. Is there another man better suited to beat the Gators than its old defensive coordinator?

Adam S.,

Gator Clause refuses to believe that the color of a man's skin is the reason he hasn't been hired. This isn't 1960! Those ideas will never been entertained on his blog. Just because everyone else is writing this, doesn't mean it's correct. We're better than that here and we hope everyone else is, too!


Well then why DO you think he hasn't been hired Goody? ( I know you won't touch this one with a ten foot pole but it does beg the question)

FSU??? NOOOOOO! Then we'd be crushing him like a bug and relishing it.

Kentucky? the recruiting wasteland?

FAU, UCF and Memphis all sound much nicer to me. I still have a tough time when the Gators crush South Carolina and the Ole Ball Coach. Dan Mullen is Gator Bait.

MTX? Still waiting for you to 'splain how a missed offensive interference ( he did interfere) call means that UF's defense will get exposed by 'Bama. Did you learn your topic dodging skills from ultimate radio hack Jorge Sidano? Prolly.

That's the equivalent of Sarasota uttering one of his," OH YEAH.....well....Ole Miss ...HA !" statements.

Riley did know the precise location of that ref and he abused him, the CB, the Tigers, and YOU...lol. That CB played his coverage poorly regardless of the unflagged foul. I'm not saying Riley didn't gain an advantage, I'm just saying the CB aint all that. Trust me hater, if a UM receiver did the exact same thing, you would feel just the same. Don't hate.

A new thread doesn't excuse you from explaining your "bama will expose UF's defense because Riley committed a penalty" nonsense.

Isn't Joker Phillips TCIW at UK plus Brooks does a pretty good job with what he has. They have already played UF and Bama(got to be the toughest schedule in the nation) and should have beaten USCe. The Cats sniffed around once before with Madsen and Strong in 2006.

I think Strong will look for a bigger job than UCF and FAU. With Memphis he would have to create football tradition - could be somewhat of a match. I think he's looking a bit loftier.

SEC teams-USCe (when SOS leaves),UGA,LSU
ACC teams-Clemson,NC St,UVA
Nationally-Notre Dame (has ties, coached there)

I think the job Strong was holding out for last year was...cough,cough...Miami. But Coach Shannon looks a whole lot better than he did in January.

Could see him leaving for Miami, but not ever to FSU. He definately would put the Noles in much better shape than Jimbo but...not sure the Noles can cough up the $6 million to have a true coaching search.

Jo, there is pretty compelling evidence to suggest that the commonly held opinion is commonly held for a reason. While you and I may have no problem with it, we are no the decision-makers at these major universities. Many of whom are still part of the GOBN.

Like in basketball, Memphis has the resources to be a dominant mid-major in football.



How come Charlie Strong even said he thought it was because of his interracial marriage that he hasn't been offered a HC job? I would think an ACC or even a PAC 10 school would hire him but NO WAY a Big 12, Big 11 or SEC does....they saw the Sylvester Croom expirement and don't want any part of it.

Even UF wouldn't put serious thought to it because of the Good Old Boy network that still exists and runs it.

Charlie Strong for Head Coach,

You mean the same UF that flew Anthony Grant in on a private plane one day after Billy Donovan quit to take our basketball team's head coaching job?

UF would hire Strong in a second if, heaven forbid, Meyer ever left. I have no doubt in my mind.

But you are right, Strong DID say that was part of the reason. And it wasn't him playing the race card, "insiders" have told him that and corroborated stories they heard from ADs and other people.

Racism, while disgusting, exists. And I am of the belief that it has affected coach Strong.

A new thread doesn't excuse you from explaining your "bama will expose UF's defense because Riley committed a penalty" nonsense.

Posted by: Alan M. | October 13, 2009 at 01:06 PM

Who the F are you? I don't have to explain myself to you.

Florida has a great D, that's it. If not for the flag, you would have scored 6 points. Just admit it, your O is badddddddddddddddddddddddddd! Don't go by the NCAA stats, because that will change after a few weeks. Remember, you haven't played anyone with an O and you played two really bad teams.

