Just four short years ago, Texas was competing for a BCS National Championship behind Heisman Trophy candidate Colt McCoy. Since that game, the Longhorns have compiled a record of 30-17, which is nothing to brag about for a team that was once considered a national powerhouse. Charlie Strong hopes to bring a winning tradition back to Austin.
In order to do so, Strong is trying to change the culture that Mack Brown left behind. According to ESPN.com’s Max Olson, that includes everything from making players walk to practice to not allowing them to throw up the “hook ‘em Horns” hand gesture.
“They’ll get it back one of these days,” Strong said.
Strong was a Longhorn for a matter of hours before he was already throwing up the “hook ‘em Horns” at his introductory press conference. In fact, same of his former Louisville players criticized him and called him fake because of it. The Horns gesture is one of the first things recruits do when they decide to play ball at Texas, but apparently Strong feels it needs to be earned.
Strong also makes players take the half-mile trek from their dorms to the practice facility on foot. They used to be able to catch a bus. He has put an open-door policy into effect and is often spotted chatting football with several players at a time inside his office.
Culture change is one thing, but I’m not sure how I would feel about being told to not use the “hook ‘em Horns” gesture. In my opinion, starting positions are something a player has to earn. Taking pride in your school is not.