Strong tells Louisville he's leaving to coach Texas
New Texas football coach Charlie Strong says he's excited to lead one of the premier programs in the country, calling the Longhorns job a dream.
In a statement released by the school formally announcing the hire Sunday, Strong called Texas a special program because of its history, tradition and pride.
Strong spent the previous four years at Louisville. His Cardinals teams went 23-3 the last two seasons. He replaces Mack Brown, who coached Texas for 16 years and won the 2005 national championship. The Longhorns have lost at least four games each of the last four seasons.
Strong says the decision to leave Louisville was difficult, but Texas was a job offer he couldn't pass up.
Strong was traveling to Austin on Sunday and will be introduced at a Monday news conference.
SI.com reported Strong will receive a five-year contract that will pay him $5 million annually.
Strong leaves as one of Louisville's most successful coaches, one who took the program from three consecutive non-winning seasons to four straight bowl games including Louisville's second BCS victory last January with a 33-23 upset of Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The Cardinals added another bowl win last week, beating Miami 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
He would be Texas' first black head football coach and inherits a program aching to reclaim its place among the nation's elite.
Brown's Longhorns won the 2005 season national championship and returned to the title game after the 2009 season. But the Longhorns fell to 5-7 in 2010 and have lost at least four games each of the last three seasons.
The Longhorns ended the 2013 season with a 30-7 loss to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
That dropoff, including an 18-17 mark in the Big 12 over the last four seasons, frustrated Texas fans, who demand much more from the wealthiest athletic program in the country that sits in the middle of the most fertile high school recruiting grounds in the country.
Strong's hiring provides the Longhorns a strong recruiter that has built his program with talent from south Florida, including star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Texas also has its Longhorn Network partnership with the ESPN, a 24-hour channel dedicated to Texas athletics, a deal that pays the school at least $300 million over 20 years.
Brown had cited the fractured fan base in his resignation news conference and said it was time for someone else to unite Texas supporters. Brown lasted 16 years in the pressure cooker of Texas, but his final four years included university regents and powerbrokers exploring when and how to replace him, including a meeting with Alabama coach Nick Saban's agent in early 2013.