AUSTIN, Texas — Charlie Strong has spent weeks dismissing rumors he might leave Texas to chase the open job at Miami.
He tried to shut that down once and for all Monday, saying he's promised his players he's staying, adding: "I don't run from anything."
Despite a 10-13 record at Texas, Strong's name first surfaced weeks ago as a potential candidate for Miami after the school fired Al Golden. Previous denials didn't seem to stop the speculation.
Texas interim athletic director Mike Perrin said last week Strong isn't leaving, and the coach used his weekly news conference to again dismiss rumors and give assurances he isn't chasing another job.
"I told our players I'm not going anywhere," Strong said. "I made a commitment here. We're going to see this program through. We're going to get it back on track."
Texas (4-6, 3-4 Big 12) hosts Texas Tech (6-5, 3-5) on Thanksgiving. The Longhorns need to win their final two games to avoid a second-consecutive losing season. Texas hasn't had consecutive losing seasons since 1988-89.
Strong still has three seasons left on a five-year contract that pays him more than $5 million per year. But his tenure has dogged by a losing record, shuffles on his coaching staff, administrative turmoil and some blowout losses that earlier this season raised questions about whether he could be fired.
By late October, Strong was facing questions about the Miami job. He tried to laugh them off at first but they kept coming.
His answers didn't change but by last week, they were consistent enough he had to talk to his players to assure them he would not leave.
"I don't run from anything," said Strong, the first black head football coach at Texas. "When you work so hard to place yourself in this position ... you grind it out."
"We always talk to our players, you hang in there, it may not be the way you want, but so what? There's no self-pity," Strong said.