The Longhorns are now under new coaching staff. The University formally introduced new head football Coach Tom Herman this evening. Herman comes to UT from the University of Houston.
Ever since the team's loss to Kansas last week, rumors started swirling that Charlie Strong was out and Tom Herman was a possible replacement, but it wasn't until after the TCU loss that UT leaders fired Strong, and hired Herman.
“I think Coach Strong is a really good guy. Unfortunately, I just think he couldn't get it done,” said UT freshman Marquis Ware.
Try as he may, Strong just couldn't find the momentum necessary to lead the longhorns to victory.
“They gave him three years and he had time to build a recruiting class and we still saw what happened,” said Carson Schubert who also attends the University of Texas.
After three consecutive 7-loss seasons, university leaders said goodbye to Strong on Saturday.
“They don't want to wait around for it to get good. They want it to be good now,” said UT freshman Julia Martinez.
Just hours later, the Longhorns announced University of Houston’s Tom Herman would take over.
“I mean I was pretty happy about it. I thought they might make us wait a long time before they found a new coach, so I was happy that it was pretty quick and the transition can start quickly,” Schubert said.
“He's younger so he probably has new ideas and he's been really successful at Houston. I know he has a great record there and he's always wanted to be at UT, so this is his dream job,” said Martinez.
Herman spent the last two years as head football coach for the University of Houston. In those two years, he achieved a 22-4 record and a 6-0 record against ranked opponents.
Last year, he led the Cougars to the Peach Bowl where they conquered Florida State and ended the season ranked eighth by the Associated Press. A promising track record that Longhorn fans hope will follow him to Austin.
“When we got Strong he had done something amazing at Louisville. Now we're getting Herman. He did something amazing at Houston and hopefully we don't have a repeat of history there,” Schubert said.
This won't be Herman’s first time on the sidelines at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. He worked as a graduate assistant coach in 1999 under Mack Brown and although Herman comes to UT with only two years of head coaching experience, not everyone thinks that's a bad thing.
“The inexperience might be good because clearly whatever we've been doing for the past six years has not been working, so maybe he can bring something in and change things up,” said Schubert.
One thing longhorn fans don't want changed is Coach Strong’s focus on instilling "core values" in his players.
“He had a great relationship. He really earned their respect and their trust. And he pushed them to do really well, not just on the field, but academically, which is a great thing that not every coach does,” Martinez said.
“I think that he was kind of like their life coach and I think that it's kind of sad for them knowing that they're losing someone like that,” said Ware.
Fans hope Herman will be able to replicate the same respect, during his time at the university.
Charlie Strong leaves the university with two years still left on his contract. Unless they agree on a buyout or he gets a job elsewhere, UT will have to pay him $5 million a year until his contract is up.