Texas president tweets support for coach Charlie Strong

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The University of Texas president offered support Wednesday for beleaguered football coach Charlie Strong ahead of the Longhorns' rivalry game against Oklahoma.

''Had a great call w/ Coach Strong. We're behind our student-athletes and coaches as they prepare for OU and rest of the season,'' President Greg Fenves tweeted .

Strong is 13-16 in three seasons and under mounting pressure to turn things around. Strong demoted defensive coordinator Vance Bedford this week after the Longhorns gave up 50 and 49 points in consecutive losses.

After last week's loss at Oklahoma State, athletic director Mike Perrin told a reporter he needed to evaluate what happened. A school spokesman said the comments were about the coaching staff needing to evaluate the game.

Fenves' statement is notable in that it only addresses this season. Strong has two more years left on a guaranteed contract that pays him more than $5 million per season. A Fenves spokesman said the president would have no further comment.

Fenves didn't hire Strong but is personally invested in his success. Fenves surprised many when he flew with Strong and Perrin to Tulsa, Oklahoma, last December to woo offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert to the Longhorns after consecutive losing seasons.

Texas started the 2016 with a rousing overtime win over then-No. 10 Notre Dame. But after a 2-0 start, the Longhorns rank among the worst defensive teams in the country and a loss Saturday would drop them to 0-2 in the Big 12.

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