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We’re Behind You Coach. Let’s Kick Butt This Year.
Written by Shannon Barrientes / Images Courtesy of UT Athletics
Hardly an Austinite can believe that it’s been over a year since they welcomed Charles Rene “Charlie” Strong after it was announced that he was hired as the head football coach in January of 2014. The Longhorn football team was synonymous with Coach Mack Brown for over a decade, and it was with bittersweet gravity that Austin said good-bye to the beloved Coach Brown, but gained the spectacular Coach Strong.
Texas is growing with Coach Strong and it’s been an exciting stretch. The 2015 coaching staff saw a top-ten recruiting class, putting them in direct competition with some of the strongest teams in the nation. Coach Strong saw his first upset against a top-ten team in the notorious Red River Showdown, beating long-term rival Oklahoma 24-17. Despite the early and relatable struggles the team showed whilst learning under new leadership, the Longhorns were able to dominate with 313 yards on the ground. Quarterback Jerrod Heard and running back D’Onta Foreman rushed over 100 yards each in the game, which was a nod toward Coach Strong’s strong recruiting decisions. Under Coach Strong, the Longhorns earned a bowl bid. Exciting news follows the recent vacancy at receivers coach, as the Longhorns took on Charlie Williams, former Indianapolis Colts assistant.
Williams has coached thirty seasons, beginning at Long Beach City College in 1984, and his wealth of experience bodes well for the future season. Williams will work with new positions, recruited under Strong’s sharp eye, including Collin Johnson, Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, Lil’ Jordan Humphrey and Davion Curtis. Another sensational addition to the team is new running backs coach, and alumnus, Anthony Johnson. Johnson played running back under Coach Mack Brown through 2005 and has since coached at Toledo, where the Rockets led in rushing each of his seasons, leading the Mid-American Conference. The 40 Acres campus couldn’t be more excited to welcome home a coach that has such exciting and historic chemistry with the burnt orange soil. Johnson steps in with a strong back set, the aforementioned D’Onte Foreman, late-season breakout back Chris Warren III, Kirk Johnson and Kyle Porter.
National Signing Day landed Strong nationwide attention as his Longhorns landed seven commitments, vaulting them into the top 10 of the 247 Sports Composite Rankings and putting sports lovers on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the results the 2016 season will see. Last season’s strong 5-7 finish was fresh in everyone’s minds as the Longhorns were, as usual, shown to be a desired landing spot for the brightest players on the field.
The University of Texas at Austin welcomed Coach Strong into their midst, surely recognizing a man of both academic and professional success, who would commit to the time-honored traditions of the Longhorn football team. In his first training camp as the Longhorns coach, Strong made national news headlines with his firm, no-nonsense training style and readily suspended or dismissed several players for disciplinary reasons. Backs sat straight in chairs as Texas, and the nation, digested that Coach Strong is a force to reckon with. With bated breath Austin looks forward to the coming 2016 season and all Coach Strong has to offer.