University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich summed up football coach Charlie Strong as "tickled to death" when he was informed the school had been accepted as a new member of the Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday.
"Oh he's excited," Jurich said of Strong.
In his third season at U of L, Strong has not only turned around the program but has been a name mentioned in several coaching job searches, including Arkansas, Tennessee, Auburn and California.
Some national analysts had speculated it might be tough for U of L to keep Strong in the Big East Conference. But now Strong, who has a seven-year contract for $2.3 million a year, has a conference with a tie into the four-team playoff that will begin in the 2014 season.
Strong, whose team will play for the Big East Conference title on Thursday night at Rutgers, was traveling with the team and released a statement through the school that said he was "very excited" for the move.
"The ACC is a tremendous football conference with universities that have a rich tradition, especially in football, and we look forward to the opportunity of playing some of the top teams in the country, and giving our fans an exciting home schedule every year. We are very appreciative to be given the opportunity."
Jurich, who was asked if he thought the move to the ACC would keep Strong at U of L, repeated the answer he's been saying when asked about the coaches' future.
"We're going to do everything we can to keep our coaches," Jurich said. "There comes a point where they have to want to be here."
Jurich went on to say: "He's excited. Oh he's excited. He knows this is a great opportunity for his program."
Strong did say in his statement that the move will "help solidify our recruiting efforts and gives our staff the ability to sell our university and our football program to this outstanding conference."
The Cardinals already have a strong recruiting presence in Florida and have nine commitments for the Class of 2013.
Fox SportsNEXT national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg said the move into the ACC will make the U of L program an easier sell to recruits.
"This move from the Big East to the ACC for Louisville should only help the Cardinals and coach Charlie Strong when it comes to recruiting," Newberg said. "He and his staff, in their short time there, have already proven that they are strong recruiters. With all due respect to the Big East Louisville's league 'status' has now been upgraded with the move to the ACC.
"I would expect that their recruiting efforts will get a bump as well, especially in the state of Florida, where they recruit very well. Strong and company are on the verge of something big and this move should help their efforts."