Texas hires a new OC…no wait… that is wrong. No…wait. Maybe Texas has hired a new OC. Social media has been firing on all cylinders on the 40 acres this week. After being turned down by Sonny Cumbie (reportedly a 1.2 million job offer)…Texas set its sights on Tulsa co-OC Sterlin Gilbert. Charlie Strong met with Gilbert on Wednesday and an imminent hiring was leaked. Friday, rumors began to fly that Gilbert had changed his mind on accepting the Texas job. Predictably, the sky began to fall across Texas. Wescott Eberts used the opportunity to write an article on SB Nation stating that “Texas might as well fire Charlie Strong”. Can you say hidden agenda? Yeah…I thought you could.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a segment of the media would like to see Charlie Strong fail at Texas. I have to ask the question…why? It sure seems that some are very afraid that if they don’t get rid of Strong now, that they will have a hard time after this year. The talent at Texas is improving quickly and with a solid offensive plan, they are going to be much improved next year.
Pushing aside the obvious situation with the anti- Strong group, Charlie Strong is not making it easy to pull for him. Although Strong has made many positive changes at Texas, he has also made some glaring mistakes. He did not do his homework regarding the landscape of the Big 12. He did a poor job of choosing his initial staff (especially on offense) and the bad hires have not helped Strong’s image or win/lost totals either. The handling of the OC hire was bungled almost to an extreme point of unacceptability for most fans and alumni. I am not sure what the real story is with the negotiation of Gilbert. I have heard that there was an issue with the money offered, length of contract…and even something about Art Briles trying to sour the deal. It has also been rumored that Charlie Strong’s job stability became an issue, which actually makes sense to me.
The truth will eventually come out, but for now what is important is that Texas figured out a way to salvage the Gilbert hire. In case you doubt the importance…the University President, AD, Strong and assistant Traylor flew to Tulsa for an 11th hour attempt to convince Sterlin Gilbert to accept the OC job. Friday night it is being reported that the extra effort has convinced Gilbert to take the job.
I find it rather humorous that so many have weighed in on the importance of a school’s commitment to a head coach. It is funny to me because a coach is only as good as his last season. If Nick Saban wins 2 games next year…let’s see how committed Bama is to him. That won’t happen, but you get my point. My hunch is that Strong will begin to find success next year, but if he does not…words of commitment will not make a difference either way.