To say the least, this is an interesting development. Or, at least, it was for a few minutes.
Heartland College Sports was the first to report Thursday that Baylor and Houston head coach Tom Herman “have already touched based via a face-to-face meeting regarding the possibility of Herman becoming the next head coach of the Baylor Bears.” The website added that Herman’s agent was recently in Waco to discuss the job on behalf of Herman.
247Sports.com subsequently confirmed the initial report:
I have confirmed that Houston HC Tom Herman has met with Baylor in regards to their head football coaching position. The date, time and details of that meeting have not been confirmed, but the meeting between the two parties did indeed take place.
These reports come less than 24 hours after Baylor officially announced that Mack Rhoades was leaving as Missouri’s athletic director to take the same job at BU. Rhoades hired Herman as the Cougars’ head coach, kicking off a renaissance in the Cougars football program and, with the AD’s move to Waco, immediately jumpstarted the rumors connecting the two in a reunion on down the road.
In his first season last year, Herman led UH to a 13-1 record, capping it off with a 14-point Peach Bowl win over Florida State.
In November of last year, UH Board of Regents approved a new contract for Herman that would bump his current salary from $1.45 million this season to $3 million, easily the most of any head coach in the AAC. The man Herman would replace, Art Briles, reportedly earned nearly $6 million in 2014, and had eight years and $40 million remaining on his contract when he reached an agreement on his termination.
Herman’s name had been connected to the opening at South Carolina, but reportedly dropped his interest after the SEC’s USC lost to FCS Citadel in November. If Herman was put off by a loss to an FCS program, which suggested a significant rebuild was in order, what could possibly be his take on the dumpster fire that is the current Baylor football program?
“Herman has interest in Baylor because the players and recruits from the Briles regime are similar to that of his current scheme at Houston,” the initial report stated.
At the very last, it’s a situation that bears monitoring as the start of a new season is less than two months away. Or maybe not.
UH’s Tom Herman to @HoustonChron: ‘Reports of any contact between me and any other schools are completely ridiculous and absolutely false.’
— Joseph Duarte (@Joseph_Duarte) July 14, 2016
Source close to Tom Herman says Report of contact with Baylor is “ridiculous” and totally without merit.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) July 14, 2016
Am told Tom Herman-Baylor buzz is very premature. Herman and Mack Rhoades talk, as they always have, but nothing formal has taken place.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) July 14, 2016