It was supposed to be a good day in Louisville. The Louisville Cardinals finally got their call-up to the ACC. After years of waiting, the team had finally received an invitation to one of the nation's top five collegiate conferences. Now, that good day might turn extremely bad.
Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong has reportedly interviewed for the open coaching job at Auburn, according to AL.com. Strong has a 23-15 overall record in three seasons at Louisville. The Cardinals are 9-2 this season and briefly flirted with BCS National Championship contention after starting the season with nine consecutive wins. It was the best start in program history, eclipsing undefeated eight-game seasons in 1947 and 1925.
Strong has vehemently denied that he interviewed with Auburn:
Just spoke to Charlie Strong. He's angry. He says he did not interview at Auburn and has not spoken to them. "It's not true."— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) November 29, 2012
Charlie Strong, just now: "I didn't interview with Auburn, I have a job."— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) November 29, 2012
The 52-year-old Strong replaced Steve Kragthorpe as Louisville's head coach in 2010. Prior to joining the Cardinals, he had been defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Florida. Strong has also held assistant positions at SEC programs like South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. The Louisville job is Strong's first head coaching position, even though he had been a top candidate for a number of jobs before his appointment with the Cardinals.
Auburn has also reportedly reached out to former Arkansas and Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino, current Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, and current Arkansas State coach and former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. The Auburn search committee consists of athletics director Jay Jacobs and former players Bo Jackson, Mac Crawford, and Pat Sullivan.