Matt Visinsky

Baylor appears to be down to two primary candidates for their head coaching position.

Baylor University appears to be nearing a decision on their next head coach. With two candidates taking the lead, and one possibly in the pole position, where does the search stand with just 11 days before the end of the 2016 season?

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With less than 2-weeks left of the 2016 regular season, the Baylor Bears inch closer to being able to make a major choice for their football program.  Two names appear to be inching toward the top of the list, with SMU coach Chad Morris and Houston coach Tom Herman the two most likely candidates at this time. 

Herman is the current "hot" name in coaching, due to his outstanding results in 2 years at Houston with a 22-3 record for the Cougars.  Herman has wins over Oklahoma and Louisville this year, as well as a Peach Bowl win over Florida State to end the 2015 season where they finished 8th in the polls to close the season. A former Ohio State offensive coordinator, Herman has spent the bulk of his coaching career in the state of Texas.  

Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1998 Texas Lutheran (WR)
1999–2000 Texas (GA)
2001–2004 Sam Houston State (WR/ST)
2005–2006 Texas State (OC/QB)
2007–2008 Rice (OC/QB)
2009–2011 Iowa State (OC/QB)
2012–2014 Ohio State (OC/QB)
2015–present Houston

One of those three losses for Herman though came to SMU earlier this year, led by Chad Morris. The Mustangs defeated Houston 38-16 on October 22nd, giving Herman his second loss of the season and Morris the biggest win of his young career.  After a 2-10 campaign in his first year on the Hilltop, Morris has led the Mustangs to a 5-6 record.  Morris is just 7-16 in his two seasons overall, but the level of program he inherited was quite low, coming off of a 1-11 season prior to his arrival.  The competition for Herman should be fierce, with LSU already in position to hire a new coach, and the University of Texas possibly not far behind pending the job status of Charlie Strong. 

Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1994–1997 Eustace (TX) HS
1998–1999 Elysian Fields (TX) HS
2000–2002 Bay City (TX) HS
2004–2007 Stephenville (TX) HS
2008–2009 Lake Travis (TX) HS
2010 Tulsa (AHC/OC/QB)
2011–2014 Clemson (OC/QB)
2015–present SMU

New Baylor athletic director, Mack Rhoades, hired Tom Herman at Houston and had a good relationship with him.  In fact, they spoke after Rhoades was hired on at Baylor, and rumors persisted that the Bears had conversations with Herman's team even before that. 

Speaking with the press earlier this fall, Rhoades outlined what he wanted in his football coach. “In terms of the system and the philosophy, yeah, it dictates in terms of what we’ve done over the past and the way we play, especially on the offensive side of the ball, the vertical passing game, the ability to run the ball, all those things," Rhodes said on 1660 ESPN in Waco. “Absolutely. I also think that plays into the recruiting piece and especially here in Texas."  Both Rhoades and Herman check all of those boxes off. 

http://www.scout.com/college/baylor/story/1723870-bears-have-great-optio...

However, recent reports indicate that Morris is the favorite at this point, though a decision has not been made. Morris is as Texan as any other candidate out there, coaching in the state since 1994, except for a very successful 4-year run at Clemson.

Stay tuned for the latest on the Baylor football coaching search, and more only at BearsIllustrated.com.


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