Steve Patterson began the search for the next Texas head football coach with a list of around 30 candidates. Despite speculation that candidates like Alabama's Nick Saban, Baylor's Art Briles, UCLA's Jim Mora, Vanderbilt's James Franklin and ESPN commentator Jon Gruden were being considered, Patterson said Monday Charlie Strong was the one he wanted and the only one offered the job.
"He was our No. 1 candidate, he was the only person we offered the job to and he accepted it," Patterson said. "He is certainly a very knowledgeable coach. He certainly has had success. He is a great leader, charismatic, well spoken, a very good recruiter, and a good evaluator of talent. He has been able to build his team into better football players when they leave than when they came."
When Patterson met with Strong, he didn't just meet with the man who won 23 games at Louisville over the past two seasons, he met with his family as well. After that interview, formalities such as Patterson meeting with his advisory committee and Strong meeting with Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich were the only things standing in between Strong officially accepting Patterson's offer to be the Longhorns next head football coach.
"It was certainly different meeting with him in his home," Patterson said. "It wasn't strictly a football conversation. A lot of the conversation was about life and developing young men. Those things, as well as academics, are a huge part of the process. We left there very excited... He can be very successful here at The University of Texas."