AUSTIN, Texas – Charlie Strong talked about being tough and winning championships — exactly what Texas fans wanted to hear from their new coach.
He seems likely to deliver the first. The second part will determine whether he can revive a dormant program and push it back among the national elite.
“It’s time to put the program back on the national stage,” former Louisville coach Strong, 53, said Monday at his introductory news conference. “The mentality is always going to be mental and physical toughness … We will be a hardnosed football team.”
Four seasons of at least four losses and no Big 12 Conference titles ended with Mack Brown exiting after 16 years, and Texas turning to the coach who led Louisville to a 23-3 record and two bowl victories the last two seasons.
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“Let’s go win football games,” said Strong, who has a five-year contract with a reported annual salary of about $5 million. “Let’s go win championships.”
Strong is the first black head coach of a men’s sport at Texas.
“People look at it as me being a minority. I’m a football coach,” Strong said.
“This is a historical day. There’s always going to be a first somewhere.”
Pac-12 QBs are staying
Quarterbacks Brett Hundley of UCLA and Sean Mannion of Oregon State announced they will stay in school rather than making themselves eligible for this year’s NFL draft.
“All the stars are really aligned to put together something really special at UCLA,” said Hundley, who helped the Bruins go 10-3 in 2013 as a sophomore. “And not just something that you’ll forget about, but something where you’ll be remembered for something along the line.”
Mannion set a Pac-12 record with 4,662 passing yards and threw a school-record 37 touchdown passes as a junior.
Before making his decision, Mannion consulted the NFL Draft Advisory Board and was projected as a third-round selection.
Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, second on the team with 84 tackles this season, said he will be back for his senior season.
Meanwhile, players who announced they intend to enter the NFL draft include Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson; Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk; Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt; Florida linebacker Ronald Powell; and Alabama-Birmingham running back Darrin Reaves.
Mangino gets a job
AMES, Iowa – Mark Mangino has been hired as Iowa State’s offensive coordinator.
Mangino joins Paul Rhoads’ staff and replaces Courtney Messingham, who was fired after the Cyclones finished 3-9.
Mangino was a head coach at Kansas for eight seasons, going 50-48 before resigning in 2009. He had four years left on his contract and reached a $3 million settlement with the Jayhawks.
• Viewership for the Bowl Championship Series games played from Wednesday through Friday was up 15 percent from last year.
The Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls averaged about 14.3 million viewers on ESPN, up from about 12.5 million viewers last season.
Oklahoma’s 45-31 upset victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday averaged 16.3 million viewers, the most for that bowl since 2001 in years it didn’t serve as the national-title game.