Louisville to hire Strong

Updated: December 9, 2009, 10:47 AM ET
By Pat Forde | ESPN.com

Louisville is hiring Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong as its next coach.

The school has called a meeting of the personnel committee of the Louisville Athletic Association board of directors for Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET, where the board will be asked to approve the hiring of Strong. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has scheduled a 4 p.m. ET news conference.

Strong interviewed with Jurich on Sunday in Gainesville. Louisville will be replacing Steve Kragthorpe, who was fired after three disappointing seasons.

Strong has become a hot commodity in recent years while molding the Gators into one of the nation's top defenses under head coach Urban Meyer. Florida ranked in the top 20 nationally in 10 statistical categories last season while winning its second national title in three years.

The Gators have been just as good this fall, finishing third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring defense and fourth in total defense this season as Florida won its first 12 games before falling to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game last Saturday.

Strong will have plenty of work to do at Louisville, where the defense's precipitous fall has fueled the Cardinals' descent into the Big East cellar.

Louisville ranked 67th nationally in both total defense and scoring defense this year, significant improvements from 2007 and 2008 but still good enough for only seventh in the eight-team Big East.

Strong's deep recruiting ties to the South would be welcomed at Louisville. Kragthorpe and his staff largely abandoned recruiting in the area in favor of looking for players from the West and Southwest.

Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE