Houston coach Tom Herman signed a new five-year contract Friday that pays him approximately $2.8 million annually and includes another $200,000 for his staff, according to a source. Houston later confirmed the contract extension in a release Friday morning.
The deal comes after the highly coveted 40-year-old Herman was pursued for several other head-coaching jobs, including South Carolina’s vacancy.
Under the terms of the new contract, Herman's original buyout of $2.25 million gets extended a year to Feb. 28, 2019. The buyout is $2.5 million prior to Feb. 28, 2017. However, the $2.5 million buyout gets reduced by 25% if a planned $20 million indoor facility project is not approved by Houston's board of regents by Sept. 1, 2016. The $2.25 million buyout gets reduced by 50% if construction of the indoor practice facility isn’t at or near completion by Dec. 1, 2017, and reduced by 75% if the facility isn’t at or near completion by Dec. 1, 2018.
It’s been an impressive first season for Herman in his debut as a head coach. His 19th-ranked Cougars (11–1, 7–1 AAC) host Temple (10–2, 7–1) on Saturday in the American Athletic Conference championship game. With a win, Houston will essentially clinch the Group of Five’s automatic berth in one of the New Year’s Six bowls. Herman was named the American's co-coach of the year with Navy's Ken Niumatalolo.
Herman’s team is eighth in the FBS this season in scoring offense (42 points per game) behind star junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and 22nd in scoring defense (22.1 points per game). His program also has a stellar 2016 recruiting class that’s ranked as the best in the Group of Five and as high as 31st nationally by one service.
Previously, Herman was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons. He helped the Buckeyes win the inaugural College Football Playoff championship last season despite having to play three different starting quarterbacks.