Charlie Strong to become USF Bulls 4th head football coach

Posted at 12:07 PM, Dec 11, 2016

Former Texas coach Charlie Strong will become the USF Bulls new football coach.

Strong will replace Willie Taggart, who was named head coach of the Oregon Ducks last week.

In addition to the head football coach vacancy at the University of South Florida, Strong was considered a strong candidate to join Taggart's coaching staff at the University of Oregon.

USF will introduce Strong at a news conference on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

But sources told ABC Action Sports anchors Tom Korun and John Sabol that Strong chose to accept Taggart's old job at USF rather than join his new coaching staff at Oregon.

In a statement issued by USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan, the university confirmed the hiring of Strong as the USF Bulls fourth head football coach. 

"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Charlie, his wife, Vicki, and their children Tory, Hailee and Hope, back to the state of Florida and to our Bulls family," Harlan said. "Charlie is a tremendous leader and mentor for our student-athletes and a widely-respected coach with a resume full of achievements at the highest levels of college football. He combines a drive to win with great integrity and deep, long-standing connections in the state of Florida. The future of USF football is very bright under his direction."

Referring to Strong's career, Harlan noted Strong being named a 2-time Big East Coach of the Year and a vital part of two national championships at the University of Florida. Strong served head coaching stints at the University of Texas (2014-16) and the University of Louisville (2010-13). 

A native of Batesville, Ark., Strong began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Florida in 1983.

“I would like to thank President Genshaft and Mark Harlan for their confidence and belief in me,” Strong said. “I am humbled that we have a shared commitment to take this university and this football program to even greater heights. Some of the best football talent in the country is right here in the Bay Area and throughout the state of Florida, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with the young men in the USF football program and build on the strong foundation already in place.”

He will not coach the Bulls when they face the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 29. Interim head coach T.J. Weist will lead the Bulls in the bowl game.