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Louisville gives football coach Charlie Strong 8-year, $29.6 contract extension

Charlie Strong has the long-term commitment he wanted from Louisville.

The Cardinals coach and the university agreed on an eight-year contract extension Wednesday that will pay Strong an annual base salary of $3.7 million, plus incentives worth at least $583,333 for reaching the BCS championship game.

Strong's third season with Louisville ended with a 33-23 upset of Florida in the Sugar Bowl three weeks ago, the school's second BCS bowl victory. The Cardinals (11-2) were ranked the 13th in the final poll and won a share of the Big East Conference championship for the second straight year.

The deal comes more than a month after the 52-year-old Strong rejected an offer to become Tennessee's coach, saying he was staying because of Louisville's commitment to him and his relationship with players.