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Report: Charlie Strong Turns Down Tennessee, Staying At Louisville

Charlie Strong has said no to Tennessee and the SEC, and is prepared to sign a long-term contract with Louisville.

Streeter Lecka

Charlie Strong has made his choice, and it's Louisville.

According to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, Strong received a contract offer from Tennessee on Wednesday but turned it down after a few hours of thought.

Thamel adds that Louisville and Strong are now finalizing a long-term contract that will put him in "the top echelon of coaches in the ACC."

The Louisville extension ends Tennessee's brief courtship of Strong, who had one brief meeting on Sunday with Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek in Louisville. That was Strong's only direct contact.

"It was Charlie's desire to end this constant speculation and re-commit long-term to Louisville," said a source.

It's been a wild sequence of events, but the dust has settled and Louisville is headed to the Sugar Bowl with its head coach likely signed to a long-term deal. They also have a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback who will be here for at least one more season, and they're headed to a more competitive conference with a guaranteed spot in the new BCS.

Not bad.

If you missed any of the reports (factual or non-factual) over the past 72 hours, here's a video summary of what took place.

Excited to hear from the players and the man himself in the morning.