Tom Herman didn’t attempt to disguise major changes oncoming during his press conference last Monday, and those changes arrived on Sunday.
As first reported by Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods and since confirmed by Yahoo and The Athletic, defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Drew Mehringer have been fired, while offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tim Beck has been reassigned to a non-coordinator position on the staff and wide receivers coach Corby Meekins has been demoted to an off-the-field role.
“After taking time, looking back and evaluating the season in its totality, I am very disappointed in our performance in a number of areas in 2019,” Herman said. “7-5 will never be our standard at Texas and I take full responsibility for any and all of our shortcomings and know we need to do a better job coaching across the board. With that said, I do believe the future is very bright, have decided to make some changes to our staff as we head into bowl preparation and look to finish strong in the final weeks of fall recruiting.”
For those keeping score, that’s four of Herman’s 10 assistants, including the top two on offense and the defensive coordinator.
The remaining six will keep their jobs, for now, as the new coordinators will likely have a large say as to who stays and who goes. (Co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Craig Naivar will serve as defensive coordinator for the to-be-determined bowl game. Analysts Andre Coleman [receivers] and Jeremiah George [linebackers] will move into temporary coaching roles, while director of recruiting Bryan Carrington will use one of the 10 countable spots to hit the road for the December contact period.)
On that point, Chris Ash is the favorite to take over as defensive coordinator. Ash and Herman worked together on Ohio State’s national championship staff in 2014, and he popped in to observe the Texas staff after his firing from Rutgers in September.
On offense, Richardson reports the top targets are LSU’s Joe Brady and USC’s Graham Harrell. Brady will clearly be among the most wanted men in all of football this off-season and, considering Texas visits LSU on Sept. 12 of next season, Ed Orgeron will likely be about as interested in facing Brady as an opponent as he would in switching to a vegan diet.
As for Harrell, the Ennis, Texas, native has had a successful first year at USC, primarily in helping true freshman, third-string quarterback Kedon Slovis play like anything other than a true freshman, third-string quarterback following JT Daniels’ injury in September. Sources told FootballScoop the former Texas Tech quarterback would be interested in returning to the motherland independent of whether or not Clay Helton is retained in 2020.
As for Brady, well, see here.
Following a 7-5 regular season in a highly disappointing Year 3, Tom Herman is shooting his shot, the type of shot a head coach only gets to shoot once. Typically, head coaches only get to Round 2 of a major staff shake up, either because Round 2 was successful, or by the time it becomes apparent a Round 3 is necessary, it’s the head coach’s turn on the chopping block.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.