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Ex-UT football coach Tom Herman: 'Texas will always hold a special place in my heart'

Speaking publicly for the first time since he was fired on Saturday, former Texas football coach Tom Herman thanked his players and assistants before wishing the Longhorns well.

Herman had avoided the media since his dismissal was announced, but he released a statement on Monday. Herman's wife, Michelle, shared those words on her Twitter account.

In his statement, Herman said "I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to have been the head coach at the University of Texas. It has been a great honor, and as an alumnus, Texas will always hold a special place in my heart.

Texas head coach Tom Herman celebrates a win over Baylor with his wife, Michelle, at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Oct. 13, 2018.

"I also want to thank the players that I've been blessed to coach. You have represented the University with dignity and have given your all in an effort to make your program better.

"And to the coaches and staff who have poured their heart and soul into this program, my appreciation has no bounds. Your efforts have been the backbone of our successes. 

"Finally, my family and I wish nothing but success and happiness to Longhorn nation in the future."

Herman went 32-18 over his four seasons at Texas. The Longhorns won four bowl games and were ranked as high as sixth in the Associated Press' poll during his tenure. Texas, though, never won the Big 12s title.

Herman had three years left on his contract. As recently as December, UT athletic director Chris Del Conte had implied that Herman would be the university's football coach in 2021. Del Conte, however, told the American-Statesman this weekend that "circumstances changed."

Not long after Herman's firing was announced on Saturday, Texas turned to Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to lead its football program. Sarkisian compiled a 46-35 record during his previous stops at Washington and USC.