As Houston head coach Tom Herman’s name is being thrown around for potential coaching jobs at other schools, Herman and the Cougars are staying focused on the season at hand.
The Houston Cougars are right where they expected to be when the season started: undefeated, ranked high in the polls, and possessing a shot at crashing the College Football Playoff party.
With all the noise surrounding head coach Tom Herman’s future, it is quite astounding that the Cougars, and Herman himself, can stay focused on their goals. Most of that is due to their coach blocking out the rumors and keeping his eye on the prize.
“He’s never brought anything up to his staff about it or anything like that,” Houston co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Craig Naivar told ESPN.com. “I can guarantee you this, 120 percent of his focus and effort is on this football team and that stuff is on the way, way back-burner.”
Those potential distractions come from the fact that Herman’s name is, and will be, thrown around for every head coaching vacancy at major schools. There is no hotter name in the coaching world than his, and boosters all over the country are willing to throw big money to get him to their schools.
The current Cougars aren’t fazed by all of the rumors, as their coach instills a trust in them that he will be in his current job for a long time.
“He sat us down and told us he’s not going anywhere, he’s staying here,” tight end Tyler McCloskey said. “He loves it here, he loves us. To hear that from the head coach and to hear all the rumors going around, to have him squash that and allowed us to refocus on the task at hand and just play football and not worry about anything outside of our building.”
Houston being one of the favorites join the Big 12 could work as a major advantage for the school’s power brokers to keep the 41-year-old head coach. Should they fold into the Big 12, the Cougars would no longer be looking at the Power Five schools from the outside, and would earn a revenue bump that could in turn boost Herman’s salary.
More job vacancies will open – as LSU already has – and the first person the respective athletic director will call will be Herman. As for now, though, the Cougars are focused on simply winning football games.