August 2, 1960 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Florida (Graduate asst)
Texas A&M (Graduate asst)
Southern Illinois (WR)
Ole Miss (WR)
Florida (Asst HC/DT)
Notre Dame (DE / DT)
South Carolina (DC)
Florida (interim HC)
Florida (Asst HC/co-DC/LB)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
Charles R. Strong (born August 2, 1960) is the head coach for the University of Louisville football team. Strong is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas where he was a player from 1980-1983. Before being named head coach of the Louisville team in 2010, Strong previously held assistant coach and defensive coordinator positions with six different college football teams.
Charlie Strong was born in Batesville, Arkansas. After lettering for four years (1980–1983) at the University of Central Arkansas, Strong joined the Gators coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 1984. He later served as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M in 1985. His first full-time coaching job was at Southern Illinois in 1986, where he coached wide receivers. He later assumed defensive coaching duties at Florida, Ole Miss, and Notre Dame. He also received a master's degree and education specialist degree from the University of Florida. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.
In 1999, Strong joined the South Carolina Gamecocks as defensive coordinator, becoming the first African American coordinator in Southeastern Conference (SEC) history. His stifling defenses and charismatic personality created buzz that he would be possibly the first black head coach in the SEC, but job offers were slim. Sylvester Croom eventually broke the color barrier in the SEC coaching ranks.
Strong was hired as defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators before the 2003 season. Florida head coach Ron Zook was fired midway through the Gators' 2004 season, but continued to coach until the bowl game; Strong served as interim coach of the Gators for one game, the December 2004 Peach Bowl. Florida lost the game, 27–10, to Miami. When Urban Meyer was hired as Florida's head coach, Strong was the only assistant coach retained from Zook's staff.
In a January 2009 interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Strong expressed his belief that race played a large part in the reason that he hadn't been offered a head coaching job at that point. Strong, whose wife is white, especially cited prospective employers' discomfort with his interracial relationship. Florida ended up hiring Utah's Urban Meyer, who would lead Florida to two national titles and was the coach at the top of every program's wish list.
He became the 21st head football coach at the University of Louisville on December 9, 2009. In a telephone interview that day with ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde, former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, himself African American, said of Strong, "When they see what he can do, you're probably going to have a lot of people disappointed they didn't hire him sooner."
Strong led Louisville to a victory in the 2013 Sugar Bowl over his former team, the Florida Gators, by a final score of 33-23. It was the biggest upset victory in terms of point spread in any BCS bowl game since the inception of the BCS in 1998, as Florida entered the game favored by almost two touchdowns.
On January 23, 2013 Strong was given a $1.4 million raise which brought his annual compensation to $3.7 million and raised his buyout to $5 million.  At the time it made him 7th highest paid active coach in college football and highest paid coach outside the SEC, Big 12, and Big Ten conferences. 
Head coaching record
|Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (2004)|
|Louisville Cardinals (Big East Conference) (2010–2012)|
|2010||Louisville||7–6||3–4||T–5th||W Beef 'O' Brady's|
|Louisville Cardinals (American Athletic Conference) (2013)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- "Florida Coach Charlie Strong Believes that Race Affected Opportunities," Sports Illustrated (January 6, 2009).
- College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, Charlie Strong Records by Year. Retrieved March 11, 2010.