Jurich: Strong hungry for success

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich believes new football coach Charlie Strong is hungry to succeed at UofL.

The last three years have been tough for Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich. But with Wednesday's introduction of Charlie Strong as Louisville's new football coach, Jurich and the Cardinals are ready to turn the page to a new chapter.

"I couldn't be more pleased having Charlie Strong as our new football coach," Jurich said. "We've got a lot of obstacles, we know that. We know we've got a lot of work to do. We're going to work very hard to get this program back to where all of us want it to be."

Where Louisville wants to be is in position to compete for the Big East title on a regular basis. The Cardinals won just two Big East games under Steve Kragthorpe the past two seasons and haven't been to a bowl game since the Orange Bowl three years ago.

Tom Jurich said Charlie Strong is hungry for success with UofL.
Before offering Strong, 49, the UofL job, Jurich said he spoke with a host of great football minds about Florida's former defensive coordinator, including SEC commissioner Mike Slive, former Denver Bronco coach Mike Shanahan, Florida AD Jeremy Foley, Florida coach Urban Meyer and former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy.

"As I traveled around and looked at coaches, not just this year but many years in the past, Charlie was somebody that always registered very highly with me," Jurich said. "This year, specifically, when I really focused in on him [they] talked about the class, integrity and high character that Charlie brought to the table.

"His coaching ability is unparalleled. He's had incredible success. He's somebody that is hungry and humble for this job. Which is something I want. I've always thought this was a blue-collar job. And I think Charlie is the perfect individual to coach and lead this team. He's got incredible leadership skills."

Dungy gave Strong a particularly 'strong' endorsement.

"If you talk to his ex-players, current players, fellow coaches, parents of his players....I got so tired of listening to how great Charlie was that I went to Tony Dungy and said 'You've got to be able to find me one negative," Jurich said. "And Tony couldn't. Of all the advocates Charlie has, Tony Dungy is certainly the best."

Now, Strong must get down to business of rebuilding the Louisville program. It's not an easy first head coaching job. Strong's immediate goals include hiring a staff, recruiting and teaching UofL's current players how to win.

"I don't want to be his boss. I want to be his partner. I want to do everything in my power to turn this program around quickly," Jurich said. "We've enjoyed success. I have not enjoyed defeat I can promise you that. I did not come here to lose so it has really torn me up."

Jurich believes Strong can turn Louisville around in short order.

"We've got the players to get us back into the realm of competing for the Big East championship," Jurich said. "We needed somebody with the ability of Charlie Strong."

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