Texas officials have decided to fire third-year coach Charlie Strong, according to the Austin-American Statesman.
The Longhorns (5-6) need a win over TCU in the season finale Friday to become bowl eligible, but it is unclear whether Strong will be on the sideline. An announcement could come as early as Monday morning, per the report. However, the school released a statement from athletic director Mike Perrin that suggested Strong's fate isn't quite so imminent.
"There are a number of rumors out there about the status of Coach Strong. I've said it all along, we will evaluate the body of work after the regular season," Perrin's statement read in part.
Strong's firing would open up one of the highest-paying and highest-pressure coaching jobs in college football. With a salary north of $5 million per season, making him one of college football's 10 highest-paid coaches, expectations for Strong at a tradition-rich program like Texas were far beyond mere bowl eligibility.
The Longhorns endured an embarrassing overtime loss to Kansas Saturday, 24-21, to give UT its sixth loss of the season. Quarterback Shane Buechele threw three interceptions, the last of which allowed Kansas to win with an overtime field goal.
Strong compiled a 16-20 record in just under three seasons as coach, but in his third season, much more was expected despite the reliance on a freshman, Buechele, at the game's most important position. Texas' defense has been a major problem for Strong, who took over defensive coordinator duties in midseason. That came just a year after the coach changed offensive coordinators midseason. Texas last lost to Kansas in 1938.
Strong was 23-3 over the last two of his four seasons at Louisville, a run which made him one of the most sought-after coaches in the game after the 2013 season.