TEXAS HAS 'IM
After going 22--4 in two seasons as Houston's football coach, the 41-year-old signed a five-year, $25 million contract with Texas—a decent raise from his graduate assistant days in Austin.
DAN PATRICK:Congratulations. Where are you right now?
TOM HERMAN: I'm at my new office in Austin, getting ready to hit the road for recruiting.
DP:When did you agree to take the Texas job?
TH: At, like, four in the morning on Saturday [Nov. 26].
DP:Why four in the morning?
TH: I got a phone call when we landed [the night before from Friday's 48--44 loss to Memphis], and they said that some people from Texas wanted to meet with me. The meeting didn't start until 10:30 at night, and it took that long to figure something out.
DP:Was your wife [Michelle] awake?
TH: She was on the phone [with me] as we were talking [in the meeting]. I don't know about you, but I'm not going to make any decision like that without calling her and making sure she's good.
DP:You told a reporter before the Memphis game not to believe reports you were leaving Houston. Were you being sincere?
TH: Yeah, I was. All of the reports before the game were inaccurate. I was not lying. I felt very comfortable saying that.
DP:Did LSU reach out to you?
TH: Not to skirt the question, but I don't know if how we got here [at Texas] is relevant. What's really relevant is that we're here now. I'm great with the team at Houston. I never once lied to them. Those are the people I needed to make my peace with. I've gotten numerous phone calls and texts, all positive, from my former players, boosters and administrators at Houston. I've moved on. I think it's smart for everybody else to too.
DP:Did you have to sell yourself to Texas, or was it the other way around?
TH: A little bit of both. I wanted to know their vision for Texas football and if it aligned with mine.
DP:How do you sell Texas [to recruits] after a down couple of seasons?
TH: We're the flagship university for the greatest football-playing state in our country. We've won multiple national championships. To sell it to recruits is easy.
DP:What are you doing with your Houston gear?
TH: Whenever I change jobs, I usually try to give it to fans that I've become close with.
DP:Why don't you have a tag sale?
TH: When I was a [grad assistant] and left Texas back in 2000, I had one because I needed the money.
DP:How much did you make as a GA?
TH: I made $400 a month. My wife was working back in Los Angeles. She would send me money to help me pay rent.
DP:You've made that much money since we started talking.
TH:[Laughs.] I haven't done the math, but that's pretty impressive.
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