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Source: Urban Meyer isn’t coming to Austin, but Texas’ Tom Herman may not be safe yet

However, “no decision” has been made about whether to move on from UT’s current coach Tom Herman.

Texas coach Tom Herman has declined to comment on speculation about his job status or the nature of discussions he's had with athletic director Chris Del Conte.

Urban Meyer, the three-time national championship-winning coach, informed Texas officials in the past two days that he is not pursuing another coaching position because of health issues, a university source told the American-Statesman on Sunday night.

However, “no decision” has been made about whether to move on from UT’s current football coach, Tom Herman, the source said. 

Texas officials are still “sorting through” their options, the source said.

With Meyer out, all attention turns back to UT athletic director Chris Del Conte and whether he will keep Herman. Del Conte was in Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday for Texas’ 69-31 blowout win over Kansas State.

Asked Monday if he’s spoken to Del Conte about 2021, Herman said, “Chris and I talk almost every day. Most days, (it’s) most of the day, multiple times a day.

“He continues to show his support for myself and this team and was excited as all of us were able to get a big win on the road,” Herman said on the Big 12 coaches' call. “Everybody knows the difficulties that our program has had winning in Manhattan in the past, and just so very proud.”

Has Herman ever asked Del Conte why the athletic director won’t support him publicly? “No,” Herman said.

Does Herman wish Del Conte would? “That’s a question for another person,” he said. 

“I can’t speak for anybody but myself and our team," Herman continued. “We’re excited to be prepared to play Kansas and hopefully we get that opportunity. Right now everybody’s at home and trying to do our best to game plan to play Kansas as planned, as scheduled. But as far as that’s concerned, that’s not a question I can answer.”

Del Conte holds a firm belief that the athletic director should not be commenting about a coach or a coach’s status until after the team’s season is complete. He declined to comment again Monday.

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte has refused to comment on the future of his coaches while their teams are still playing games.

The Longhorns (6-3, 5-3 Big 12) have one regular-season game left, scheduled for Saturday against 0-9 Kansas. However, the school announced Sunday that all football activities were being paused after three players and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. 

Herman is 31-18 in four seasons at UT. He’s got a 3-0 bowl record but has not won a Big 12 title, has played for only one (2018) and has gone 1-4 against rival Oklahoma. By beating Kansas State, Texas has secured its fourth straight winning season. Before Herman’s arrival, the Horns had three straight losing seasons.

Herman was Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Ohio State when the Buckeyes won the 2014 national championship. Herman used that as a springboard to a head coaching job at Houston and then at Texas.

Meyer had a 187-32 record over 17 seasons and won national titles at Florida (2006, 2008) and in Columbus. But he ultimately retired in 2018 in part because of a medical condition. Meyer announced he had an arachnoid cyst in his brain that causes severe headaches.

Since leaving the sideline, he has remained in the spotlight on Fox’s Saturday pregame show. 

Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, left, has said he won't return to coaching because of health issues, a source told the American-Statesman.

With Meyer now out of the picture, UT officials must decide if there’s another coach out there who moves the needle — or whether they should stick with Herman. The 2021 recruiting class currently ranks 17th nationally, according to the 247Sports composite ratings, and the 2022 class is in limbo.

Asked Saturday about job speculation, Herman said, “I don't listen to it. I believe what our administration and my boss is telling me.”