Tom Herman may not win a game as the football coach at the University of Texas but he already won the Falling Face Forward Into a Giant Pile of Cash Plaque.
A man with but two years experience as a head football coach, and with one final top 25 ranking on his resume, is now the head football coach at one of the wealthiest and most resource-stacked programs in the United States.
Kids - timing isn’t everything, but it’s really close.
Herman has agreed to a five-year deal which, per Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman, is worth more than $5 million per year. The final year could be worth more than $6 million (not to be paid in Chili’s gift cards).
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For the second time in three years, UT has hired a man because it was sick of the current guy, and the coach they would have preferred was not interested.
The hiring of former Houston coach Tom Herman hopefully plays out to be a major score for Texas, but this should be a place that attracts Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, or a Chip Kelly rather than an up and comer.
Make no mistake, Herman is an up and comer no different than Charlie Strong was three years ago.
In January of 2014, UT fired long time head coach Mack Brown because they were sick of Mack Brown. In his place they hired a guy who had been a head coach for four seasons at Louisville, who in the previous two years was 23-3.
In his place is Herman, who is 22-4 in two seasons at the University of Houston. On his resume are wins against Florida State, Louisville, Oklahoma and losses to SMU, Memphis and Navy.
This was the only candidate UT considered to replace Strong.
Unlike three years ago when Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, played UT for more money for his client from the University of Alabama, there were no attempts for any other coach from Texas other than Tom Herman.
The old, rich white guys who supply the money either love him, or did not want to be embarrassed again by the hottest girl on the block.
Go with both.
Herman was a graduate assistant on Mack Brown’s staff in the late ‘90s, and Brown still has influence at UT. He lobbied hard for his guy, but do not dismiss how much UT did not want to go through the humiliation again of being rejected by multiple candidates.
There is a lot to like about Herman, starting with his career at Houston to his ties to Brown and Urban Meyer when he worked at Ohio State. He turned UH into a big winner in his first season and landed serious recruits, like defensive end Ed Oliver and Texas A&M transfer quarterback Kyle Allen.
Herman inherits a roster in Austin that - we think - is loaded with young talent that should be coming into its own in 2017. There is no reason linebacker Malik Jefferson should be anything other than one of the best players in the state next season. Quarterback Shane Buechele should be good.
And Herman simply can’t be worse than Strong, who in three years at UT delivered rhetoric, maddening losses and this school’s worst three-year stretch in football since the 1930s. He suffered three losses against TCU, two against Kansas State, was shutout by Iowa State and pulled off the grand slam with that loss to Kansas that mathematicians have yet to prove was possible.
Texas has the money and the resources to attract the most proven names in the sport of football, but for the second time in three years settled for an up and comer.
Unlike when Alabama hired Saban away from the Miami Dolphins, Ohio State lured Meyer out of “retirement”, or Michigan brought in Harbaugh from the San Francisco 49ers, there are no guarantees that Herman will have the type of success that should come with a big hire at the University of Texas.
There are no guarantees because Tom Herman is not a big hire.