According to Denver sports radio host Benjamin Allbright, it is “all but official” that Houston Cougars head football coach Tom Herman will become the next head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Allbright didn’t really elaborate as to when the move would take place or if there was any possibility of Charlie Strong saving his job with a strong finish to the season.
Is Tom Herman to Texas “all but official”? https://t.co/qen03xIMuE
— Campus Sports (@CampusSportsNet) October 24, 2016
The 41-year-old Herman began his coaching career in 1998 as the wide receivers coach at Texas Lutheran before joining the Texas Longhorns as a graduate assistant for the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Tom was then hired by Sam Houston State to coach the wide receivers and special teams and after four years at the school, Herman moved on to Texas State where he spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The Iowa State Cyclones hired Tom Herman to become the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2009 before he moved on to Ohio State in 2012. After two seasons in Columbus, the Houston Cougars offered Herman his first-ever head coaching position.
During his first season at Houston, Tom led the Cougars to a surprising 13-1 record that included a 38-24 victory over the Florida State Seminoles in the 2016 Peach Bowl and a Conference USA Championship. The Cougars finished No. 10 in the nation with an average of 40.4 points per game while averaging a whopping 484.6 total yards per game.
With the Cougars’ success last season, the Houston athletic department gave Herman a five-year contract extension in December 2015, according to Sports Illustrated, that increased his yearly salary to $2.8 million per season and also included $200,000 for his staff. The Cougars knew that other teams would come calling for Tom’s services and they wanted to make sure he stayed in Houston.
Report: Tom Herman to Texas is all but official https://t.co/mQaBiVsxLS
guess they’re not watching what Houston’s done lately
— Larry Brown (@LBSports) October 24, 2016
Entering the 2016 season, expectations were through the roof for Tom Herman and the Houston Cougars as a number of the team’s key players were returning, and the Cougars had a chance to make a statement with an out-of-conference schedule that featured games against Oklahoma and Louisville.
The season started off great for the Cougars as they beat the Oklahoma Sooners 33-23 to open the season en route to winning their first five contests. Unfortunately, Houston couldn’t figure out the Navy triple-option attack in the team’s sixth game of the season as they suffered a 46-40 loss. The team would rebound to beat Tulsa 38-31, but then lost again last week to the SMU Mustangs, 38-16, to give them their current 6-2 record.
Despite the surprising losses, Tom Herman’s name has been connected to a number of the biggest jobs in the country due to his ability to coach and recruit. Herman was able to recruit the first-ever five-star prospect to a Group of 5 schools this past offseason when he signed defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver has been one of the most disruptive players in college football this season despite being a freshman.
— HCS (@Heartland_CS) October 24, 2016
Texas has reportedly grown tired of Charlie Strong and his struggles. During his first season in Austin, Strong led the Longhorns to a 6-7 record that included a 31-7 loss in the AdvoCare Texas Bowl to the Arkansas Razorbacks. That record dropped to 5-7 last season as Texas didn’t make an appearance in a bowl game for the first time since 2010.
Things began to look up for the Longhorns this season as they opened the year with a 50-47 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and followed that up with a 41-7 romping of UTEP. Unfortunately for Strong, Texas couldn’t keep up the momentum as the team has lost four of its last five games to fall to its current 3-4 mark.
Anwar Richardson of Yahoo! Sports tweeted on Monday that athletic director Mike Perrin and Charlie Strong met behind closed doors to discuss the expectations for the team and to get on the same page.
Texas coach Charlie Strong and AD Mike Perrin had a closed door meeting today to get on same page & express administration’s expectations
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) October 24, 2016
It sounds as if the writing’s on the wall for Strong at Texas and that Tom Herman will become the next head coach of the Longhorns unless something drastically changes over the next two months.
[Featured Image by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images]