Charlie Strong shows the importance of the AD-HC relationship

At his Thursday morning press conference, Charlie Strong formally announced that he would be staying at Louisiville. But what he also did, whether he realized it or not, was show the importance of the relationship between a head coach and an athletic director in a successful football program. 

After nine moves in 26 years as an assistant (including four different stays at Florida), it was Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich that gave Charlie Strong 

"(Louisville AD) Tom Jurich gave me my first chance to be a head coach," Strong explained. "I had been on short lists, but Tom made it clear I was the only one on his list."

Strong led Louisville to a 7-6 record in his first two seasons at Louisville. After boosting the Cardinals to a 10-2 record and Orange Bowl berth this fall, other suitors came calling. Tennessee, in particular, put a strong effort to lure Strong away. 

"When I thought about leaving, I kept going back to 'we haven't finished the job yet.'," Strong explained. "So much has happened in the program and so much has been built in this athletic program because of Tom Jurich."

In case you aren't familiar with the history of Louisville athletics, Yahoo!'s Pat Forde last week detailed just how far Jurich has taken the Cardinals' program. This was a school that needed an intervention from then-Conference USA commissioner Mike Slive from being kicked out of the league. Now, they're preparing for an all-sports move to the ACC. 

"He's provided us with everything we need to succeed and he's done that for all of our sports," said Strong.

Jurich is scheduled for his own press conference later Thursday morning to detail Strong's extension. As has become the norm in today's college football, compensation for assistant coaches will be a key factor in keeping Strong in red and black.

"Tom and I haven't even sat down to talk about the details of the contract," said Strong. "I do want to make sure my assistants are taken care of."


VIDEO: Breakdown of two plays NFL coordinators are using for young QB's

Much of the success of the rookie quarterbacks in the NFL this season can be attributed to offensive coordinators taking a piece of their college playbooks to use in league. That gives the young quarterbacks a sense of familiarity and allows them to play a little more comfortable, which ultimately leads to wins, especially in crunch time.

Pete Prisco sat down on Pro Football 360 of CBSSports.com and broke down a play from both Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck during pivotal moments of games and why these plays have been so successful.

As coaches, we're always looking for ways to put our guys in a position to be successful and there may be a scheme or philosophy in here for offensive guys to pick up on and implement, or tweak, to use with their young quarterbacks.

Thursday TV - Denver at Oakland

Denver takes on Oakland tonight. Army and Navy will square off Saturday.

Eastern time listed.


Denver at Oakland - 8:20 - NFL Network


No games

High School:

No games

Army breaking out special uniforms for Navy

For the second year in a row, Army will wear special uniforms for its rivalry game with Navy on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, CBS). 

This year's look sticks with Army's traditional black and gold - gold helmets, black jerseys, black pants and gold shoes. The "theme" pays tribute to 1944 - the first of the Black Knights' three consecutive national championships and the U.S. Army's victory at the Battle of the Bulge. The helmet will feature a small, black spade on the side to honor the 101st Airborne Division, which was instrumental in winning the Battle of the Bulge. 

Additionally, the uniforms will feature a historical, re-interpreted West Point map of the battle designed into the jersey numbers, helmet stripes, gloves and inside the cleats.

We've posted a few photos below but you can see the whole set at the Army - Navy Game Facebook page

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From scratch to national title in just four years

Five years ago Iowa Western made a decision to start their football program from scratch and tabbed Scott Strohmeier as the man to build everything from the ground up. 

With just four years of competition under their belt, Strohmeier recently led the Reivers to a national title. From scratch to national title in just four short years.

Following a 5-4 finish their first season, Strohmeier led his team to back to back 9-2 seasons an put together a 12-0 season while beating Butler Community College (KS), who had previously collected 6 national titles in their school's history by a final score of 27-7. A true David vs. Goliath match up.

The Reivers were as impressive as any offensive unit in the country and set numerous NJCAA records in the process (did we mention that they're in just their fourth year in the history of the program already?). Their points per game average (63 points per game) and total offensive yardage (598 yards per game) were the best in the history of Junior College football. Individually, receiver Deon Long ended the year with 100 receptions, and a quarter of them went for touchdowns (25), and quarterback Jake Waters beat Cam Newton's completion percentage with a 73% clip on the year.

Most of their final scores on the season resembled unsportsmanlike basketball scores, more so than the vast majority of football games that most have ever seen. They went over the 80 point mark twice (allowing a total of 36 points in those two games), and failed to reach the 50 point mark just once prior to the national title game. Simply put, their offense was ridiculously efficient. Their defense was no slouch either, allowing 20 or more points just four times in their twelve games.

Coaches that have been called on to build a program from the ground up should take a page or two from Strohmeier and his staff. Starting at ground level , they've been able to build one of the most one premier programs in the country, and have found a way to reach the pinnacle of the coaching profession in a very short period of time, and they're also doing it the right way.

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