Texas was stout defensively, finishing third nationally in third-down defense
(.271) and seventh nationally in fourth-down defense (.300). The Longhorns
finished eighth nationally in rushing defense (106.8 ypg) and 41st in total defense
(365.6), after finishing the 2016 season 76th and 94th, respectively. UT had
eight non-offensive touchdowns (five interceptions, two fumble returns, one punt
return) in 2017 after not recording any during the previous season.
Herman saw 12 players earn an opportunity in the NFL following his first season,
including four Longhorns being selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. Offensive lineman
Connor Williams was taken in the second round by the Dallas Cowboys, Jefferson
went in the third round to the Cincinnati Bengals, Dickson was selected in the
fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks and Elliott was drafted by the Baltimore
Ravens in the sixth round.
Herman came to Texas after compiling a 22-4 record in two seasons at Houston,
the fourth-best record in the FBS in that span. His first season as head coach at
Texas will mark his 14th spent in the state of Texas out of 20 years coaching on
the collegiate level. That includes his time as a graduate assistant at UT (1999-
2000), where he earned a master’s degree in education.
Following his first season at UH, Herman was named a finalist for the Eddie
Robinson and Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Awards, while also being chosen as
the Football Writers Association of America’s First-Year Coach of the Year and the
American Athletic Conference’s Co-Coach of the Year.
Herman became just the fourth head coach in NCAA history with at least 13 wins
in a rookie season, joining Chris Petersen (Boise State - 2006), George Woodruff
(Penn - 1892) and Walter Camp (Yale - 1888), and just the fifth head coach in
NCAA history to win the first 10 games of his career, joining Petersen, Larry Coker
(Miami - 2001), Woodruff and Camp in accomplishing the feat.
He led the Cougars to their first New Year’s Bowl in 30 years, its second 13-win
season in program history and its 11th conference championship in program
history by claiming the inaugural AAC Championship. He led all FBS coaches in
their first year with a program with 13 wins as Houston finished third nationally
with a 92.9 winning percentage at 13-1.
In 2016, Herman guided his program to a 9-3 record, including wins over No.
3 Oklahoma and No. 3 Louisville. Houston became the first program nationally
to defeat two top-five teams. Herman’s Cougars join Alabama as the only two
teams in the nation with double-digit wins over two top-10 teams this season.
Houston ranked as one of the most efficient and disciplined teams in the country
under Herman, as their offense ranked 34th and the defense 15th when he was
hired by the Longhorns.
Prior to his arrival at Houston, Herman helped develop record-setting and explosive
offenses in each of his 10 seasons as an offensive coordinator, including
three seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State
where he won the 2014 Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach. He
helped the Buckeyes win the 2015 College Football Championship (following the
2014 season) with third-string quarterback Cardale Jones under center in wins
over Alabama and Oregon, and a Big Ten Championship win over Wisconsin.
Herman was born in Cincinnati and still has family there. He was raised in
Simi Valley, Calif., and he played collegiately as an all-conference wide receiver
at California Lutheran, graduating in 1997 with a degree in business administration.
He received a master’s in education from the University of Texas in 2000.
Herman and his wife, Michelle, have a daughter, Priya, and two sons,
TD and Maverick.
HEAD COACH TOM HERMAN
50 DECEMBER 31, 2019 / OFFICIAL GAME PROGRAM