The Texas Longhorns have fired Tom Herman, replacing him with Steve Sarkisian.
In the biggest shocker thus far of 2021, the Texas football program has let former head coach Tom Herman go after four seasons, planning to hire Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as his replacement.
Herman went 32-18 overall and 22-13 in four seasons in Austin. While the Longhorns went 10-4 in his second year on the job in 2017, Texas never won the Big 12 in his four years there. Herman had been on the hot seat all season. While many people thought he was safe heading into 2021, the idea of hiring Sarkisian to really make this offense hum was apparently too good to pass up.
The University of Texas at Austin released the following statement on Saturday morning on its decision to move on from Herman for 2021.
“With our football season coming to a close, our vice president and athletics director, Chris Del Conte, has evaluated the UT program’s strengths and weaknesses and where the program is relative to our goals.”
“While we have made measured progress during the past several years under Tom Herman’s leadership, Chris has recommended to the university president, Jay Hartzell, that UT make a coaching change to get us on track to achieving our ambitious goals.”
“President Hartzell and the chair of our Board of Regents, Kevin Eltife, concur with this recommendation and have approved the change. We thank Coach Herman for his service and dedication to our student-athletes, our program and our university.”
What does this coaching change mean for Texas going forward?
While this move was relatively late in the cycle, Texas went out and got arguably the best candidate on the market in Sarkisian. In two weeks, he will take over a Texas program that is trying to make the leap from good to great. Sarkisian still has one game left with the Crimson Tide, as Alabama will play the Ohio State Buckeyes in the upcoming national championship game.
There is no doubt about what Sarkisian can do from a play-calling standpoint. He has rehabilitated his image in the last half-decade after things hit the fan with the USC Trojans. After two stints at Alabama and a two-year run coordinating the Atlanta Falcons’ offense in the NFL, Sarkisian is ready to lead his own program once again. He may be the one who finally brings Texas back.
Texas is a talent-rich state and one where Sarkisian could have no trouble getting the best players to Austin. His connections to California and the southeast bode very well for him from this standpoint. Because he has aligned himself with so many strong coaches, he should have no issues putting together a stellar staff at Texas. This is a massive hire for the Texas football program.
Though the Herman era did not work out, there is hope the Sarkisian era could be much better.