With the decision to fire Tom Herman, the University of Texas will be paying out big money.
Weeks after athletic director Chris Del Conte declared he’d return next season, the University of Texas fired head football coach Tom Herman on Saturday. Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has been tabbed to replace Herman.
With the decision to fire Herman, there are of course financial implications. According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports, Herman’s buyout is $15 million and counting the firing of his entire coaching staff the school will shell out a total of $24 million. Then there’s the additional cost of paying any buyout for Sarkisian and giving him a contract, so this could be a $40 million decision.
With the buyout he was owed and the school apparently failing to woo Urban Meyer, Herman seemed sure to get a fifth season at Texas when Del Conte gave him an endorsement. A recent win over Colorado in the Alamo Bowl seemed to do nothing to change that. But as Lee Corso says, “not so fast, my friend.”
So why did Texas fire Tom Herman?
In four seasons at Texas, Herman went 32-18 overall and 22-13 in the Big 12. The 2018 season, when the Longhorns went 10-4 and beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, was a highlight of his tenure. But it was not ultimately a launching point to the program winning the Big 12 and being a national title contender again. Over the last two seasons, the Longhorns went just 15-8 overall and 10-8 in conference play.
Herman led a step forward for the football program at Texas, after the disaster that was Charlie Strong’s tenure as head coach (and the end of Mack Brown’s tenure before that, to be honest). But the expectations don’t stop at 10 wins and a major bowl victory in Austin, even if those high expectations aren’t especially realistic anymore. Failure to beat chief rival Oklahoma, or even Iowa State and TCU by the end, ultimately did Herman in as much as anything.