South Florida fires Charlie Strong after 3 seasons

South Florida head coach Charlie Strong talks to linebacker Dwayne Boyles Jr., during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Memphis Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Charlie Strong’s time at South Florida has come to an end. 

USF announced Sunday that it has fired Strong after an up-and-down three-year tenure at the school. USF was seen as a natural landing spot for Strong after he was fired by Texas, but the Bulls declined rapidly over the past two seasons. 

USF went 10-2 in 2017, Strong’s first season, but then endured a miserable streak of nine consecutive losses to FBS teams to end the 2018 campaign and carried over into 2019. 

The 2018 season had a promising 7-0 start but culminated with a six-game losing streak. The Bulls then started 1-3 in 2019 with their only win coming over South Carolina State, an FCS program. USF managed to get wins over UConn, BYU and East Carolina before finishing the season on a four-game losing streak, capped off by a 34-7 defeat at the hands of rival UCF, to finish the year 4-8. The losing season snapped a streak of four straight bowl seasons.

Overall, Strong had a 21-16 record at USF, but just an 11-13 mark in AAC play. 

"I would like to thank Coach Strong and his staff for their hard work and contributions to our program," USF athletic director Michael Kelly said. "I have tremendous respect for Coach Strong and his dedication to recruiting and developing young men of talent and character and leading them with integrity. He has represented USF with dignity and class and we wish Coach and his family the very best.”

Strong has lasted only three seasons at his past two coaching jobs. At Texas, Strong was let go following three straight losing seasons, a 6-7 mark in 2014 followed by back-to-back 5-7 records. Before landing the Texas job, Strong had a successful four-year run at Louisville, going 37-15 with two Big East titles and a 2012 Sugar Bowl victory over Florida.

Before becoming a head coach, Strong made his name as a defensive assistant. Most notably, he was the defensive coordinator at Florida when the Gators won two national championships under Urban Meyer.

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