First-year head coach Tom Herman has not shied away from discussing Texas Longhorns football being behind in several different areas. This revelation is unfortunately nothing new to the UT faithful who have endured hearing the same story for too many years to count.
The trend of the Longhorns lagging behind top programs dates back to the Mack Brown era, when it took until 2013 for Brown and Co. to realize Texas was one of the only Big 12 schools without a Director of Player Personnel on staff. (Meanwhile, MANY other programs had the position, and others like it, in place since its NCAA approval in 2007.)
Brown added a couple of new personnel and support staff during his final season in Austin. Charlie Strong continued to grow the football staff a little more.
But to Herman, it was still not enough.
UT President Greg Fenves and AD Mike Perrin have given Herman the go-ahead to expand even further. In addition to getting approval to move forward with facility upgrades, the head coach was also given the freedom to hire any new staff members needed in order to help get Texas back to where the program needs to be.
And the head coach did not hesitate.
In the above table, you can see Herman has added quite a few new positions when compared to the former regime, including investing in a Creative Department headed up by former Alabama Football Director of Creative Media Matt Lange, who now holds the same title at Texas.
Another significant change Herman made was dividing the “Director of Player Development and High School Relations” job into two separate positions – hiring Kevin Washington as the Director of Player Development and Bob Shipley as Director of High School Relations.
The running total of newly created personnel staff positions is five, according to UT figures HD obtained through Open Records requests.
In an effort to compare the hiring trends inside the football department, HD obtained through open records detailed Texas football department staff data from the final year of the Mack Brown era to present day.
Open records research concluded Strong added four new personnel/support positions to his staff during his first 18-months on the job: Director of Football Administration Clifford Snow, Director of On-Campus Recruiting Reed Case, Director of Student Leadership/Player Development Octavious Bishop and Special Assistant to the Head Coach Katherine Sawyer.
While he hired several of his own staffers to fill the roles he did not retain from the previous regime, Strong did keep a handful of Brown's guys in their same role, including Director of High School Relations and Player Development Kenneth Rucker, Assistant AD for Football Operations Marcus Tubbs and Assistant Director of Player Personnel Justin Wright, to name a few.
Herman has gone in his own direction.
Herman has not held back from doing things his own way since he arrived in Austin. He has continued to mention how the powers that be have yet to tell him no when approached with his ideas on how to return Texas to national prominence. Herman’s close-to-complete staff is evidence of that.
There’s no doubt Herman has the confidence and support of his bosses, who believe in what the head coach is doing. In only three-months on the job, Herman has taken a lot of steps in the right direction behind the scenes to help achieve his goal of returning the Longhorns to the top of college football ranks.
For the first time in a while, UT football has more of a fresh vibe surrounding the program. And Herman is the person to thank for it.