Charlie Strong as Vols' next head coach gaining momentum

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In a day that has been headlined by several college coaching hires, Tennessee and Charlie Strong could be the next school and coach to come together.

Local 8 Sports has been told that Tennessee has great interest in the Louisville coach.

Meanwhile, ESPN, and several other media outlets, is reporting that Strong is now the front-runner to fill the Vols' vacant coaching position.

Strong is in his third season at Louisville. He has the Cardinals' 10-2 on the season and headed to the Sugar Bowl to face Florida.

In Strong's two other seasons at Louisville, the Cardinals went 7-6 and 7-6.

The year before Strong was hired, Louisville went 4-8 and was last in the Big East.

The 52-year old coach was asked Monday during a news conference if he would be Louisville's coach in 2013. Strong replied, "I will say that at the right time."

Strong has ties to the SEC. Before taking the Louisville job, he was at Florida from 2002-2009. He was named the Gators' defensive coordinator in 2003.

Prior to his time in Gainesville, Strong was South Carolina's defensive coordinator from 1999-2001.

Tuesday has already seen two other SEC football positions filled. Arkansas has hired Wisconsin's Bret Bielema to fill its opening.

At Auburn, the Tigers will introduce Gus Malzahn as its coach. Malzahn is leaving Arkansas State, where he was the head coach for just one season.

Malzhan has previously coached at Auburn. He was an offensive coordinator under the now fired Gene Chizik.

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