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Report: Strong rejects Vols, staying at Louisville

Cincinnati v Louisville Getty Images

Just as Tennessee appeared on the verge of ending its search for a new head football coach with a knocked-it-out-of-the-park hire, the voyage through the post-Dooley era will reportedly continue for the listing program.

Citing a Louisville source,‘s Pete Thamel is reporting that Charlie Strong has turned down an offer from the Vols to become its new coach and will instead remain with the Cardinals.  What UT was offering as part of a financial package to lure Strong back to the SEC is unknown, but, per Thamel, the finishing touches on a revamped contract are currently under way for the third-year UofL coach.

Athletic director Tom Jurich stated two months ago that he was willing to make Strong the highest-paid coach at the FBS level, although that was likely more hyperbole than reality.  Still, Strong should see a significant bump in his 2012 salary of $2.3 million.

Today, Strong refused to specifically address his coaching future, telling reporters that, tomorrow morning, he will first address his team before going public with his intentions for the 2013 season.

Based, on Thamel’s report, that won’t include a move to Knoxville.  That, of course, begs the question: to where will UT turn?

Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy has been heavily connected to the Vols job, and could be athletic director Dave Hart‘s No. 1 target now that he has reportedly been snubbed by Strong.  Or North Carolina’s Larry Fedora.  Or… oh my gawd that’s Jon Gruden‘s music

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33 Responses to “Report: Strong rejects Vols, staying at Louisville”
  1. dee6634 says: Dec 5, 2012 8:06 PM

    Bo Pellini is sitting by his phone….

  2. ronin262 says: Dec 5, 2012 8:13 PM

    Man, as a UF graduate overjoyed with Muschamp, I feel for Vols fans. Arkansas and Auburn fans can be pleased but for Vols fans there is still uncertainty. Hopefully your AD can find someone to give reason for optimism. I suffered through the Zook disaster so I feel your pain. Fingers crossed for you guys to get a game changer. The SEC needs Tennessee to get back on its feet.

  3. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 5, 2012 8:23 PM

    Alabama and LSU weren’t very good back when Tennessee was finishing 2nd to Florida every year. UT is a good job but its a much more difficult job than it used to be. It isn’t a huge surprise to me they aren’t getting their top choices.

  4. prince5000 says: Dec 5, 2012 8:31 PM

    Hog fan here who is very happy. Hoping the best for UT. Maybe going after Golden or Butch Davis would be the way to go.

  5. huskersrock1 says: Dec 5, 2012 8:40 PM

    Big game Bo would be a great fit for Tenn! losing him would just crush us Nebraskans.

  6. padraighansen says: Dec 5, 2012 8:40 PM

    Hog fans, looking forward to all of you posting back on here in a few years…will be interested to see how many are still happy if BB is your head coach. There’s a reason why over 75% of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel readers said they were glad to see him go: He’s overrated as a coach, a recruiter, and has an ego bigger than Mark Mangino.

  7. gotampabay52 says: Dec 5, 2012 8:45 PM

    as a U of Miami alumi now three yr season ticket holder i hat the U to lose Golden and as Bucs fan hate to lose Davis but UT better look at them as a coach cause we are left with what not renewing and supporting Knoville city for another bust

  8. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 5, 2012 8:50 PM

    If the SEC is over rated as a conference, why are are
    destination conferences like the B1G and the Big 12
    losing quality coaches to an over hyped, over rated conference?

    Two ideas for Tennessee coaches

    The ND coach, just to piss off the Irish.

    Peyton Manning

    (Tongue firmly in cheek)

  9. prince5000 says: Dec 5, 2012 8:58 PM

    Padraighansen: three straight BCS Bowls/seven seasons – seven bowl games. Yeah, we’re happy. As for your next coach – I here Houston Nutt is looking. Good luck!!!

  10. thegamecocker says: Dec 5, 2012 9:24 PM

    Charlie Strong is going into a conference where he doesn’t have the competition he would have in the SEC. Sometimes being happy where you’re at and having Teddy Bridgewater for another year or two plus a $3 million plus salary is all the “happy, happy” one needs. All he has to do is get by FSU and Clemson and he goes bowling every year. Not so bad.

  11. dmcgrann says: Dec 5, 2012 9:37 PM

    I’m having a real hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that the head football coach at Louisville would ever, ever become the highest-paid coach at the FBS level.

  12. minibull says: Dec 5, 2012 9:41 PM

    One rumored sticking point is that UT didn’t want Strong to bring Clint Hurtt as an assistant, due to his rumored ‘issues’ at U of M…

  13. houndofthebaskervols says: Dec 5, 2012 10:05 PM

    Well DUH, who didnt see this coming?

    There was no reason for Strong to leave, the money is the same, the headaches arent. This was never going to happen, just like Gruden, just like Gundy. Time to fire the AD and start all over.

  14. Deb says: Dec 5, 2012 10:39 PM

    Yes, I’d like to know about these Gundy rumors. Anyone who thinks Gruden is a serious candidate is also probably shopping for a homestead in some Florida swamp. I doubt Jon Gruden will ever return to coaching and certainly not at the college level–something for which Tennessee fans should thank their lucky stars. Are the Gruden rumors similiar pulled-out-of-thin-air fare?

