While Ohio State has officially lost its offensive coordinator, they won’t officially lose him until the season comes to an end.
Following up on speculation that began a week ago and intensified Monday, Houston announced that Tom Herman has been hired as the football program’s new head coach, the 12th in the school’s history. Herman will replace Tony Levine, who was fired eight days ago after three seasons with the Cougars.
UH also confirmed that Herman, who will be introduced at a press conference Friday, signed a five-year contract worth a total of $6.75 million. As OSU’s coordinator, Herman earned $550,000 in 2014, while Levine made just over $1 million in his final season.
“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,” said Herman in a statement. “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 has been with the Buckeyes as coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons, and coached in the state of Texas for a total of 10 seasons prior to that, but it was his work in 2014 that put him on the map nationally.
Braxton Miller, a preseason Heisman favorite and two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, was lost for the entire 2014 season due to a shoulder injury. Miller’s’s replacement, J.T. Barrett, took over and was in the Heisman mix before he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the regular-season finale. A third quarterback, Cardale Jones, helped OSU rout Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and will lead the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama.
In a related note, UH confirmed that Herman will continue to serve as OSU’s coordinator through the Buckeyes’ playoff run, whether it ends Jan. 1 or Jan. 12.
“Tom has done an excellent job for us. Our staff and I have enjoyed working with him,” OSU head coach Urban Meyer said. “We wish him all the best in his new position as head coach at the University of Houston. He has been great for our program. He came in and meshed immediately with the coaches and the players. Houston is not only getting an excellent coach, but an excellent person and family man. I wish him all the best.”