Strong’s time may be coming

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With some head coaching jobs coming open around the country, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong’s name is popping up again as a possible candidate. There are rumors coming out of Louisville that Strong is the leading candidate to become the Cardinals’ new head coach after the SEC Championship Game. There is also speculation that Virginia might come calling.

Some UF defensive players said Monday they will not be surprised if Strong is gone after the season.

“He’s a great coach, a great person,” junior safety Major Wright said. “He’s more than just a coach. He helps on and off the field. I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m sure somebody is looking at him. He has to do the best thing for him family.”

Strong has been passed over for several jobs in recent years. But the job he’s done with UF’s defense is going to be hard to overlook now. The Gators pretty much shut down what many considered the be the best offense in college football history in last season’s national championship game victory over Oklahoma. Now, UF’s defense is one of the best in the nation.

“Coach Strong, the scheme he puts together, he puts everybody in perfect position,” junior cornerback Joe Haden said. “The schemes and the stuff he knows, he’s a real smart dude. Just talking to him, not even as a coach but as a person, he’s a real great dude. He would do a very good job. I think he’d be a great head coach.”

Haden said he would not be surprised if Strong lands a head coaching job after Saturday’s game.