Texas coach Tom Herman speaks during a press conference as he updates the local media about recruiting and incoming players during signing day at Moncrief Athletics Complex on Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Tom Herman defends hiring of former Baylor staffer Casey Horny

Posted February 1st, 2017

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Texas coach Tom Herman again defended the hiring of former Baylor assistant Casey Horny on Wednesday, saying the two had “some very direct and hard conversations” about the events in Waco.

During a radio interview on Jan. 21, Herman said Horny was “in alignment with what our vision is at the University of Texas.” He went even further on Wednesday while speaking to reporters, even before addressing the 18 recruits that UT landed on national signing day.

“He’s a person I’ve known for a long, long time,” Herman said. “I know his wife and I know his daughters. He is a great person, a great football coach and a man that I truly trust.”

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Herman and Horny first worked together as graduate assistants under Mack Brown at UT in 2000. Horny was a quality control assistant at Baylor the last nine years under former Bears coach Art Briles, who was fired. The school is embroiled in multiple lawsuits from women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Baylor football players.

On Jan. 17, Texas athletic director Mike Perrin issued a statement saying Horny was “in total alignment with our culture of integrity at the University of Texas.”

Herman also said he reviewed a letter from Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades, who stated that Horny was not involved in any way. Horny was not even interviewed by Pepper Hamilton investigators, who published a report about their findings.

“Before he came on board, we had some very direct and hard conversations, however,” Herman added. “I do believe he had no knowledge of the unfortunate circumstances that were going on at Baylor.”

Last season, Horny also used the #TruthDontLie hashtag, widely perceived as a message of support for Briles. Herman called it an “ill-advised tweet.”

“It was a mistake; he owns that and doesn’t support anything that happened there,” Herman said.

“It’s an unfortunate situation all around, and I want everybody to know that Casey and myself both have the utmost regard for the victims of those crimes,” the coach added. “He also understands our expectations here at the University of Texas and he will do a terrific job working with our special teams and be a positive influence on our young men.”

Horny has not been made available for comment since being hired at UT. The school typically does not make quality control staff members available to reporters.

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

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