AUSTIN (AP) – Monday promises to be pretty awkward at the University of Texas.
When football coach Charlie Strong faces the cameras for his weekly news conference, he’s sure to face multiple questions about his future.
Texas athletic director Mike Perrin dismissed multiple reports as “rumors” on Sunday that Texas had decided to fire Strong with the Longhorns sitting at 5-6 after losing to Kansas. Strong is just 16-20 overall in his third season.
Perrin didn’t say that Strong will return in 2017, just that he’ll be evaluated after Texas plays at home against TCU on Friday. Texas President Greg Fenves, who has been a strong supporter of the coach, stayed silent on Sunday.
“There are a number of rumors out there about the status of Coach Strong. I’ve said it all along, we will evaluate the body of work after the regular season. We have a game to get ready for against TCU on Friday, and I hope our fans will come out and support our team. We’ll discuss where things stand after that,” Perrin said.
Perrin sometimes attends portions of Strong’s weekly news conference, which is broadcast by the school’s TV partner the Longhorn Network, and the statement didn’t indicate if he plans to on Monday.
With top administrative support, Strong appeared relatively safe until Saturday’s 24-21 overtime loss at lowly Kansas. Texas (5-6, 3-5 Big 12) held an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Perrin refused to address reporters after the loss, and Strong, with his wife weeping outside the team locker room, said he didn’t know what the loss would mean for his future.
“No, I don’t. No idea,” Strong said.
But Strong was back at work Sunday. A team spokesman said Strong and his staff kept to their routine of meeting Sunday morning to review game film and start preparations for the next game.
Strong is in the third year of a five-year contract, but not even a $10 million buyout could be enough to save him. He has failed to take the program to the same heights he took Louisville. He is in danger of finishing with his third straight losing season.
His only bowl appearance came in 2014, when the Longhorns lost to Arkansas in the Texas Bowl.
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)