AUSTIN (AP/105.3 The Fan) – Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong faced a large contingent of media members, cameras and even his players at his Monday morning press conference.
Despite the rumors that he will be fired, Strong insisted that decision hasn’t been made.
Strong says he was told by athletic director Mike Perrin that he and his staff will be evaluated after the TCU game on Friday afternoon in Austin.
Strong also said that he’d like to return next season.
“Next year I want to come back. I look at the job that this staff has done and how far they’ve come. … the wins and losses, they don’t stack up,” said Strong.
Texas athletic director Mike Perrin dismissed multiple reports as “rumors” on Sunday that Texas had decided to fire Strong with the Longhorns sitting at 5-6 after losing to Kansas. Strong is just 16-20 overall in his third season.
Perrin didn’t say that Strong will return in 2017, just that he’ll be evaluated after Texas plays at home against TCU on Friday. Texas President Greg Fenves, who has been a strong supporter of the coach, stayed silent on Sunday.
“There are a number of rumors out there about the status of Coach Strong. I’ve said it all along, we will evaluate the body of work after the regular season. We have a game to get ready for against TCU on Friday, and I hope our fans will come out and support our team. We’ll discuss where things stand after that,” Perrin said.
Perrin sometimes attends portions of Strong’s weekly news conference, which is broadcast by the school’s TV partner the Longhorn Network, and the statement didn’t indicate if he planned to on Monday.
With top administrative support, Strong appeared relatively safe until Saturday’s 24-21 overtime loss at lowly Kansas. Texas (5-6, 3-5 Big 12) held an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Perrin refused to address reporters after the loss, and Strong, with his wife weeping outside the team locker room, said he didn’t know what the loss would mean for his future.
“No, I don’t. No idea,” Strong said.
But Strong was back at work Sunday. A team spokesman said Strong and his staff kept to their routine of meeting Sunday morning to review game film and start preparations for the next game.
Strong is in the third year of a five-year contract, but not even a $10 million buyout could be enough to save him. He has failed to take the program to the same heights he took Louisville. He is in danger of finishing with his third straight losing season.
His only bowl appearance came in 2014, when the Longhorns lost to Arkansas in the Texas Bowl.
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