Tom Herman is expected to be the next head coach at Houston, according to a report Monday morning from Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
8:40 p.m. ET Update: The hire is now complete.
Herman spent the past three years as the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, and served in the same capacity at Iowa State before that. He was named the FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year on Monday, and won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant last week.
Herman is a California native that came of age as a coach in the state of Texas. After graduating from Cal Lutheran, Herman got his first job as the wide receives coach at Texas Lutheran in 1998, then served as a GA on Mack Brown's staff at Texas in 1999-2000 before moving on to Sam Houston State as wide receivers coach from 2001-04. Herman was hired as David Bailiff's offensive coordinator at Texas State in 2005-06, and then followed him to Rice for two seasons before landing the Iowa State job in 2009. Urban Meyer plucked Herman away to serve as his offensive coordinator at Ohio State, and the pair helped the Buckeyes win a program-record 24 straight regular season Big Ten games.
The 2014 season served as Herman's finest hour, helping the Buckeyes win the Big Ten and reach the College Football Playoff after losing Heisman Trophy favorite Braxton Miller two weeks before the season, then turning redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett into a Heisman contender only to lose him for the season to an ankle injury, and finally defeating Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten title game with sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones.
Overall, Ohio State ranked fifth nationally in yards per play, fourth in scoring, 11th in rushing, second in passing efficiency, ninth in first downs, fourth in third down conversions, 15th in red zone touchdown percentage and sixth in plays of 10 or more yards. Barrett set Ohio State single-season records in touchdowns responsible for (45) and total offense (3,772 yards), and ranked third nationally in passing efficiency, joining Jameis Winston as the only freshman quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts to place among the nation's top five in efficiency since 2008.
In hiring Herman, Houston stays in lock step with its AAC West Division rivals Tulsa and SMU, who also hired successful offensive coordinators to be first time head coaches. SMU, of course, hired Chad Morris away from Clemson, while Tulsa chose Baylor's Philip Montgomery.
Herman's is a good fit historically at Houston, a school that set the NCAA record book ablaze with quarterback David Klingler and won Andre Ware a Heisman Trophy in the late 1980's and early '90's and contended for Conference USA championships thanks to the high-scoring spread offenses of Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin, and with the Texas high school football's 7-on-7 culture.
And though Rice is still a member of Conference USA, Herman will now be cross-town rivals with Bailiff.
Houston dismissed head coach Tony Levine after a disappointing 7-5 season, but the Cougars did win five of their final seven games down the stretch with sophomore quarterback Greg Ward, Jr., at the helm. Houston opened brand-new, on-campus TDECU Stadium this fall, and the Cougars are primed to compete for the AAC West Division title annually.
Simply put, coaching hires very often boil down to fit and this feels like a great one for both sides.
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