Texas Coach Charlie Strong hopeful despite reports
Texas football Coach Charlie Strong faced his weekly news conference Monday amid reports that he will be fired after Friday’s game against Texas Christian, the result of a 5-6 record so far this season after last week’s loss to lowly Kansas, and a 16-20 mark during his three-season tenure.
“Next year, I want to come back,” Strong told reporters in a room packed with Longhorns players, some fighting back tears. “They said we will be evaluated after that game. I don’t know how they will be thinking, but winning that game would help.”
Athletic Director Mike Perrin on Sunday dismissed multiple reports that Strong would be fired as “rumors,” and said no decision would be made until after the game.
Perrin didn’t show up at Monday’s news conference and neither did school President Greg Fenves, who has publicly supported Strong but has been silent on his future since the Kansas loss.
Strong said he didn’t think a decision on his future was already made and expected school administrators to live up to that promise.
The highest-ranking school official to attend was Greg Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement. Vincent broke through a scrum of players to hug the first black head football coach in program history.
Strong has two years and nearly $11 million left on a five-year guaranteed contract.
He admitted the “wins and losses don’t stack up” but he tried to make a case that he should stay despite his poor record on the field.
Missouri’s Damarea Crockett was suspended for Friday’s season finale against Arkansas after he was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession hours after setting the school’s freshman single-season rushing record.
Crockett ran for a career-high 225 yards Saturday in a 63-37 loss at Tennessee, pushing his season total to 1,062.
Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma were named finalists for both the Maxwell player of the year award and the Davey O’Brien Award that goes to the top quarterback in college football.
Joining Jackson and Mayfield as a Maxwell finalist was Michigan star Jabrill Peppers, who plays multiple defensive positions, some offense and returns punts.
Peppers also is a finalist for the Bednarik Award for top defensive player, along with Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen and Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was the other Davey O’Brien finalist.
Most of the major awards announced three finalists.
Among the finalists for the Thorpe Award, which goes to the top defensive back, was USC’s Adoree’ Jackson.
The others were Tre’Davious White of Louisiana State and Jourdan Lewis of Michigan.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.