Tom Herman, who has coached Houston into national prominence during the last two seasons, is headed to Texas.
Longhorns athletic director Mike Perrin made the announcement Saturday, confirming earlier reports from USA TODAY sports and other outlets. Herman will be introduced at a Sunday news conference.
"The opportunity to come back to Texas is a dream come true for me and my family, and I can't thank President (Greg) Fenves and Mike Perrin enough for providing me with this incredible opportunity," Herman said in a statement. "Longhorn football has been — and always will be — a national power, winning and playing for national championships with great pride and passion, supported by an unbelievable fan base."
Texas fired Charlie Strong officially on Saturday morning after three seasons. Herman was 22-4 in two seasons at Houston, becoming the hottest coaching prospect in the country.
Herman was offensive coordinator at Ohio State when the Buckeyes won the 2014 season national championship. He spent a season at Texas as a graduate assistant early in his career under former Longhorns coach Mack Brown.
Houston Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek issued a statement confirming Herman’s departure. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando will be Houston’s interim head coach for its upcoming bowl game.
“In his short time in Houston, Tom Herman elevated the Houston Football program to new heights, and we are grateful for his contributions to our program. The entire University of Houston community wishes he and his family continued success in this new chapter in their lives,” Yurachek said.
Herman’s record at Houston and big wins over top programs such as Florida State and Oklahoma had pushed the Cougars into early-season College Football Playoff contenders as well as candidates for a move to the Big 12.
Neither scenario happened, however, as the Cougars dropped midseason games against Navy and SMU and the Big 12 chose not to expand .
Texas source confirms Herman will receive a 5-year deal for more than $5 million a year with escalators to over $6M in final year of deal.— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) November 26, 2016
That didn’t cool Herman’s name as one of the hottest in the college football market. Herman had surfaced as a possible candidate at other schools as well, notably LSU .
But most of the attention focused on Texas, where Strong was in his third losing season in a row.
Texas is desperate for a return to the nation’s elite. The Longhorns had a decade-long run of 10-win seasons under Mack Brown from 2000-2009, a span that included one national championship and playing for another.
Contributing: George Schroeder and Dan Wolken of USA TODAY Sports; and The Associated Press
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