Campus News

Fans of football coach create ‘Come and Take Him’ T-shirt


Cougar football fans hoping to hold on to head coach Tom Herman have rallied to support a GoFundMe that strives to provide a “Come and Take Him” T-shirt to every fan at the Louisville game. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

Under the ever-present threat that another school, one with more money and prestige like Louisiana State University, will try to steal head football coach Tom Herman, a student has taken her own steps to show support.

Elementary education junior Leah Hunt decided to show just how passionate Texas schools are about their football through designing a T-shirt to raise money for charity.

The red T-shirt, designed after the “Come and Take It” phrase from the Battle of Gonzales during the Texas Revolution, features a star on top of Herman’s picture with the phrase “Come and Take Him” underneath.

“That’s great,” Herman said when shown an image of the shirt. “It’s very witty.”

The shirts became an overnight success in Houston as Hunt received 122 orders. It inspired Cole Swartz, a local fan, to start a GoFundMe that was featured in the Chronicle and on SportsTalk 790.

The campaign was also mentioned on the ESPN broadcast of the game against the University of Connecticut last Thursday.

The increased publicity has been a boon for the campaign, leading it to be shared on social media nearly 3,000 times and raising over $20,000 in five days. That is well on the way to reach the goal of supplying a shirt to every fan who attends the Nov. 17 game against Louisville.

After ironing out all details over the design and campaign with the University and the Athletics Department, Hunt was asked to not speak to press. Hunt did not respond to requests for comment in time for press.

The idea of Herman leaving has many students worried. There are rumors that the University of Texas at Austin may fire its head football coach, Charlie Strong, after a disappointing season. Herman once served as a graduate assistant there.

There’s also a precedent: Former UH football coaches Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin each left for Power Five schools in Texas after successful runs at UH.

“I would be deeply saddened and deflated by this news, and I truly believe the city of Houston would share my sentiments,” said communications senior Tony Marks. “We’ve already lost some great coaches to top five power conferences before Coach Herman. As great as they were, I am confident he’s the best we’ve had in decades with UH’s record, ranking, fan base and national attention all soaring simultaneously.”

Despite Saturday’s surprising loss at the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen, Herman has raised the Cougars’ spotlight and led them to their highest ranking since 1990.

Not all students are so confident he’ll leave. One student said the best job available for Herman is the one he currently has.

“I don’t think (Herman leaving is) as likely as people make it out to be,” said political science senior Elliot Kauffman. “You have to get a grasp on what is the better job. On one hand, you have Houston…[which] has an amazing quarterback coming into play next year and is on the rise with millions of dollars being built up in facilities.”

Whether Herman leaves is a decision that comes down to him and the University, but Hunt showed that students will do all they can to support him.

Kauffman summed up the thoughts of most Cougar fans.

“Right now, I’m a cheerleader for Texas getting the best coach they can not named Tom Herman,” Kauffman said.

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