Charlie Strong expects to coach vs. TCU, still wants to return to Texas
The Longhorns have reportedly decided to fire Strong, who discussed the latest on Monday
That knowledge, and the many reports surrounding his future, set the stage for a less-than-regular regularly scheduled press conference on Monday in Austin. Strong discussed the team's preparation for the upcoming game, likely knowing that it could be his last as the Longhorns' coach.
Players, who were reportedly considering a boycott, attended the presser along with a large crowd of reporters. Strong got a chance to meet with the team before addressing the media. In his statements, Strong made a few things clear regarding the way the next week will play out in Austin.
1. Charlie Strong will likely be on the sidelines against TCU: Strong is preparing for TCU like its any other week. They "burned the tape" from the Kansas loss and are striving to win on Friday to become bowl eligible. Strong met with athletic director Mike Perrin after the loss to Kansas and told reporters the same thing Texas' administration has said all along: "Everything will be evaluated at the end of the season."
2. The players will not boycott the TCU game, and Strong believes they've been "playing not to lose" because of the dismissal reports: The consistent message throughout the press conference was that Strong has urged the players to shed the negative energy around the situation and focus on winning against TCU to get the senior class to a bowl game. Players have read the reports and know the situation, he said, and he thinks that has contributed to poor play as the team has been "playing not to lose." He wants them to "loosen up" and "have fun" again, hoping it leads to a victory.
Charlie Strong leaving today's press conference, greeted by his players. pic.twitter.com/Ccm3L0jZzQ— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) November 21, 2016
3. Strong still wants to return to Texas: "Next year, I want to come back," he said. "I look at the job that this staff has done and how far they've come. ... the wins and losses, they don't stack up." Strong also admitted that there was some roster difficulty after dismissing some players following the departure of Mack Brown but feels like the Longhorns are in a much better place now.
Strong, who was hired by the Longhorns after going 23-3 in his final two seasons at Louisville, was never able to turn things around at Texas, losing a bowl game in his first season, failing to qualify for the postseason in 2015, and now floundering to a 5-6 record. The Longhorns fell 24-21 to Kansas in overtime Saturday, Texas' first loss to the Jayhawks since 1938. Kansas had not won a Big 12 game since 2014 and was 1-20 under coach Dave Beaty entering the contest.
"No idea," Strong said when asked about his future after the game. Strong's buyout sits at $10 million.
More updates from that press conference can be found below.
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