New Houston coach Tom Herman adds two to coaching staff
James Madison co-offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer and Kentucky special teams coordinator and safeties coach Craig Naivar are expected to join new Houston coach Tom Herman's staff, a source told SI.com.
Mehringer and Naivar have signed offer letters, according to the source. Mehringer will work with the Cougars' offense while Naivar will work with the defense, but their specific areas of responsibility have not yet been determined.
Houston hired Herman last week to replace fired coach Tony Levine. Herman, who won the Broyles Award this year as the nation's top assistant, has been Ohio State's offensive coordinator for the past three years.
Mehringer helped FCS-level James Madison go 9-4 this year, his first season as co-offensive coordinator. The Dukes lost to Liberty, 26-21, in the first round of the FCS Playoffs. Under Mehringer's guidance, former Georgia Tech quarterbck Vad Lee set a program record with 3,462 yards passing with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions. James Madison also gained 4.8 yards per carry with a committee of ball-carriers, including Lee who led the team with 826 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
Mehringer has experience under Herman as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 2012 and '13 and at Iowa State in '10 and '11. He also worked with Herman as an undergraduate assistant at Rice after an injury ended his playing career with the Owls.
Naiver joined Mark Stoops' staff before this season after serving as defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Texas State for three years. He worked alongside Herman at Rice in 2007 and '08 when Herman was the Owls' offensive coordinator while Naiver was co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach.
Houston went 7-5 this season after beginning the year with hopes of competing for an American Athletic Conference title. The Cougars will end their campaign in the Armed Forces Bowl against Pittsburgh on Jan. 2.