Texas booster apologizes for Strong hire criticism

The Associated PressJanuary 9, 2014
Texas booster apologizes for Strong hire criticism
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Charlie Strong answers questions during an NCAA college football news conference where he was introduced as the new Texas football coach, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Strong acknowledged the historical significance of being the school's first African-American head coach of a men's sport. He takes over for Mack Brown, who stepped down last month after 16 seasons. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- A billionaire donor to the University of Texas is apologizing for his criticism of the hiring of Charlie Strong as the new Longhorns football coach.

Red McCombs has donated millions to Texas, and his name is on one side of the football stadium. He publicly lobbied Jon Gruden to succeed Mack Brown and complained in a radio interview early this week that he hadn't been consulted about Strong's appointment. In the interview, the former owner Minnesota Vikings and the San Antonio Spurs owner called Strong's hiring as ''a kick in the face'' and said the former Louisville coach would be a good position coach or coordinator.

On Thursday, McCombs told the San Antonio Express-News (http://bit.ly/1hAuRxV ) he had phoned Strong to apologize and promised Strong his ''total support.''