Charlie Strong had many challenges facing him when he took over as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. The biggest of which was relating to high school coaches in the state of Texas after they became accustomed to the ways of Mack Brown over the past 16 years.
Strong’s recent disciplinary action — he suspended or dismissed six players last week, including two potential starters — wasn’t seen as a negative around the state. Strong is establishing a new culture in Texas, and high school coaches are taking notice.
“The high school coaches I’ve spoken with say they want to send players to a place where is sound discipline,” Daron Roberts, a Texas graduate who will coach at the high school level this season, told Bleacher Report’s Ben Kercheval. “Everyone knows that Strong means what he says.”
The high school coaches don’t just want their athletes to play for the University of Texas. They want them to become better men under the supervision of Strong.
“We’re in the development business,” Todd Moebes, the head football coach at Abilene Cooper High School, told Kercheval. “We want to make our players better citizens in society, but you also have to look at how that affects the program. I admire him.”
Strong is quickly setting the tone within his program and changing expectations around the state. And it’s working.
Texas currently ranks 20th overall in Rivals.com’s 2015 class rankings. The program didn’t rank in the Top 20 during Brown’s last full recruiting cycle. The team finished 24th. And the Longhorns received a pair of verbal commitments from wide receiver John Burt (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) and defensive lineman Du’Vonta Lampkin (Houston/Cypress Falls) since the suspensions.
It will take time for Strong and his staff to fully ingratiate themselves into recruiting the state of Texas, but the coach has certainly set the right tone early in his tenure.