Charlie Strong is out, Tom Herman is in -- as football coach of the Texas Longhorns.
When Strong first came to Texas, a t-shirt became popular that wasn’t officially sanctioned by the university -- “Texas Strong.” Most of us didn’t know immediately all that Texas Strong meant, but part of what it soon came to mean was football players being dismissed from the squad.
Strong had five core values -- honesty, treat women with respect, no guns, no drugs, and no stealing. It turned out a number of players didn’t hold those same values and didn’t want to adopt them. They chose their path and had no place at UT no matter how great their talent.
Those five values are a big part of why I respect Charlie Strong and grieve his departure. As much as I like it when Texas wins, I wanted to stay with Strong no matter how much they won. There is nothing our young men need more than the kind of values their coach insisted upon. Those values will take them much further in life than winning a championship.
And there was more to Charlie than those five values. He attended one of our Texas Baptist churches when he could. His values had Christian faith roots.
UT, however, didn’t hire a men’s mentor when it installed Strong; they hired a head football coach, and that means he had to win on the field.
Strong will be fine because he’s a man rooted in faith and values. UT will be fine, and they’ll eventually win big again. But I am so glad that some of this state’s greatest young athletes were exposed for three years to a man who really knew how to be a man, not just a football player.