  15. Deb says: Dec 5, 2012 10:46 PM

    @ronin262 …

    Yes, I’d like to see Tennessee competitive again, too, and don’t envy them the search. Even Saban can’t completely obliterate my memories of our post-Stallings parade of coaching disasters–but at least I can hear the name Shula now without cringing. It’s funny to see you praise Muschamp, though. I thought he was a great hire for you guys, but my Gator friends (who’d idolized Urban) were ready to grab their torches and pitchforks after his first season 😉

  16. ronin262 says: Dec 6, 2012 12:13 AM

    Hi, Deb. I was frustrated last year but I was well aware of the mess Meyer left behind. This year has vastly exceeded my expectations for UF football, I still think it will be 2014 before they are truly ready to challenge for titles. Muschamp is laying the groundwork, though. Saban is such a superb coach, worth every penny Alabama pays him. Poor Vols fans, I cant even think of who they might turn to as their coach now, without feeling the eventual coach was someone they settled on. Love your SEC comments, by the way.

  17. okieviacal says: Dec 6, 2012 12:29 AM

    I can’t figure out why, but I think Wade Phillips would be a great head coach in college. Plus he’d look awesome in a giant Vols polo. Good luck Vols, just stay away from Gundy.

  18. Deb says: Dec 6, 2012 12:55 AM

    @ronin262 …

    Saban is a gift, no doubt about that. Yes, Meyer did leave a bit of a mess behind–think some of my friends have realized that now. They were pretty disillusioned when he took the Ohio State job. But I think Muschamp is building a strong program there.

    @okieviacal …

    Love the mental image of Wade in Vols peach LOL He’s a brilliant defensive guy, however he’s always struggled in the top job. But the totality of his experience has been in the NFL for more than 35 years. Can’t imagine that at 65 he’d want to start mastering the delicate work of wooing parents and mollycoddling kids.

  19. jimbo75025 says: Dec 6, 2012 1:21 AM

    okieviacal says:
    Dec 6, 2012 12:29 AM
    I can’t figure out why, but I think Wade Phillips would be a great head coach in college. Plus he’d look awesome in a giant Vols polo.

    No thanks, we already got rid of one Big Orange pumpkin in Fulmer….

    In addition, I lived in Dallas during the Phillips years. There are some people who were meant to be head coaches and some who are meant to be coordinators. Wade seems like a decent man, but he is a coordinator-and a good one at that.

  20. kozbee says: Dec 6, 2012 1:30 AM

    Dooley was a good coach,imo when Kiffin ran off to the rainbow Dooley had all Kiffins crap throwed into his lap.Im not one to say how long it would of taken to get the Vols back to a very good team but i do believe Dolley was on the right track.I hope him the best and next time he grabs a HC job Kiffin wasnt there before him.

  21. gopokes0714 says: Dec 6, 2012 2:16 AM

    wow, really late reporting here.

    9am this morning: CBS reports Tennessee offered job to Mike Gundy.

    Around 10:30 – 11:00: OSU’s sideline reporter Robert Allen (also co wrote a book with Gundy) says on local radio Gundy is staying.

    About 12:30, sources close to the Tennessee job reported Gundy is no longer a candidate.

  22. bluestar4ever says: Dec 6, 2012 5:06 AM

    If they strike out on their first few choices, do they get desperate enough to make a call to Bobby Petrino?

  23. rascalmanny says: Dec 6, 2012 7:52 AM

    Seems like nobody wants to go to the Vols.

    The only thing for sure is that the Vols need to knock it out of the park with the next coach or they will sink even lower for the next 10 years.

  24. normtide says: Dec 6, 2012 8:01 AM

    Gundy isn’t going anywhere. All this highlights the fact that hiring a good coach isn’t as easy as it once was. Every program has money. I still say Fedora, he its upset with NC, and is a decent coach. After him, I have no clue who UT will go after, maybe an up and comer.

  25. prov1x says: Dec 6, 2012 8:28 AM

    how about the DC at notre dame?

  26. mcmuskie79 says: Dec 6, 2012 8:36 AM

    How far has the Vols gig fallen, that Louisville is a better option?

  27. crazycane says: Dec 6, 2012 10:33 AM

    Golden turned them down a 2nd time. When he was supposedly “interviewing for this job” according to the Vols beat writers, Golden was Shake Shack in Coral Gables eating.

  28. crazycane says: Dec 6, 2012 10:34 AM

    Fedora turned it down too.

    LMFAO @ Tennessee

  29. jason1214 says: Dec 6, 2012 10:41 AM

    Tennessee isnt the job it used to be folks.

  30. be4bama says: Dec 6, 2012 11:12 AM

    Why isn’t UT talking to Tressel? That should be a good fit.

    Sent from my iPhone

  31. floridacock says: Dec 6, 2012 12:28 PM

    Good move. SEC eats up coaches who are not ready. He will get another chance.

  32. teedraper says: Dec 6, 2012 3:23 PM

    Smart man Strong is! Them crackers will run his black a$$ out of the SEC so fast. We saw what happened to Philips & Croom!

  33. Deb says: Dec 6, 2012 6:42 PM

    Yeah, teedraper. Kentucky ran Joker Phillips out so fast. Dude was only on the coaching staff there for a decade :roll:

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