Louisville Head Coach Search: Latest Rumors and Buzz After Charlie Strong's Exit

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IJanuary 5, 2014

Nov 9, 2013; West Point, NY, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers head coach Bobby Petrino talks with his team during the second half against the Army Black Knights at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville is searching for a new head football coach after losing Charlie Strong to the Texas Longhorns, and there's already some chatter about who could potentially replace him.

Updates for Wednesday, Jan. 8

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Bobby Petrino is expected to be the next head coach at Louisville:

Louisville's hiring of Bobby Petrino for his second stint as its football coach is imminent, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.

Athletic director Tom Jurich is expected to meet with Petrino's agent, David Dunn, Wednesday night to finalize contract details. The school plans to introduce Petrino Thursday. The Louisville Athletic Association's personnel committee has called a 10 a.m. ET meeting Thursday to discuss a personnel matter. The committee is expected to approve a contract for Petrino, and he will be formally introduced thereafter.

Updates for Tuesday, Jan. 7

ESPN's Brett McMurphy reports that the Cardinals are looking at a former Arkansas Razorbacks head coach:

Bobby Petrino interviewed w/UL AD Tom Jurich Tuesday; is among 3 finalists for job source told @ESPN

— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) January 8, 2014 

Original Text

The Longhorns on Twitter announced the news regarding Strong's new position on Sunday, Jan. 5:

Taking over for Strong could be intimidating, as the formidable head coach put together a stellar record during his tenure, as pointed out by SportsCenter Alerts:

Strong rebuilt this program into a national contender, which is what made him such an appealing choice for Texas. The Cardinals suffered through three miserable losing seasons before Strong arrived in 2010, and he turned them into winners.   

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02:  The Gatorade bucket is dumped on head coach Charlie Strong of the Louisville Cardinals after their 33 to 23 win over the Florida Gators in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 2, 2013 in New Orleans,
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich talked about what he's looking for in a new candidate, as Dave Miller of the National Football Post relayed:

I’m a big person that believes in fit. I want somebody that fits here. You always say you want somebody who wants to be here. Does that mean five minutes? Five years? Five days? I want somebody who will look at this job as a true destination job, look at it as a long-term process. Somebody that wants to build it the right way and continue to build what Charlie did.

Miller also provided a list of candidates he believes would be a good fit for the Cardinals, including Chad Morris (Clemson offensive coordinator), Kirby Smart (Alabama defensive coordinator), Mark Hudspeth (Louisiana-Lafayette head coach) and others. 

Dec 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart celebrates winning the 2012 SEC Championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Georgia Dome. Alabama won 32-28. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Whoever jumps on board as the new leader at Louisville will be going forward without the program's top player, as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has declared himself eligible for the 2014 NFL draft, as ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported:

While Louisville may not be as attractive a destination as Texas, USC or some of the other top programs in the country, there's no doubt this open position will be highly desirable for a coach looking to make his mark.

It will be hard following up Strong's act, but the groundwork has already been laid for long-term success.


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