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Charlie Strong checked into Nick Saban’s midway home for coaches. It labored.


CORAL GABLES — It was 2020, and time for an intervention. Time for Charlie Strong to test into Nick Saban’s Alabama midway home for wandering coaches.

Strong was not your typical candidate, checking in after a stable 74-53 document as a head coach. A decade that included main Louisville to 23 wins and two high 15 finishes in his remaining two years, three sub-.500 seasons at Texas and three years at South Florida during which he was 21-16.

A rising star within the teaching ranks instantly a defensive analyst and on the sofa in Tuscaloosa the place he was sharing an workplace with one other coach seeking to rehabilitate his profession, Mike Stoops.

“Your role was to learn, reaffirm, listen, offer advise,” he mentioned.

Spending a 12 months observing the best ever to stroll a university soccer sideline reaffirmed Strong’s perception {that a} man whose teaching profession is coming into his fourth decade nonetheless has a clue as to what it takes to develop and train younger males the sport of soccer.

Charlie Strong was not prepared to attract up his remaining recreation plan.

And Mario Cristobal stepped in to double-down on that epiphany.

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“After being a head coach you go to a place like that and you see the success coach Saban has had, it kind of opened my eyes because I did some of the same things,” Strong mentioned. “I just didn’t get the results he got.”

Strong, 61, then remembered one thing a buddy as soon as informed him:

Don’t you ever assume you weren’t a superb head coach. Things did not work out for you prefer it has for different folks. But should you take a look at what you will have completed it is nothing (to be ashamed of).

Strong’s 40 years embody three head teaching stops plus one recreation because the interim head coach at Florida, a loss within the 2004 Peach Bowl after Ron Zook was fired. Strong had 4 completely different stints at Florida totaling 15 years.

The Arkansas native’s power is protection, which is the place Cristobal believes he can assist as UM’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

South Florida's head coach Charlie Strong calls out a play from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Chicago.

South Florida’s head coach Charlie Strong calls out a play from the sidelines through the first half of an NCAA school soccer recreation in opposition to Illinois Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Chicago.

Strong has coached each place on protection besides the secondary, and was the DC at Florida for 5 years. He was the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach final season.

“He’s invaluable,” Cristobal mentioned final week. “His ability to communicate, to relate, establish relationships. He’s just a great teacher and connector. … And he holds guys to high standards. He’s done it as a head coach, as a coordinator.”

Now he is a part of a high-profile workers Cristobal has assembled (“It’s a little surreal to have guys like that on our staff,” Cristobal says) with Miami going all in, particularly financially, to place an finish to just about 20 years of mediocrity. Strong is snug in his function and never this job as a approach to wriggle his method again to the highest.

“When you know this is what I have accepted and this is what I am going to do then it’s a job,” he mentioned. “And you just go do your job. I don’t have an ego and it’s not like I walk and in and say, ‘I got to be in charge.’

“I do know my function and I’ve accepted that function. So now you will have an opportunity to assist another person … I’m somebody he can lean on if he involves me and I can assist him.”

Strong was hired after longtime respected defensive coach Kevin Steele joined the staff, giving Miami two high-powered coordinators. Manny Diaz held the position last year, along with being head coach, and the results were disappointing. Although the yards allowed (389.6) improved by about 19 per game, Miami fell from 67th nationally in 2020 to 75th last year.

Now, players are talking about more demanding practices that are more physical and players being held to a higher standard when it comes to accountability. Some of that will be tested Saturday when Miami concludes spring practice with its Spring Game at noon Saturday in Fort Lauderdale.

“Anything he says our ears are open,” linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. said about Strong. “We’re all dialed in. He stays in our ear about going to class, simply being the identical man on and off the sector. Just observe the way you carry your self on a regular basis.”

This article initially appeared on Palm Beach Post: Miami’s Charlie Strong discovered perspective teaching underneath Nick Saban



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