Texas has fired head coach Tom Herman, the program announced Saturday.
The university issued the following statement:
With our football season coming to a close, our vice president and athletics director, Chris Del Conte, has evaluated the UT program’s strengths and weaknesses and where the program is relative to our goals. While we have made measured progress during the past several years under Tom Herman’s leadership, Chris has recommended to the university president, Jay Hartzell, that UT make a coaching change to get us on track to achieving our ambitious goals. President Hartzell and the chair of our Board of Regents, Kevin Eltife, concur with this recommendation and have approved the change. We thank Coach Herman for his service and dedication to our student-athletes, our program and our university.
This option has been on the table for some time, heading into a make-or-break season that, clearly, broke the support for Herman to remain in Austin.
Herman leaves Texas with a 32-18 record, including 22-13 in Big 12 play. He is owed a buyout of $15 million, subject to duty to mitigate and offset by his next coaching job. If the assistant coaches and head strength staff aren't retained, those coaches would be owed a combined $10.4 million in buyouts, Steve Berkowitz shares.
Texas quickly improved under Herman's watch, jumping two wins in his first year on the job and then to 10 wins, a Big 12 Championship berth and a Sugar Bowl victory in 2018 -- all while his first two recruiting classes ranked No. 3 nationally.
But the Longhorns stagnated failed to capitalize from there, going 8-5 in 2019 and 7-3 this fall. Texas dropped games against Oklahoma, TCU and Iowa State each of the past two seasons. Though Del Conte released a tepid endorsement on Dec. 12, the final nail on the coffin was a 23-20 home loss to Iowa State on Black Friday, a setback that eliminated Texas from Big 12 championship contention.
While the team struggled on the field, Herman's handling of the Eyes of Texas controversy did not win support among Texas power brokers nor the rank-and-file burnt orange fan base, and the recruiting momentum of 2018, '19 and '20 slowed to a complete halt. Texas's 2021 class ranks No. 17 in the country and the No. 1 recruit in the 2022 class, Southlake Carroll quarterback Quinn Ewers, flipped from Texas to Ohio State.
Texas made little attempt to hide its pursuit of Urban Meyer, and at one point the news grew so loud even Herman himself was forced to acknowledge it. The Longhorns did not secure the future Hall of Fame coach (and Herman's former boss), but season-ending wins over Kansas State and Colorado were not enough to sway support back in Herman's favor.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Update> It appears Texas has their new head coach ready to go...well, after January 11th.