Texas head coach Tom Herman takes the field before a Big 12 Conference football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

BEVO BEAT Football

Texas president: Two-year contract extension shows ‘we’re committed to Tom Herman’

New contract goes through 2023; School officials likely to pay Herman more if Texas keeps winning

Posted May 23rd, 2019

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Texas President Gregory L. Fenves said coach Tom Herman’s two-year contract extension sends a message that the school is committed to him as the leader of UT football both now and going forward.

The UT System Board of Regents approved Herman’s extension Thursday morning as part of the consent agenda items. All multi-year contracts at UT must be approved by the regents.

Texas Head coach Tom Herman greet all of his players as they walk into the locker room at the Superdome for the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game in New Orleans, LA.Tuesday, January 1, 2019. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

“The message we want to send to our head coach, to the players on the team, to the recruits and Longhorn Nation is that we’re committed to Tom Herman as the head coach of Longhorn football,” Fenves told the American-Statesman.

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Herman, 43, was under contract through 2021. His extension pushes Herman’s contract through the 2023 season. Herman is scheduled to receive $6.5 million for 2022 and $6.750 million for 2023.

“I think coach Herman has shown that he’s built a platform and strong program that’s a base for future progress,” he added. “We’re all very excited about where he’s taking the program.”

Herman inherited a program that endured three straight losing seasons. In 2017, Texas went 7-6 and reached a bowl game for the first time since 2014. Last season, the Longhorns went 10-4, reached the Big 12 championship and demolished then-No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. This fall, Texas is projected to be among the top-15 teams in the preseason Associated Press Top 25.

In a statement, Herman said he was grateful to UT administrators “for all the support they provide me, my family and our football program.”

“I truly love being the head football coach at Texas,” Herman said in the statement. “We’ve done some good things, but have so much more we are preparing to accomplish. I’m excited for the future.”

Athletic director Chris Del Conte, who pushed for the extension, told the Statesman that Herman is building something special and “we couldn’t be more excited about his leadership of our football program.”

“There have been many great accomplishments and the culture he is establishing is one that focuses on maximizing the student-athletes on the field and developing them as young men, in the classroom and our community off the field,” Del Conte said. “We are lucky to have him and thrilled to be extending his contract. The future of Texas Football is in great hands.”

School administrators won’t hesitate to tear up Herman’s new deal and open the vault — if the Longhorns continue on their current trajectory. The market for coaches is rapidly zooming higher. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney just signed a 10-year, $92-million contract after winning two national titles.

“Chris Del Conte and I are always looking at our commitments to our coaches, and it’s always an ongoing process and it never stops,” Fenves said.

The school has shown a great commitment to the football program already.

Bevo Boulevard and the Longhorn City Limits’ pregame concerts were smashing successes last fall. Texas just started the demolition of the south end zone of Royal-Memorial Stadium as part of a $175-million renovation project. Athletics was responsible for $125 million of the total, and it’s possible that most will be accounted for when the season begins.

“It’s all thanks to Chris Del Conte,” Fenves said. “He came up with this brilliant concept addressing the long history of how do we finish Royal-Memorial, how do we finish off the south end zone. In the short time he’s been here, he very quickly put together a very ambitious, visionary, doable and practical plan for the south end zone to not only improve the fan experience but to improve the football facilities for the football program, which are critically important.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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