Texas sporting director Chris Del Conte issued a public vote of confidence in Tom Herman on Saturday, announcing that Herman will remain head coach despite a football season that has been below expectations.
Herman, who is between 31 and 18 years old in four seasons with the Longhorns, has been the subject of much speculation during this season. The team's 2-2 start and the failure of the Big 12 championship game after the start of the year, which – despite the return of fourth-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger and much of his defense – made it into the top 15 nationwide, raised questions about Hermans Long on -term status.
"There has been a lot of speculation about the future of our football coach," Del Conte said in a statement. "My policy is to wait until the end of the season before evaluating and commenting on our program and our coaches. At the end of the regular season, I would like to emphasize once again that Tom Herman is our coach."
Much of the focus on Herman's future also focused on the perceived availability of former Ohio state coach Urban Meyer, a current college football analyst for Fox Sports.
The Austin American-Statesman reported last week, citing a source, that Meyer had told Texas officials that he was not holding any other coaching position for health reasons. Meyer, who won a total of three national championships in Florida and the state of Ohio and had a record 187-32 before stepping down from coaching in 2018, was a desired target among Texas fans and alumni.
With Meyer out of the mix, the idea of switching from Herman and his staff – which would require an estimated $ 25 million buyout – made the idea of changing coaches all the more difficult.
"When I watch our football program, I see tremendous young men and very promising talent," said Del Conte. "Our student athletes are developing and playing their hearts. This has been an unprecedented year for all of us and we are all disappointed that we did not meet our expectations.
"Like the many fans who follow and support our program, I can't help but think about what 2020 could have been. There is still a lot to do, but I'm looking forward to watching our players and the program as it does goes on. "
Herman's four seasons were an improvement over the tenure of his predecessor Charlie Strong, who was between the ages of 16 and 21 in three seasons and did not have a successful season. The Longhorns are led to their fourth game in a row.
After a 2018 campaign where the Longhorns played for the Big 12 championship and beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to reach a 10-4 year, the Longhorns failed to reach that level, posting 8-5 and 6 -3 seasons on a program that expects to regularly compete for conference and national championships.
After the 2019 season, Herman overtook his coaching team and brought in new offensive (Mike Yurcich) and defensive coordinators (Chris Ash). Herman often cited the difficult transition of installing new systems on either side of the ball in the unconventional, pandemic-shortened off-season as the reason the Longhorns were not so successful in 2020.
The Longhorns were due to play their regular season finale against Kansas on Saturday, but a COVID-19 outbreak on the roster resulted in the game being canceled. Texas is waiting for news on its bowl game destination.