HOUSTON - The University of Texas Saturday hired Tom Herman away from the University of Houston after two seasons to take over the reins of the Longhorns football team.
Herman replaces Charlie Strong, who was let go Saturday morning by UT after three season. He becomes the 30th head football coach coach in Texas history.
Herman has big ties to Texas, spending a season as a graduate assistant under former Longhorns coach Mack Brown.
"The opportunity to come back to Texas is a dream come true for me and my family, and I can't thank President Fenves and Mike Perrin enough for providing me with this incredible opportunity," Herman said. "Longhorn football has been – and always will be – a national power, winning and playing for national championships with great pride and passion, supported by an unbelievable fan base.
"When President Fenves, Mike and I met late last night and into the morning, I came away very impressed with their unified vision and commitment to football, and I'm excited to be the head coach at the flagship university of the greatest state in the union. I am eager to get to Austin as soon as possible, to spend time with our student-athletes and to get to work."
Herman will be introduced at a Sunday news conference, UT said. His contract will need to be approved by the UT System Board of Regents.
Herman had a 22-4 record in his two season in Houston.
"I want to thank the University of Houston, the administration, the fans and especially the players for an unbelievable two years," Herman said. "My family and I will be forever grateful."
University of Houston Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek released a statement to say farewell:
“In his short time in Houston, Tom Herman elevated the Houston Football program to new heights, and we are grateful for his contributions to our program. The entire University of Houston community wishes he and his family continued success in this new chapter in their lives.
“We will immediately turn our focus to identifying the next leader of our program. We are confident we will find the right individual who will support the young men who are and have committed to this program and who will also support our mission of building Champions for Life, both on and off the field.
“With a Tier One University, fertile recruiting ground, upgraded facilities including a new indoor practice facility slated to be completed next fall and a roster full of driven and talented student-athletes, the next leader of the Houston Football program will have an outstanding opportunity to compete for championships, maintain our program’s national prominence and continue the H-TownTakeover.
“We are partnering with Collegiate Sports Associates on our national search and all inquiries from interested candidates should be directed to Todd Turner at Collegiate Sports Associates.”
Yuracheck also named defensive coordinator Todd Orlando as the Cougars' interim head coach.
Orlando has 21 years of coaching experience, which includes 12 years as a defensive coordinator, officials said.
University of Houston President Renu Khator also released a statement Saturday about Herman's departure:
“University of Houston football is built on decades of rich, winning tradition and there is no question that Tom Herman accelerated our resurgence. Tom left an indelible mark and I am grateful for his accomplishments and his friendship. I wish Tom and his family the best as we begin an immediate search for the next leader of our championship caliber program.
“Houston Football is committed long-term to competing for championships against top-tier programs on the national stage, and we continue to demonstrate this through our unprecedented investments in talent and new facilities. Cougar Nation has experienced a reawakening and I firmly believe this is just the beginning. I am confident we will find the right individual to lead our athletes, leverage the richest recruiting grounds in the country, and continue this upward trajectory.”
The University of Houston System Board of Regents Chairman, Tilman Fertitta released a statement wishing Herman the best:
“University of Houston football is positioned right now to compete for championships. We’re committed to finding the right coach who recognizes this opportunity and is capable of leading our athletes. We owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Herman and I wish him the best. But great programs have to continuously evolve. This is an important moment for the University of Houston to build on our success and we will do whatever it takes to get it right.”