Charlie Strong expected to bring new culture

Garrett Callahan

There are not many similarities between Mack Brown and Charlie Strong. They’ve both won football games — a total of 281 between the two as head coaches — and they’ve both won national championships, but those seems to be the only similarities between Texas’ newest head coach and his predecessor.

But Texas wasn’t looking for another Mack Brown, the head of Texas football for 16 years. Texas wanted a change.

Strong brings a new culture to the Longhorns, who haven’t had a 10-win season since 2009 after a streak of nine straight.

“We’re going to be a program that has the right attitude,” Strong said. “We’ll have the right commitment. It will be a program that’s built on accountability and responsibility. It will be a program that will represent not only this great university, but it will represent the great national stage.”

With him from Louisville, Strong brings a large set of expectations that he’s laid out to his players one-by-one since taking his new position. Strong’s program, he said, will focus on winning and education.

Strong looks to continue the high academic standard left behind by Brown, who engineered a 2013 team that held the highest GPA of any team in Texas history. Strong repeated the fact that his players are here to get an education, and professors should get the same amount of respect that coaches get.

“You are a student-athlete, so you are a student first,” Strong said. “I expect you to be up front, and, if you have a hat on, to take your hat off in class, because you don’t have a hat on in my meetings. You don’t have a cell phone out in my meetings, so don’t take your cell phone out in class.”

While Brown was a politician — always saying the right thing and gathering a large set of PR skills — Strong’s main concern is football. He came here for football first, as he said in his opening press conference, and he looks to focus on winning football games.

“We’re going to have our football program, and then we can handle wherever someone else needs us,” Strong said. “But let’s make sure we get this football program going. I think everyone’s more interested in that than anything else.”

Brown has already laid the foundation for Strong. But Strong, who begins his second head coaching job, looks to make his own mark on Texas.