JACKSONVILLE – This just felt right to Charlie Strong.
The timing, the opportunity, the people, the city, the franchise … everything.
And yes, Strong said the major reason he now is the Jaguars' assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach very definitely is Head Coach Urban Meyer.
"Sometimes, you just know coaches," Strong said. "You've been in this profession a long time and some guys just have a way of how they win, how they build programs. I just wanted to be a part of it."
Strong, one of the nation's most-respected college football coaches and a former head coach at Louisville, Texas and South Florida, joined senior writer John Oehser on this week's O-Zone Podcast. Strong discussed multiple topics, including his early relationship with Meyer when the two were on Head Coach Lou Holtz's staff at Notre Dame.
Meyer upon arrival stayed with Strong until his house was completed – and the two have grown closer since.
"Our relationship … we've built it over the years, and just having a chance to come back and work with him again was very appealing," Strong said.
Meyer retained Strong from former Head Coach Ron Zook's staff when he took over as head coach at the University of Florida in 2005, and Meyer on multiple occasions has said Florida's 2006 and 2008 national titles don't happen without Strong on staff.
Strong laughed this week when asked what it was about the two that made the relationship work.
"I think it's more 'opposites attract,''' he said. "I'm more outgoing than he is. But you kind of go down the same path because we have the same training, from where we started. At the end of the day, we all want to win. We all want to build programs. We all want to impact young people.
"You look at a program and you want to leave your impact on that program."
Strong was asked if there was a trait that defined Meyer as a coach. His response:
"He builds confidence within his coaches first. Then, he wants the coaches to take the confidence that he has built within them and pass it to the players. He's not 'selling' you. It's just that he talks about, 'There's a standard here; guys, there's a standard and this is where it's going to end.' Then he talks about culture. It's relentless effort. It's four-to-six seconds. It's plus two and it's having a competitive excellence about you where you own it. He builds it within his coaches, then his coaches take it to the players. It's one voice, one message. It's very simple. It's something he has built over the years and he has been successful doing it. When you have had success, it's not hard to sell coaches on what you're trying to do."
For more from Strong, please listen to the O-Zone Podcast here.