Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman is expected to be named the head coach of the Houston Cougars, according to a source.
An agreement between Herman and Houston has yet to be finalized.
Herman, 39, helped lead the fourth-seeded Buckeyes to the inaugural College Football Playoff, despite losing starting quarterbacks Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett to injuries since the preseason. His third quarterback, Cardale Jones, was named the MVP of Ohio State's 59-0 romp of Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, Jones' first career start. Jones threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in the rout.
On Tuesday, Herman won the Broyles Award, which is given annually to the top assistant in college football.
He would replace Tony Levine, who was fired on Dec. 8 after going 21-17 in just over three seasons at Houston, including a record of 7-5 this year. The Cougars will play in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2 vs. Pittsburgh (6-6).
Herman would take over one of college football’s best non-Power Five jobs. Houston opened a $120 million stadium this season and is in the middle of one of the country’s most fruitful recruiting areas. It’s a gig that’s been a springboard to more prominent coaching jobs for Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Baylor’s Art Briles.
During Herman’s three seasons at Ohio State, his dynamic spread-option offenses have been among the nation’s best, breaking numerous school records. His unit this season is fourth in the FBS in scoring offense (45.2 points per game) this season and eighth in total offense (507.6 yards per game).
Herman was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Iowa State from 2009-11 before he arrived in Columbus. He also has a decade of collegiate coaching experience in Texas. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rice from 2007-08 when the Owls made a bowl for the first time since 1954. Prior to that, he held the same positions at Texas State for two years.
Herman was wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator at Sam Houston State from 2001-04. He was also a former offensive graduate assistant under Mack Brown from 1999-00 after getting his coaching start at Texas Lutheran. He played wide receiver at California Lutheran and is a Mensa member.
Will Muschamp was among the others considered for the Houston job until he pulled out Friday night to become Auburn’s defensive coordinator.