Former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman met with the Houston football team before his press conference on Friday and looks forward to creating something the city can be proud of. | Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
On the quest to becoming a Tier One school and a Top-20 football program, the University of Houston went on a hunt to find something new – the perfect fit – to propel a program that had already began a turnaround into one whose name would be recognized as one of the nation’s premiere schools and programs.
The search didn’t last very long.
Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhodes said athletics spoke to people throughout the country and had an “unbelievable pool of candidates,” however, his meeting with Herman, which lasted from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 2 a.m., was enough to end the search. The perfect fit was right before him.
“We talked about that competitive fire, and him and I kind of locked eyes,” Rhodes said. “I knew that this was somebody who wants to win as bad as I do, and I want to win as bad as he does. The competitive fire, but the process and the plan, and the vision that he has for this program was tremendous.”
Tom Herman was the right guy.
After looking at Herman’s experience, one would note that he has been successful wherever he has been. Herman has helped develop explosive offenses throughout his 10 years as an offensive coordinator, and was also dubbed “the quarterback whisperer” due to his ability to develop three different quarterbacks and have them all prepared to where Ohio State is able to play in the College Football Playoff with their third-string QB.
He is ready to bring even more for the University of Houston.
“Let me say this, I am excited to be the head football coach at the University of Houston,” Herman said. “This is a dream come true for me and my family. I have always admired this program from afar. It is really surreal almost to know that now I will be leading the charge. I’ve learned a couple things in my 16 years as an assistant. Most of them were the last three years under (Ohio State) head coach Urban Meyer, who is a fantastic mentor to me.”
Herman is now ready to establish a culture and bond with his inherited team, and plans to build a player-coach relationship that is earned through trust.
“I met with our team this morning, and I asked them to trust me,” Herman said. “That’s really, really hard to do. You’re a 19-year-old young man, your college career might be kind of flipped on its side a little bit right now, and you’ve got this guy coming in for a 15 minute meeting asking you to trust him. Again, I ask you guys to trust me. Trust the plan. Trust the process, and eventually that trust will go from blind trust to earned trust, and we will build championships here together. I will give you every single tool, by any means necessary, to be successful not only off the field, but off the field, and in life as well.”
For Herman, success is owed to the city of Houston. With 11 years of experience in the state of Texas, he feels as though Houston needs a hometown college football team to be proud of.
“Everybody keeps telling me about all the pro sports teams in Houston,” Herman said. “They do a great job, and there is nothing wrong with that, but we will exhaust every opportunity, and we will take any measure necessary to make sure that the city of Houston is proud of this college football team.”
He promises to recruit “some of the finest talent in the state of Texas,” and says they will do nothing short of competing every single day.
“From the time you wake up and brush your teeth until the time you lay your head down on the pillow, and every now and again, you might want to compete in your dreams too,” Herman said. “The toughest coached team always has a chance to win the game regardless of talent. One thing we will be is tough. We will be physically and mentally tough, and that comes from preparation and training. We have the ability to be the most physically and mentally tough team in America.”
From player enthusiasm to aggressive style of play on offense, defense and special teams, Herman says the Houston Cougars will be exciting to watch, and ready to win.
President of the University of Houston, Renu Khator said Herman has shown her that he “has fire in the belly,” and that he wants to win more than she does, and that is the kind of person she likes to have on her team.
Welcome to Houston, Coach Herman.
“We have a long way to go, but the expectations have been set very high, and should be. We’ve got some culture things to change. We’ve got a vision that needs to be aligned throughout the staff, and throughout the department. That takes time, but I will tell you this, the expectations of winning and competing for championships in the months of November and December are expectations that I as well, feel are reachable here in the near future. Again, I want to thank you, and I’m excited to be the head football coach for the University of Houston, and we will give the city of Houston, and the great state of Texas, a college football team that they can be proud of. Go Coogs!”