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Readers react to Charlie Strong’s firing at USF

The general consensus: Michael Kelly made the right move by parting ways with the Bulls coach
USF parted ways last weekend with coach Charlie Strong, who compiled a 21-16 record in three seasons. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
USF parted ways last weekend with coach Charlie Strong, who compiled a 21-16 record in three seasons. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [ Times (2019) ]
Published Dec. 6, 2019

We sought your opinion on USF’s firing of football coach Charlie Strong, and you responded in earnest.

Not to mention in unison.

Those who submitted letters to the Tampa Bay Times on this subject seem in a consensus that athletic director Michael Kelly’s decision to dismiss Strong after a 4-8 season was the correct one. Their choice for a replacement? That’s another story.

At any rate, the feedback we got teemed with pointed criticisms of Strong, and passion for the future. As promised, we’re publishing excerpts from the letters, which have been edited only for grammar and spelling.

USF should be competitive again

As at Texas, (Strong’s) USF teams were undisciplined. The result was a steady decline in the product on the field, with a record of 4-14 over his final 18 games. During the final four games this season, the team was so bad they were hard to watch. They were thoroughly outclassed on the field and the stands at home games were nearly empty. The good news is with the right head coach the USF football program can and should be competitive in the American Athletic Conference) with winning records and bowl games, to include an occasional upset of a school such as Florida State or Notre Dame (which has already been done). I personally look forward to that.

Stu Hilder, Dunnellon

MORE BULLS: USF football coaching search: Our bracket is complete

From record highs to record lows

I am an (alumnus) of USF and avid fan of the Bulls football team. I was most disappointed in how last season ended and spent the following offseason dreaming of a major turnaround. Those dreams were quickly dashed. By the end of the season, we saw all-time program lows being set. When Charlie Strong took over the program it was at a record high and now just three years later it is at a record low. There was no other choice than to let Charlie go and look for a new coach.

Dave Weber, Lincoln, Neb.

Go big or go home

This team lacked an effective offensive line and kicker. I personally like the following potential coaches, in order: Joe Brady, Marcus Freeman, Jeff Scott and Jimmy Lake. Go big or go home. Also, we need a new practice facility and a stadium on campus.

Jerry Grimes, The Villages

MORE BULLS: Why a Willie Taggart-USF reunion might (and might not) make sense

No evidence of hope

Absolutely no emotion, tenacity, passion, and ability to create a winning attitude, discipline, and physical endurance. There was no evidence of hope that we were ‘getting better’ at any position during the latter part of last season.

Brett Patterson, Franklin, Tenn.

Find our Scott Frost

I hate to admit it, but UCF had it right when it hired Scott Frost years ago. While there might be some thoughts of (Jim) Leavitt, (Willie) Taggart or promoting (Kerwin) Bell or (Shaun) King, we need to find the right up-and-coming assistant. Obviously it’s never easy, but Frost was the right guy at the right time coming from Oregon. He made a huge turnaround happen quickly.

Greg Ward, Dunedin

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