Texas Football: Texas, Utah Head Coaches Come From Same Coaching Tree
If you notice a similarity in the composition of Alamo Bowl opponents Texas and Utah, that comes by design.
The two head coaches share a similar pedigree, with Whittingham taking over the Utah program that Urban Meyer built in 2004. Since then the Utes have won a Mountain West title in 2008 and three Pac 12 South championships (2015, 18, 19).
Herman, meanwhile, came up as an offensive coordinator for Texas State, Rice and Iowa State before working for Meyer at Ohio State from 2012-14.
“I don’t know a whole lot other than what the stats say but I do know, Coach Whittingham and his reputation," Herman said. "I know both of us worked for Coach Urban Meyer and coach Whittingham has had some unbelievable defenses in the past and this year is not much different. The stats that you read in terms of rushing yards, yards per play all that stuff. We know that our offense is going to be in for a big-time challenge. Our defense as well. I know their quarterback, as you said, is second in the country in completion percentage, he’s a very efficient guy that has led them to the Pac-12 Championship game. Without yet studying either side on video I do know that coach Whittingham is going to hang his hat on defense and this year is no exception.”
Since Meyer left Ohio State he has made it a point to drop in and visit with his protige Whittingham, including a stop by Utes practice before the 2019 season began.
“It was good to see him and spend time with him,” Whittingham said after a preseason practice. “I guess we will be seeing him a lot on TV now from the FOX studio.”
While Herman and Meyer may not enjoy quite the same relationship after being colleagues, the Texas coach has often cited the way Meyer builds programs as part of his blueprint for building the Houston program and now Texas.
So which Meyer Protege will prevail on New Year's Eve? We'll all find out when the Utes and Longhorns kick off from San Antonio.