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Urban Meyer says Charlie Strong was his ‘first hire’ with Jaguars

The new Jacksonville coach said Strong will be his “right-hand” man in his new gig.
Former USF coach Charlie Strong was formally introduced Thursday as assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Former USF coach Charlie Strong was formally introduced Thursday as assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]
Published Feb. 11

Last summer, Charlie Strong pushed the hot button. Speaking to the old colleague with whom he had collaborated on two national championships, Strong broached the subject of pursuing a world title.

Initially, Urban Meyer didn’t want to go there.

“We were just sitting around talking and I said, ‘We’ve got one more run in us, now. We’ve got to make one more run,’” Strong said. “He’s like, ‘Don’t ask me to do that.’ And I said, ‘I know you want to do it, because it’s still in you.’”

On Thursday, Strong — dismissed as USF coach in December 2019 — was formally introduced as Meyer’s assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars after a season as a defensive analyst for Nick Saban’s national title team at Alabama.

The partnership will be their third, following stints as Notre Dame assistants (1996-1998) and of course their time at Florida, when Meyer led the Gators to national titles (with Strong as defensive coordinator) in 2006 and ’08.

“He was my first hire,” Meyer said. “He’s going to be the No. 2. That means the assistant head coach, and he’ll be in front of the team. He’ll be my right-hand man as he’s been many, many times over my time at Florida. I always tell people that the chance of us winning those two national championships without Charlie Strong would not have happened.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.