Steve Sarkisian sorry for not singing ‘Eyes of Texas’ after loss

Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas coach Steve Sarkisian apologized for not staying on the field to sing “The Eyes of Texas” after the Longhorns’ loss to Oklahoma State and promised it would “never happen again.”

Controversy surrounding the postgame tradition erupted in 2020 when some players objected to singing it because of racist elements in its past. The Texas chapter of the NAACP even filed a civil rights complaint over its continued use.

Sarkisian had promised on the day he was hired in 2021 that his team would sing the song and the issue seemed to die down. But after Texas lost 41-34 last weekend, the coach and many of his players went straight to the locker room without staying on the field to sing as is team tradition.

The move drew attention on social media and Sarkisian opened his Monday press conference with an apology.

“I own an apology to Longhorn Nation. I made a mistake at the end of the game in not singing `The Eyes of Texas’ when the game was done,” he said. “That was not anything that was intentional. That was not anything that had to do with our players. I think our players just followed me up the ramp into the locker room.”

Sarkisian said he was upset with the way the game ended.

“That will never happen again,” Sarkisian said of the song omission. “Again, it was not intentional.”

“The Eyes of Texas” was written in 1903 and has a history of performances in minstrel shows with musicians often in blackface. For decades, it has been sung after games and graduation ceremonies, and is a popular singalong at weddings and even funerals.

In 2020, a group of athletes and students called for the school to drop the song amid racial injustice protests after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The school said athletes would not be required to sing it, although the main Longhorn bands would keep playing it.

School President Jay Hartzell, with the full backing of the university’s Board of Regents, said the song would stay and a school research panel determined there was “no racist intent” behind it.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

Getty Images
0 Comments

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”