AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Wearing a burnt orange shirt for the television cameras, Charlie Strong strolled to the podium Monday for his first game-week news conference as the coach of the Texas Longhorns.
Over the course of the next 30 minutes, the man charged with revving up an idling program displayed no sign of the nerves that might come with $5 million-a-year expectations and a spotlight that will shine bright if he beats North Texas on Saturday night, and burn white hot if he loses.
"I've been doing this a long time," Strong said. "I don't feel pressure at all."
Strong has been preparing for games as a coach for a long time, but his 30 years on the sidelines include only three seasons as a head coach. His only previous job leading a program was a successful three-year run at Louisville where national expectations are not the same as they are at Texas.
And Saturday seemed a long way off back in January day when Strong was introduced to a room so heavily packed with media that his daughter gasped and said, "Oh my God, look at all those cameras."
Since then, Strong has toured the state to meet fans and run his team through spring drills and preseason training camp. He's suspended players, kicked others off the team and molded the rest into the squad that will hit the field in search of the program's first 10-win season and Big 12 title since 2009.
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