Houston, along with every other team considered, did not pass the Big 12’s test for membership into the Power 5 conference. But the Cougars’ football program is attempting to conduct some internal business after being informed it will continue to be affiliated with the American Athletic Conference.
University higher-ups are engaged in discussions on a contract extension for second-year coach Tom Herman, Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle reports. This comes at a time when Herman has drawn interest from much higher-profile programs after spearheading the continued growth of Houston’s football operation.
LSU and possibly Texas, if it follows through on firing Charlie Strong, are thought to be considering the 41-year-old Herman, per Duarte. Athletic director Hunter Yurachek said during an appearance on 1560 AM’s the Nate and Creight Show the school was going to do everything in its power to keep Herman in Houston.
“I think it’s going to take a phenomenal — and I mean phenomenal – opportunity for coach Herman to leave the University of Houston,” Yurachek said on the radio show. “We’re committed to making it very hard for him to leave here at this point. Somebody is going to have to come and really take him and offer him something really phenomenal because we are going to make it really hard for him to say no to the University of Houston.”
Despite his recent hire, Herman already received a salary bump to $3 million last December, so Houston won’t let the talented coach depart without a fight, it appears. Herman led the Cougars to a 13-1 record in 2015 after taking the reins from Tony Levine, and the No. 11 Cougars are 6-1 this season.