Family, experience prepare Bush for role as offensive coordinator

Travis Bush was named the Cougars' offensive coordinator on Friday. | Caitlin Hilton/The Daily Cougar

Travis Bush was named the Cougars’ offensive coordinator on Friday. | Caitlin Hilton/The Daily Cougar

For as long as he can remember, Travis Bush has wanted to be a coach.

Fortunately for Bush, he had a good role model within his own home whose advice has helped him adjust to the immense challenges of the profession.

Bush’s father, Bruce, is in the top 20 of Texas high school football coaching wins after more than 40 years at schools in south and central Texas. Bruce amassed more than 270 victories and a state title.

Now, Bush has an opportunity to make a name for himself at the college level — he was pegged as the Cougars’ offensive coordinator on Friday after the departure of Doug Meacham to TCU for the same position. Bush will call plays when UH faces Vanderbilt on Jan. 4 at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.

“He brings a lot of energy,” said redshirt sophomore running back Kenneth Farrow. “I’m just excited that he’s permanent. It’ll be fun, because I know he can get the job done. He really motivates us guys.”

Though his father’s Wing-T offense — a run-based scheme that uses motion to create favorable matchups — is vastly different from the Cougars’ Air-Raid, Bush said he will bring several elements to UH from “the best coach” he has ever worked with. Bush plans to add facets like a greater diversity in the running game and more misdirection from his father’s scheme. He said he also expects a faster tempo next season.

“He’s an old-fashioned Wing-T misdirection guy, but that’s kind of been in my blood too. I like misdirection,” Bush said. “It still has a part in what we do on offense with motions and being able to just get defensive eyes off the keys.”

Bush has experience blending the skills that he has gained from Bruce and during stops at Texas State and UTSA with the UH offense. When he called plays in 2012, Bush installed the diamond package — a two or three back set designed to get the Cougars’ best offensive weapons on the field at the same time. Against UTEP in 2012, UH had five scoring drives of four or fewer plays using misdirection and the diamond package.

With Bush calling plays in 2012, UH finished No. 15 nationally with 479.6 yards per game. The Cougars wielded a passing offense that ranked No.  11 nationally at 328.4 yards per game when he took over during the final 11 games of the season after offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt resigned.

With the Cougars hiring Meacham this offseason, Bush was given the opportunity to observe and learn the Air Raid better without the day-to-day duties of an offensive coordinator. He coached running backs while serving as co-offensive coordinator and assistant head coach this season.

“For him to take a step back from that position for the last 12 months or so and see this offensive scheme installed again and called on game day, he has got a great feel given his own creativity and unpredictability in this system,” said head coach Tony Levine.

Bush said the opportunity to command an offense from spring practice to the completion of the season excites him. In 2012, he stepped in for Nesbitt. This season, he is finishing what Meacham began.

“Next spring, we’ll be able to start from scratch and see what we’re able to do, building this thing from scratch. It’s my last year of just kind of filling in and finishing what someone else started,” Bush said.

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1 Comment

  • Didn’t know what to think about this promotion, given the fact that he was in that position last year and we didn’t have a winning record. But, reflecting back, it was a different set of circumstances. Looking forward to what he shows at the bowl game.

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