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Strong Introduced As U Of L Football Coach

The University of Louisville has hired Charlie Strong to be its new football coach.Strong comes to U of L from the University of Florida, where he was defensive coordinator. Strong says he’s been looking for the right head coaching opportunity for some time."As a coordinator I just had my defense and I coordinated the defense," he says. "Now you have to coordinate the offense and the kicking game. But the key is just making sure that you get players and players who understand you care about them."He will coach the Florida defense in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st. After that, he says he wants to begin turning around the U of L program.Previous coach Steve Kragthorpe was fired last month after compiling a 15-21 record during three seasonsStrong says he will take his time building a staff."The key thing about staff is just to make sure you get some good recruiters," he says. "You want to make sure you get good teachers. You want to make sure you get guys with good characters. And you got to get some young men who can relate to your players."Strong has been signed to a five-year contract with an annual base salary of 1.6 million dollars.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.