Texas booster Red McCombs upset over Charlie Strong hire
Texas booster and former professional sports team owner Red McCombs is not happy about the Longhorns’ hire of Charlie Strong as head coach of the football program.
McCombs, who has owned the Spurs, Nuggets and Vikings and donated more than $100 million to the University of Texas, said on the radio Monday that Strong is the wrong hire and that the former Louisville coach is best qualified to be a coordinator or position coach for UT.
“I was a little bit stunned when Charlie was given that job. Then I was more stunned when I found out much they were going to pay him. And then I saw how much they were paying themselves — them being the two Ps — Patterson and Powers,” McCombs said during an interview with ESPN 1250 San Antonio.
“I think the whole thing is a bit sideways. I don’t have any doubt that Charlie is a fine coach. I think he would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator. But I don’t believe [he belongs at] what should be one of the three most powerful university programs in the world right at UT-Austin. I don’t think it adds up.”
McCombs wanted Jon Gruden to be the program’s next head coach. He was pushing Gruden and believes that Texas acted quickly partly because he was pushing Gruden so much. McCombs said he thought Gruden could win five national titles at UT, and he felt that they could have been patient and ended up with an excellent coach no matter what. But McCombs believes the school screwed up and that they went about the process wrong.
“I think it is a kick in the face,” McCombs said of the process. “Beyond the fact of what actually happened. We have boosters that have a lot of knowledge about the game. When we decided to go get Mack — from the time we decided to go get Mack to about 30 hours later to have a press conference here and it was done — we had a lot of input before we went after him.”
McCombs spoke with Strong over the phone and said he wished him well and told Strong will do what he can to help make the program work, but he still thinks they made the wrong hire.
We’ll know in a few years whether this was the right or wrong hire, but this shows us what we already knew — Strong has a lot of people he has to prove wrong.