Bill Carey
Wednesday January 23rd, 2013

Louisville and Charlie Strong agreed to an eight-year deal that makes him the seventh-highest paid football coach in the country, reports ESPN's Brett McMurphy on Twitter.

Strong was one of the hottest candidates on the market this offseason. Tennessee reportedly offered him its head coaching position in December, but Strong turned it down to stay with Louisville.

The Cardinals upset No. 4 Florida in the Sugar Bowl, setting the stage for what could be a successful 2013 season. Louisville returns 20 starters, and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is being mentioned as a potential Heisman candidate.

In its final year in the Big East, Louisville will also face a weak schedule that makes an undefeated season look possible.'s Andy Staples ranked the Cardinals seventh in his Way-Too-Early 2013 Top 25. The Cardinals will join the ACC after next season, another reason Strong reportedly decided to stay. He is now paid better than any coach in his current or future conference.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.