OT - Powerful Texas booster derides Charlie Strong hire

Submitted by JamieH on January 7th, 2014 at 1:12 PM

You think Michigan has had "faction" problems in the past?  Powerful Texas booster Red McCombs says the hiring of Charlie Strong was a "kick in the face" and that Strong might be a "great position coach, maybe a coordinator" but isn't UT head coach material.


Apologies if this discussion ends up veering into political territory.  I just wanted to point out that no matter how bad people thought the infighting at Michigan following Carr was, I think we are about to see Texas go though something exponentially worse. 




January 7th, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

as brian likes to say, and as applies to red mccombs, some people are just in charge of things because they're in charge of them.


January 7th, 2014 at 10:07 PM ^

I attend the McCombs School of Business now and am having lunch w/ Red McCombs in a couple months. On the campus, there is only a mild racial undertone. The principal issue is that UT became the leading revenue-generating program in the country by building a clean-cut program w/ uber supportive donors. Strong's checkered past w/ the media and boosters scares a TON of people.


January 8th, 2014 at 10:45 AM ^

By stating that Charlie Strong "...would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator..." Red McCombs is directly implying that Strong isn't qualified to be UT's head coach.

That's an interesting position for McCombs to take, given his history.

He purchased the Vikings in 1998 and sold them before the 2005 season. As others here have noted, McCombs inherited Dennis Green as the Vikings' head coach, and Green led the Vikings to 15-1, 10-6, and 11-5 records in the first three seasons under McCombs' ownership. If Gary Anderson hadn't biffed a FG against the Falcons in the '98 NFC championship game, the Vikings would have gone to the Super Bowl that year.

In 2001, however, the Vikings fell to a 5-10 record and Green was fired after the end of the season, in spite of the fact that Green was by far the most successful Vikings HC since Bud Grant, with a winning percentage of .610 (a record Lions fans can only dream about).

So who did Red McCombs hire to replace Green for the final three seasons of his Vikings ownership?

None other than Mike Tice, who prior to being named interim coach after Green's firing had never been anything more than a position coach.

Raback Omaba

January 7th, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

I am a big college football fan, but far from an insider or knowledgable football IQ guy. Having said that, I have always liked Charlie Strong very much - what little I do know about him says to me that he is an excellent hire not just for them, but for any program.

Weird that they would say this, but realistically who would they be happy with? Anyone less than Saban or Lombardi would probably be viewed as a step down in their eyes.

Best of luck Charlie.

Amaizing Blue

January 7th, 2014 at 3:14 PM ^

They thought because they are Texas, they would get Saban as head coach and then resurrect Lombardi as DC and Bill Walsh as OC.  So, to have to settle for Charlie Strong after expecting THAT is quite a comedown.  


January 7th, 2014 at 6:33 PM ^

Not going to profess to have followed this closely but my dad lives in Austin and he loves the hire but says the main source of opposition is that Strong is black.

Will be interesting to see how any factions develop early on.

I think Strong will bring Texas back sooner then later and that usually quiets everyone.

His Dudeness

January 7th, 2014 at 1:16 PM ^

It's always best for the program when you try to fuck over the new guy before he walks in the door.

Also, exponentially worse? Like are there going to be explosions?



January 7th, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

Well, this is getting off to a fantastic start.

As in certain situations with which we have some uncomfortable familiarity, what ultimately matters is what happens on the field. Win and Red shuts up; lose and things go sour in a hurry anyway.

And while Red sounds pretty insulting here, I suspect his venom at this point is not actually intended for Strong, but for the people at the top who hired him. Red is probably just upset about the process somehow and is venting frustration.


January 8th, 2014 at 1:01 AM ^

I do enjoy these seeing these jerks, who think they have power above and beyond the immense power they already do have, expose themselves as the ginormous* arrogant pricks that they are. It's entertaining on one hand, but it's really too bad for the fans and the team that someone who supports the team can't act more mature and direct his anger towards the people he is pissed at. Putting this out in the public, will not help the team he "supports". And true to his apparent nature, his feelings come before what is best for the team. Him doing this has a great chance of sabotaging the team, and then he can say "I told you so". And be happy when Charlie Strong fails, just so he can be right.

*this word is what my kids say for something Big...really, really Big.


January 7th, 2014 at 2:52 PM ^

Red certainly has overstepped his bounds here that's for sure.  I mean who in the fuck is he to give advice on the HC hire?  Does he think he's the Ambassador to Liechtenstein or something?

MI Expat NY

January 7th, 2014 at 2:28 PM ^

Yeah, I don't get it.  And it's not like he was that great of a coach.  He was fine, certainly above average.  But people act like he was Belichick or Parcells.  

Why is Gruden mentioned for every opening while Brian Billick never gets mentioned.  They're practically the same guy.  

MI Expat NY

January 7th, 2014 at 3:03 PM ^

Maybe I'm just too young to know, but did John Madden get connected to every job opening after he retired ?  Obviously media wasn't as all-encompassing back then as it is now, so he couldn't be quite as visible, but Madden was a young, super bowl champion coach who was on tv and extremely popular.  


January 7th, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

Can he concentrate on coaching rather than dealing with boosters and their unrealistic demands? I wonder how much time he is given to bring back UT.  I say if does not make the playoff by his 3rd year, he is gone.


January 7th, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

You think I'm making that up, but read the article.  He really did...In fairness, he also seems to have disliked the process, but I'm not sympathetic since in my view they did very well for themselves. 


January 7th, 2014 at 1:43 PM ^

Oh look you can copy and paste a link.  Must be rough being so easily offended.  I think the comparison is valid, and I'll be damned if someone thinks calling a person "the black ____" or "the white ____" or "the purple ____" is fucking racist.  

Everyone Murders

January 7th, 2014 at 2:15 PM ^

I keed, I keed - Kanye's music and Eminem's music are fairly different animals, of course, with their own virtues and vices. And they have so many other differences that the fact they are of different races seems a tertiary difference at best.  Kanye loves fashion, Eminem seems indifferent to style.  Kanye's parents were well-educated and politically involved, while Eminem's ... weren't.  Kanye comes from a middle class background, while Eminem famously comes from lesser means.  And on and on.

As far as the kerfuffle about the "black RichRod" from yesterday and today, I get the sensitivity to some extent.  It may not have been necessary to reference race (since Strong's race has not to my knowledge come into play in his newfound role), but it does not seem to be as egregious as some are making it out to be.  You can argue it either way.  What I don't get is why it's such an emotional issue here.  It's not exactly like Yeezus is race-baiting here.  He may have unnecessarily referenced Strong's race, but it just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

The bigger point is that RichRod's situation and Strong's have some fairly strong similarities at first blush.  They are both facing some institutional hurdles that are uncommon even in big-time college football.  I suspect (without much evidence) that the good-old-boy network at UT-Austin is a deep one.  What I hope is that Strong gets better advice on how to deal with that network than what RichRod apparently got.