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Former USF coach Charlie Strong announced as Miami Hurricanes assistant

“It’s a really special moment for me,” the former USF head coach and Gators assistant said.
Former USF coach Charlie Strong is now an assistant at Miami.
Former USF coach Charlie Strong is now an assistant at Miami. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Mar. 4|Updated Mar. 4

Miami officially announced former USF coach Charlie Strong as the Hurricanes’ new co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

The move had been in the works for weeks but became official — pending a standard university background check — with Friday’s announcement.

“I’m fired up to add Charlie Strong to our staff as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach,” Mario Cristobal, in his first season as Miami coach, said in a statement. “Coach Strong is an elite football mind and has a tremendous reputation as a coach with championship experience. He also has exceptional acumen as a recruiter. Coach Strong will elevate not only our defense but our program as a whole, and I can’t wait to see the impact he makes on the culture and DNA of our team.”

Related: Why USF returners embrace Bulls transfers fighting for their jobs

Strong, 61, went 21-16 in three seasons at USF, but his record worsened each year (10-2 in 2017 to 4-8 in 2019), leading to his dismissal. He won two national championships (2006 and ‘08) with Florida as its defensive coordinator before becoming head coach at Louisville, then Texas.

“I have a lot of respect for the program,” Strong said in a statement. “And I also have a lot of respect for Mario …

“It’s a really special moment for me. Whenever you go into a program, you always look at, ‘Do I have a chance to be successful? Are we going to have the support that we need?’ And that’s what you’re getting right now.

“You look at the history — a foundation has been laid here. It’s the championships over the years, the great players over the years and now … everybody wants to see this program take off and everybody expects for this program to be at a different level.”

Related: Mario Cristobal hiring shows Hurricanes are a new Miami

Strong was most recently an assistant with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, hired in February 2021 by Urban Meyer, his former boss at Florida. Strong also was an analyst on the 2020 Alabama team that won the national championship.

Strong presumably is still on the hook for a suspension handed down by the NCAA in October. The NCAA’s committee on infractions ruled that Strong, while at USF, had staffers illegally participate in practices and would have to serve a one-game suspension if he returned to the college ranks before the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

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