By Aaron Williams–
The University of Louisville and football head coach Charlie Strong agreed upon a seven-year contract extension last week that will keep Coach Strong on the Cardinals’ sideline through the 2018 season. The contract will reportedly raise Strong’s yearly base salary from $1.5 million to $2.3 million.
University vice president and athletic director Tom Jurich said in remarks to the media that the contract will be backdated to July 1, 2011 and carry through 2018.
“We really want to build stability, consistency as we go forward. I think Charlie has been a tremendous leader for us, a fabulous ambassador for this university and this city and I can just see by the type of kids that he’s recruiting, and the type of assets that he brings to this program and the type of staff that he has that it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Jurich.
Strong helped lead Louisville to a 7-6 finish last season with the final game coming as a victory over Southern Mississippi for the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl. He was named the 2010 co-Big East Coach of the Year. His Cards are 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Big East so far this season.
“It lets everyone know that we’re going to have a stable coach,” said Louisville freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater about his coach’s newly extended involvement with the program. “With everything going on in the NCAA right now, we just know that Coach Strong is going to be there with us through it all. It’s just a good feeling knowing that, if anything were to happen, Coach Strong will always be there.”
University of Louisville assistant sports administration professor Marion Hambrick believes that Jurich is committed to what Coach Strong has been doing so far and pointed out several reasons why the contact extension was advantageous to the program from a sports administration perspective.
“It helps tremendously in terms of recruiting. It helps recruits feel comfortable,” said Hambrick. He added that the stability provided by a contract extension can assist in recruiting assistant coaches as well.
Photo: Cody Hibbard/The Louisville Cardinal