Texas coach Tom Herman has tried to proceed with business as usual in the wake of his team’s come-from-ahead loss last week at home against Iowa State, a move that left the Longhorns cut from the Big 12 Championship picture and left Herman’s future cloudy as the top Longhorn.
Thursday, sources with direct knowledge confirmed to FootballScoop that UT leaders had flown to meet with former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer earlier this week.
It’s not clear that the meeting, however, took place in Columbus, Ohio. Meyer had been in both Los Angeles and Napa Valley after fulfilling his duties as a lead analyst for Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff college football show last weekend.
But sources said that both University of Texas president Jay Hartzell and athletics director Chris Del Conte had flown to meet with Meyer, a three-time national champion coach with two at Florida and one at Ohio State, as well as a perfect season as head coach at Utah.
“They’re doing everything they can do to convince him,” said a source with direct knowledge of the talks between Texas officials and Meyer.
Texas’ ability to lure Meyer out of retirement after two years has been considered by most to be a long shot. Meyer still has a position in the OSU athletics department, and his wife, Shelley, has long been extremely active in charitable/non-profit entities in the Columbus community. Urban also has an interest in “Urban Meyer’s Pint House”, a local restaurant & bar.
Additionally, Meyer has long made clear he has a “core four” group of critical support staff members, consisting of Mickey Marotti, OSU’s assistant athletic director for football sports performance; Mark Pantoni, assistant athletics director for player personnel; Ryan Stamper, assistant athletics director for player development; and Brian Voltolini, general manager of football Meyer considers a crucial component of the success they had together at Ohio State, Florida (and before for some).
“Those guys are crucial for culture, development, recruiting and problem-solving” in Meyer’s organizational structure, a source explained.
All four were retained in key roles by Ryan Day at Ohio State. Sources tell FootballScoop not all, if any, would be inclined to leave OSU should Urban take another job.
Sources tell FootballScoop Meyer has sought input from those he trusts as to whom he could build that next “core four” from if needed.
Texas officials have not commented on Herman’s future, and Herman said simply this week he has been focused on the Longhorns’ final pair of games against Kansas State and Kansas.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.