Source: Ohio State OC Tom Herman expected to be Houston's new coach

BY Bruce Feldman • December 15, 2014

Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman is expected to become the new head coach at Houston, a source told FOX Sports on Monday.

Houston is expected to officially announce the hire Tuesday.

Herman will remain on to coach Ohio State's offense through the rest of the playoff. Herman is planning to keep UH interim head coach David Gibbs as his defensive coordinator, according to sources.

The 2014 Broyles Award winner, honoring the nation's top assistant, Herman led the Buckeye offense to 45 points per game and a Big Ten title in 2014 despite having to replace a 1,000-yard rusher, four O-linemen and Big Ten MVP QB Braxton Miller, who Ohio State found out on the eve of the season would be lost for the year with a shoulder injury.

Herman turned Miller's understudy, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, into a Heisman contender, and then after Barrett fractured his ankle in the regular-season finale, the Buckeye QB coach/OC enabled third-stringer Cardale Jones to shine in a 59-0 romp over Wisconsin en route to a spot in the College Football Playoff.

To say Herman is brilliant wouldn't be hyperbole -- he actually is a MENSA member -- but he's also a terrific communicator and well-respected by his peers. Last season, his offense ranked third in the nation in scoring (45.5 points per game) while also having to rely on a backup QB Kenny Guiton. 

The 39-year-old Herman has solid Texas ties. He served as a graduate assistant on Mack Brown's UT staff in the late 90s and worked across town from Houston as Rice's OC from 2007-08, where the Owls set more than 40 school records. He has been instrumental in landing some plum Texas recruits for the Buckeyes in his three seasons on staff, including Barrett.

Herman's rep is such that when Houston president Renu Khator tweeted out on Friday, "If you have an opinion about next UH Football Coach, now is the time to tell us," the overwhelming reaction she got back were calls for the Buckeyes OC. 

Herman replaces Tony Levine, who was fired last week after going 21-17 in three seasons and struggling with an inconsistent offense. Still, Levine led the Cougars to bowl games the past two years, and there is a lot of talent in the UH program. 

Houston, with its fertile local recruiting base and stocked roster, is considered one of the most attractive non-Power 5 conference jobs in the country. 

Bruce Feldman is a senior college football reporter and columnist for and FOX Sports 1. He is also a New York Times Bestselling author. His new book, The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks, came out in October, 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BruceFeldmanCFB.