Houston announced that Herman has signed a five-year deal, and perhaps just important to Buckeye fans, he will coach Ohio State through the team's run in the College Football Playoff.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for my family and I to come back to Houston and lead one of the top programs in the country,” Herman said. “I am looking forward to working with one of the top athletic directors in the country as well as Chancellor Khator in a partnership that will make the city of Houston and the great state of Texas proud.”
Herman started his coaching career at Texas Lutheran as a wide receivers coach in 1998 before serving as a GA at Texas from 1999-2000. His journey up the coaching ladder also included stops as an assistant at Sam Houston State, Texas and Rice before he was hired as Iowa State's offensive coordinator for the 2009 season. Even when he finally left Texas, he still continued to recruit the state for the Cyclones.
Herman won the 2014 Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach. He's the first winner of that award to serve as a head coach the following season since 1998, when Tennessee assistant David Cutcliffe won and took the head coaching job at Mississippi.
His work at Ohio State, of course, has been nothing short of impressive in his three seasons under Urban Meyer. He oversaw this year's impressive results from J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones after the preseason injury to Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes averaged a school-record 45.6 points per game a season ago and smashed numerous records and have put up 45.2 this season. Miller finished fifth in the Heisman voting in 2012 and Barrett did the same this year while smashing OSU records for TDs responsible for, TD passes, total offense and QB rushing yards in a game.
“Due to the progress of our University and Athletics program we received great interest from a number of talented candidates nationally," Houston athletics director Mack Rhoades said. "Throughout this process, Tom Herman’s name continued to rise above the rest of the field. He is an extremely gifted football coach and his aptitude to lead and connect with his student-athletes is special. Tom’s ability to recruit at a high level is directly related to his genuine personality and how well he relates with all types of people. His dynamic leadership skills and experience and respect of high school coaches throughout the state of Texas will serve our program well. Our expectations for the program continue to increase and Tom has a detailed plan for taking our program to the next level."
In October, Herman told reporters at OSU that he has learned how to be a head coach over his time in Columbus from Meyer, who plucked him from Iowa State without having worked with him before.
"I think probably the biggest thing is the alignment of the staff in terms of the messages that are being delivered to each and every position group," Herman said. "I think the alignment of the players and their belief in our core values and belief in our culture, the belief in what we're selling to them each and every day on how to be successful. And I think that's maybe a trait that might go unnoticed.
"You talk about coaches that are great X's and O's guys or coaches that can give a great pregame speech and all that good stuff, but really at the end of the day you've got to have your nine assistants and the entire team aligned as such with a common belief in the culture and the core values of your program. And I think he does that better than anybody I've ever been around."