Double duty: Meyer already searching for new OC
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Even while he's working on preparing his team for the Sugar Bowl national semifinal vs. No. 1 Alabama, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is searching for a new offensive coordinator.
Tom Herman was hired earlier this week as head coach at the University of Houston. He'll remain with Ohio State through the College Football Playoff.
"There's a lot of activity right now and you don't want to lose someone," Meyer said of the search. "This is a big hire."
Meyer said he wouldn't share names but he has "a list" and is monitoring potential candidates as the coaching carousel spins nationwide.
Herman has experience coaching in the state of Texas at Rice, Texas State and Sam Houston State. After three years at Iowa State he was Meyer's first choice for Ohio State's coordinator before the 2012 season because of his experience tutoring quarterbacks and operating an up-tempo spread offense.
This year's Ohio State offense ranks fourth nationally at an average of 45.2 points per game and eighth in yards at 507.6.
Herman was introduced at Houston Tuesday and was back at Ohio State for practice the next day. He'll continue to split his time between the two jobs until Ohio State leaves for New Orleans Dec. 27.
"Tom looks like someone hit him with a bat when he's walking around here," Meyer joked. "A good bat though.
"He's a pro. We had a good conversation about everything. He's really handling it well. He loves Ohio State and is very appreciative. I took a chance on Tom bringing Iowa State's offense to Ohio State. What people told me about him is correct."
Meyer said among the coaches who recommended Herman was Chip Kelly, then at Oregon and now the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Tom has been a really instrumental member of our staff," Meyer said.
Quarterback Braxton Miller was Big Ten Player of the Year in Herman's first two Ohio State seasons and freshman J.T. Barrett set the single-season Big Ten touchdowns record this season after Miller suffered a season-ending injury in August.
Barrett was hurt in the season finale and Ohio State won the Big Ten Championship Game, 59-0, with Cardale Jones making his first career start.