Charlie Strong aims to put Longhorns ‘back on the national stage’

Charlie Strong answers questions during an NCAA college football news conference where he was introduced as the new Texas football coach, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Strong acknowledged the historical significance of being the school's first African-American head coach of a men's sport. He takes over for Mack Brown, who stepped down last month after 16 seasons. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Charlie Strong answers questions during an NCAA college football news conference where he was introduced as the new Texas football coach, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Strong acknowledged the historical significance of being the school’s first African-American head coach of a men’s sport. He takes over for Mack Brown, who stepped down last month after 16 seasons. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Strong also acknowledged this historical significance behind him taking the job: He is the first African-American head coach of a men’s sport at Texas.

“People look at it lot as me being a minority. I’m a football coach,” Strong said. “This is a historical day. There’s always going to be a first somewhere.”

Strong did not want to reveal which assistants he planned to bring from Louisville or who else he would hire from for his staff.

Strong said he doesn’t feel any special pressure taking over a program that boasts the nation’s wealthiest athletic department, its own television network and annual expectations of winning conference and national championships.

While Strong spoke, the football stadium’s giant scoreboard displayed a huge picture of Strong cheering with a clenched fist raised in the air, a shot from his Louisville days with his Cardinals red shirt now tinted burnt orange.

“When you’re not prepared, yeah, there’s pressure,” Strong said. “If you surround yourself with the right people, it’s not pressure.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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