Pat Forde ESPN,

So which are the REAL top five defensive units, and in what order? The Dash reveals:

Alabama - The Crimson Tide are No. 2, but have played opposing offenses that rank a respectable 64th. Biggest achievement to date: shutting down Arkansas (No. 15 offense in the nation).

Florida - Nobody is giving up fewer than the Gators' 203 yards per game, but they've faced only one offense ranked better than 50th -- that's No. 48 Tennessee. Biggest achievement to date: zero points allowed in the second halves of two SEC road games.

Maybe your D isn't as good as I think! or maybe Pat is a HATER!

Exuse me, like your my teacher!

I still think S. Carolina (assuming Spurrier leaves) is the best fit for Strong. Charlie is the biggest reason that UF recruits S. Florida so well. If he could keep the Carolina kid's home AND if he could continue to recruit South Florida so well, he could make a SERIOUS run at the SEC title!

"...they saw the Sylvester Croom expirement and don't want any part of it."

I don't know what to say about that last comment! It is wrong on so many levels, that it defies argument. Would anyone write that about Dan Warner? Of course not!

The only legitimate reason you could possibly give for an SEC team not hiring Charlie is that he is possibly too ethical, too fair, too polite, and too honest.

Yes, SC would be the best spot for Strong if Spurrier retires.

I don't think he would go to a non BCS conference, perhaps that is part of the reason he is still at Florida. Maybe UVA?

Anyone who thinks that race is not a factor in some schools' decision-making process is kidding himself.

Have you ever been to Auburn?

That being said, I think Strong would be better served to take his first HC job at a non-BCS school. Develop his own staff, win there and move up in a couple years.

1. Memphis has never done anything in football, and their tradition in basketball is sorely overrated.

2. N.C. State's coach is in his second year of fixing the mess that Chuck Amato left behind. They went to a bowl game last year and will return to one this year.

3. UCF is a bad first job for a 50 year old coach. It would be better to keep winning national titles as Florida's defensive coordinator than to spend the next 10 years of your life trying to win a Conference USA title at UCF and then retire. If Strong were 42 instead of 50, or if UCF was a stronger mid-major with the capacity of getting into the BCS (or a better conference) then maybe. Otherwise, Strong should not cap his distinguished career with losses in the Liberty Bowl to 7-5 SEC teams.

4. See #3 and multiply it times ten. At least if Strong were to go 13-0 in Conference USA he would likely get an at-large BCS bowl bid. But at FAU, FIU or any other Sun Belt school, going undefeated is impossible because they have to be the homecoming opponent so many times a year to pay the bills, and even if they do run the table it MAY get them a top 20 ranking.

5. Joker Phillips is the next head coach at Kentucky. Kentucky acted to keep him on after he nearly got the Georgia Tech job.

Illinois would be a perfect fit for Strong, but no way they hire two Florida guys in a row. Notre Dame would be very good too, but if they fire Charlie Weis - who has proven that he can win there and has recruited very well - it would only be to hire Urban Meyer or some other pipe dream. So, the best option for Strong is possibly Louisville. It is actually a stronger football program historically than Kentucky, is in a better recruiting area (Louisville/Cincinnati versus Lexington), and is in a far weaker conference. If Strong goes to Louisville, he gets a ton of Georgia, Florida (sorry!) and South Carolina kids - as well as not a few Big 10 kids as he has ties into that region - and routs the Big East. He would dump that gimmick John L. Smith/Bob Petrino passing offense (which Kragthorpe is still trying to run and failing ... note how Tulsa actually got BETTER after Kragthorpe left just like Boise got better after Hawkins went to Colorado!) and show those fraud Cincinnati Bearcats how the spread option is really run, and also show West Virginia how to do it with better talent and with a defense!

Also, with Joker Phillips leading Kentucky and Strong leading Louisville ... well that would be a sight to see, wouldn't it?

I say that if Strong can't get a head coaching job in college (and no, he is NOT going to replace Urban Meyer, as Foley would go with someone with head coaching experience) within 2 years, he needs to go to the NFL. UGA's Brian Van Gorder went that route, and he is now an NFL defensive coordinator. The guy will be an NFL head coach within 5 years, and is much younger than Strong.

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