Strong Shuns Tennessee to Stay at Louisville - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Strong Shuns Tennessee to Stay at Louisville

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Louisville head coach Charlie Strong Louisville head coach Charlie Strong
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy (AP Photo) Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy (AP Photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong announced this morning that he would be staying put, citing the loyalty that the university showed him, when the football program was at a low point.

"My enthusiasm and heart is with the University of Louisville," Strong said. "How do you walk away from someone who believes in you?"

Strong says Tennessee made him an offer Tuesday, but that Louisville's athletic director moved quickly to renegotiate with Strong.

Strong held a meeting with the team Wednesday to talk about bowl travel plans. The Big East champions will play against Florida in the Sugar Bowl on January 2.

Sources said Wednesday that Strong was Tennessee's top candidate for the coaching vacancy after Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy turned down the job.

A reporter for The Oklahoman newspaper reported that OSU's sideline reporter Robert Allen said on the radio that "Mike Gundy is staying at Oklahoma State… He has made a decision."

Sources confirmed the information to NewsChannel 5 Wednesday morning from an earlier report from CBSSports.com.

Tennessee reportedly made Strong the offer after Gundy turned the job down.

Strong has won back-to-back Big East titles with the Cardinals, and won two BCS championships as a defensive coordinator for Florida.

Tennessee is replacing Derek Dooley who was fired last month after going 4-7 and having gone 1-14 in SEC play the past two seasons. Sources said UT hopes to have its new coach on board by the end of this week.

(CBS Sports Contributed To This Report.)

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