Houston and Herman: Embracing a new era
With spring practice in full swing, Houston head football coach Tom Herman has gotten past any growing pains from making the transition to Houston from Ohio State.
The former offensive coordinator has made the Lone Star State his home after serving multiple tenures in Texas prior to Ohio State, and nobody is worried that his next endeavor will be any less successful.
“I am just so excited about our future,” said President Renu Khator. “I know the team is going to play to his personality, full of energy. I just know we’re going to see a really great team.”
Herman is just as excited, but he knows there is still work that needs to be done before the team can tap into its full potential.
“The level of execution is certainly not where it needs to be, but they do go hard, and they’re buying into the culture that we’ve created here. They genuinely want to succeed,” said Herman of his team. “We have to be the best team we can be, and our goal right now is to win the conference championship and maybe provide a platform to gain some national notoriety.”
Herman’s enthusiastic approach to the upcoming season has spread to more than just the administration and coaches, as some of the team’s most veteran players know the future will warrant success for both the current and future Cougars.
“A lot of pressure is off you because you know that’s he’s working with you instead of against you,” said senior safety Adrian McDonald. “Whenever we leave here, hopefully he’s still bringing in big time recruits and building this other half of the stadium up.”
Herman couldn’t make all of this happen on his own — students outside of athletics helped him get used to life at UH. The Student Government Association was one of the first organizations Herman turned to, and they worked to make sure that his visit was worthwhile.
“The first thing he did when he came to us was ask how can we get involved, how can we help you, how can we be good partners for the University,” said SGA President Charles Haston. “He really set the stage for a partnership that we’ve never seen before with this department, and that’s pretty special.”
The warm welcome that Herman has encouraged with his “students first” campaign will leave a lasting impression on those he has taken the time for. Although he will be graduating, Haston is excited to see where the program will go under Herman’s guidance.
“He comes to us and asks us for help and for advice about how to reach students, the best places to go and times to go and things of that nature,” said Haston. “He’s somebody that understands the importance of putting students first and recognizing them, and it’s great seeing things like this move forward.”
Khator encouraged the UH community to appreciate how much Herman wants to be involved in their success, regardless of whether they are a part of athletics. The addition of Herman doesn’t stray far from her dream for the University.
“The only thing I can do is sell the dream as to where the potential is, where we could go and where he could take us,” Khator said. “I think people like to be the change, and they like to make a difference, and I think that’s what Coach Herman came here for.”