Charlie Strong will replace Mack Brown as Texas' next head football coach, the school announced Sunday.
Strong went 37-15 in his first and only other head coaching stint at Louisville, leading the Cardinals to bowl games in each of his four years with them. They went 7-6 in each of their first two years under Strong before going 23-3 over their last two years with him.
Strong will be the first African-American head football coach in Longhorns football history.
"I'm excited and my family is excited to have the chance to lead one of the premier football programs in the country," Strong said in a statement. "Texas is one of those places that is always on your radar and a program anyone would dream of being a part of because you have a chance to compete on a national level every year."
Strong will be the 29th head football coach in program history and will have big shoes to fill. He replaces Mack Brown, who went 158-48 in 16 years at Texas, winning more games than any other coach in the country during his first 12 years with the Longhorns before going 30-21 over his last four seasons.
"To follow a future Hall of Fame coach like Mack Brown, who built a program that had great success and a reputation of doing it with class and integrity, is extra special," Strong said. "Coach Brown developed such a strong bond with his players, the lettermen, community and high school coaches in this state, and that's something I hope to build on. He made everyone feel at home."
Multiple reports surfaced Friday that Strong would becomes the Longhorns' next head football coach. But he wanted to meet with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, which reportedly happened Saturday, before officially accepting Texas' offer. Sports Illustrated reported that Strong's contract would be for five years and $5 million per year.
"This was a difficult decision because the University of Louisville gave me my first opportunity as a head coach," Strong said. "It was very hard to say goodbye, but they know this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Strong, 53, has spent the vast majority of his coaching career as an assistant. He got his first defensive coordinator job at South Carolina in 1999, holding the same position at Florida from 2002 to 2009, helping the Gators win national championships in 2006 and 2008, before going to Louisville the following year.
"Charlie will represent the program and University extremely well. We look forward to a long and successful tenure for him here at Texas," Texas men's athletics director Steve Patterson said in a statement. "He led championship defenses as an assistant, a resurgence at the University of Louisville with double-digit game winning seasons, and twice been selected conference coach of the year. Most importantly, Charlie is a man of great integrity, with a wonderful family, who is well respected inside and outside the game."
Patterson, himself hired a mere two months ago, put together an eight-member advisory committee to help him make this decision and had said earlier this week he wanted to hire a head coach by Jan. 15. Baylor's Art Briles and UCLA's Jim Mora, like Alabama's Nick Saban, were among the candidates reportedly considered for the job but both publicly said they were not interested.
"This is a historic day for the University of Texas and a historic hire for our football team," Texas president Bill Powers said in a statement. "Charlie Strong is one of the best coaches in the country. I'm confident he will continue the Longhorns winning tradition while maintaining the integrity and commitment to students that have always defined our program."