"Texas Strong" fans, alumni welcome Charlie Strong to Austin

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist CHRIS SHADROCK

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 6, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 6 at 8:41 AM

AUSTIN -- For the first time in 16 years, the University of Texas is welcoming a new head football coach.

Many UT football fans say it's time to pass the torch.

“We’re excited about Charlie Strong,” said Tim Taliaferro, VP of Communications at Texas Exes, the Alumni Association. “This is the hot guy. This is the guy everybody wants to be their next coach."

Taliaferro says Texas Exes he's spoken to across the country are excited about the next chapter.

“I guess it's been four seasons where we've had eight or fewer wins. And that's just not the Texas way,” said Taliaferro.

Win or lose fans say they’ll continue to wear burnt orange and pass down the UT football tradition to the next generation.

“We love Mack Brown and we are going to miss him, and hopefully we'll have more championships with Charlie,” said Amanda Hernandez.

Over at Cain and Abel's Bar and Grill on West Campus, KVUE chatted with Dustin Burbin who grew up tailgating with family at UT.

“The big thing, the difference is the big emphasis on defense. Charlie Strong is really going to bring that. It's going to be a big element that Texas needs,” said Burbin.

He also says having the first African American head football coach at UT will be good for the team and community.

“It’s exciting, particularly in a place like Texas that has such a complicated relationship with race and history with race. So it’s big and we wish him all the very best," Taliaferro agreed.

Taliaferro says Strong has demonstrated he can win.

“He’s coached under the best coaches in the country. So we're excited he's the guy! He is definitely the guy!”

Charlie "The guy" Strong said over the weekend that coming to work for Texas is like a dream.

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