Certainly, the offensive coordinator was appreciating what he helped to accomplish. After all, he helped to direct a team that lost one quarterback 12 days before the season opener and another in their final regular season game to a national title behind the fifth best scoring offense in the country. But Herman was also looking ahead and looking south.
When the clock showed three zeros at the conclusion of the title game the California native was no longer the Ohio State offensive coordinator, but rather the head coach of the Houston Cougars. How excited is he for his first head coaching job after 16 years as an assistant?
“Thrilled,” Herman said amid the Buckeyes postgame celebration. “It would have been bittersweet had the outcome of this game been different, but the fact that we were able to do what we did with who we did it with and to watch these kids and the smiles on their faces, it just fortifies my drive to go bring championships to the University of Houston.”
Herman was named the Cougars next head coach three weeks ago and could have left Ohio State then to begin assembling a staff and start targeting recruits, but he wanted to finish what he started on Urban Meyer’s staff.
Now that he has, finishing his career as an assistant with the game’s ultimate prize, it’s on to Houston. On Tuesday Herman left from Dallas to head the three and a half hours south to his new home. The new head coach has to get organized quick as he plans to hit the recruiting trail on Thursday, he said.
In addition to his offensive mind, recruiting is an area that Ohio State will feel the loss of Herman. The 2014 Broyles Award winner as the nation’s top assistant coach was the Buckeyes top recruiter in talent-rich Texas, a quality that made him a perfect fit for Houston.
“We're not going to give up on it, but he was certainly very good at it,” Meyer said of his now-former assistant’s ability to pull talent from the Lone Star State. “We love Texas high school football.” Herman was also quick to say the Buckeyes will do just fine in Texas without his services; a national championship is a strong selling point after all.
While the former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach – a man who directed back-to-back top five scoring offenses and helped two difference quarterbacks to top five finishes in the Heisman Trophy voting in three seasons in Columbus – said that the accomplishments of the 2014 Buckeyes belonged firmly to Ohio State, Herman is hoping some of the afterglow from the national title follows him a few hours south.
“Obviously, this is an achievement that Ohio State has accomplished,” Herman said, “But to be a part of it and hopefully bring a little bit of the recipe of how to win championships to the University of Houston should be pretty exciting.”