College Sports

March 17, 2014

Strong changing culture at Texas ahead of spring practice

Charlie Strong is already putting his stamp on the program as drills begin Tuesday under a new staff.

A football practice that didn’t involve players running sprints would raise eyebrows. But what about a football practice involving the head coach running those sprints with them?

“Unbelievable,” Texas defensive line coach Chris Rumph said. “The team was running sprints. I heard the guys chirping, and I’m down on one end, and they’re asking, ‘Who’s that out there running?’ I look up and it’s [head] coach [Charlie] Strong out there with them.”

Just another example of how Strong — whose daily routine includes 5-mile runs at 4:30 a.m. — is changing the culture at Texas. He’ll look to continue putting his stamp on a program that hasn’t won 10 games in any of the last four years when spring practice begins Tuesday.

“It’s going to happen. It’s coming. It’s changing,” said Rumph. “Those guys wanted to see if we were going to bend or break, and there ain’t no bending, ain’t no breaking. There ain’t no chasing us off. You know kids. They’re going to be resistant. Change is hard at first.”

Strong signed four out-of-state prospects in his first month on the job — as many as his predecessor, Mack Brown, did in the past two years. And he kept only one member of Brown’s staff, tight ends coach Bruce Chambers. On Sunday, junior fullback Chet Moss and junior defensive back Leroy Scott were kicked off the team for rules violations.

“He constantly reminds the players we are going to put the ‘T’ back in Texas,” Chambers said. “I think it’s putting Texas back where it belongs; at the top. That ‘T’ obviously stands for a lot of other things, but one of them is that when you always think about Texas throughout the years, is that when you play Texas, it’s a tough football team.”

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