Tom Herman's Wife Knew He Would End up Back at Texas 20 Years Ago
SAN ANGELO, TX -- University of Texas head football coach Tom Herman has had to hear the common phrase “Texas is back” most of the offseason following Texas’ 28-21 win over Georgia in the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
On Wednesday, he explained to the crowd inside the Stephens Arena at Angelo State University how to ignore that noise and build a culture of belief during the Angelo Football Clinic.
“I think when you first come into a program, you have to very methodically and deliberately establish a culture,” the third-year head coach said. “At this point now, because we have seen some pretty tangible results from this past season, I think the buy-in level is at an all-time high. You need that kind of belief in the way that you do things to be successful.”
For a coach trying to get 18- and 19-year old kids to buy in to his program and beliefs, Herman understands there’s no specific way to go about that. The former Texas grad assistant feels his love for his players on and off the field has worked, though.
“If I had that answer, I’d bottle it up and sell it,” Herman laughed. “No, I think when you have a genuine love for your players and your staff, it echoes that. They realize that’s a great motivating factor, that they don’t want to let their coaches and teammates down. I think there is something to be said for some testimony, too. We’ve got multiple national championships on our staff. … So, I think there’s a bit of credibility there early, that said, ‘Hey, maybe this guy and his staff do know how this thing is done.’”
Herman noted his “nomadic life,” which took him from Division III Texas Lutheran University to Texas as a graduate assistant in 1999 and all the way to the University of Houston in his first head coaching gig before returning back to the 40 Acres in 2017.
Given how frequently they moved, not many things were kept, Herman said. However, his wife Michelle kept a lot of the stuff from Herman’s stint as a GA in Austin. That means restoring the culture at Texas is something special for Herman.
“I think when we moved to Austin, it was the sixth move in 11 years that I had moved my family. So we got pretty good at not saving a lot of things,” Herman joked. “But for some reason, my wife had always saved all of my memorabilia from Texas. I think she knew, 20 years ago, I fell in love with the place -- the city of Austin, the university, the football program, the people -- and that it was my dream job. You fast forward 20 years and now we’re back. It hasn’t been easy, I can tell you that, the last two years. It’s been very difficult. All the things in life that are worth it usually are (difficult).”
With Texas playing in their first New Year’s 6 bowl game since playing in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game against Alabama, it’s safe to say they’re relevant for the time being. In turn, that means the Red River Rivalry means more than just the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns playing for a golden cowboy hat.
In one word, Herman called the renewed significance of the game “fantastic.”
The Angelo Football Clinic will conclude on Thursday.
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