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DALLAS - Texas Head Football Coach Charlie Strong made his first appearance at the Big 12 media days and made no promise of an immediate national championship.

'We still have some work to do,' Strong said. 'I can't say just how far off we are, and that we will not know until we go compete this fall. But we still have work to do.'

Strong was asked about winning a championship after he told fans during the spring that his team will not be in the championship game after this season.

'It's all about putting a'T' back into Texas,' Strong said. 'We talk about putting a'T' back into Texas, you talk about toughness, you talk about trust, talk about togetherness, and you talk about just becoming a team.'

Strong credited former UT coach Mack Brown for setting up a situation in Austin for him that he hopes will eventually lead to a national championship.

'I followed an icon in Coach Brown -- 16 seasons at the University of Texas,' Strong said. 'He did an unbelievable job, won a national championship. The foundation has been laid. Now it's up to us to continue this foundation and continue to build on it. And that's what we're looking at, excited.'

Strong has been on the job for six months and has been part of two national championship coaching staffs under Urban Meyer at the University of Florida, an experience Texas fans hope have given him insight to building a champion.

'The place that I won it at, we never talked about going and winning a national championship. Because you know what happens,' he said. 'One day, you wake up, you're the national champion. It's all about our players going out, competing each and every day.'

During his four years in Louisville, Strong lead the Cardinals to a 37-15 record and ended each season with a bowl game.

'What's really key, you can't look at any job any different than anywhere else you've been,' Strong said. 'What's been great for me, I've had an opportunity to coach at really outstanding programs, whether it be University of Florida, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and been the head coach of University of Louisville, coming to the University of Texas. But what's key is just make sure you surround yourself with good people.'

So as the Strong era begins, Texas fans are eager to see improvement for a program that hasn't had a double-digit win season since their national championship season of 2009.

'Now, we're not as bad as we used to be,' Strong said. 'I'll tell you this: We still have a lot of work to do just making sure we continue to move forward in that area, in all areas of the game, within not only just offense/defense, but also with our special teams.'

Texas will host North Texas in their season opener on Aug. 30.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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