Houston head coach Tom Herman celebrates after the Peach Bowl NCAA college football game against Florida State, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Atlanta. Houston won 38-24. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

BEVO BEAT Football

Reports: LSU officials close to finalizing deal with Tom Herman

Posted November 24th, 2016

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LSU officials could finalize a deal by Saturday to hire Houston coach Tom Herman, ESPN reported on Thursday.

USA Today also reported that Herman met with LSU officials in Houston on Thanksgiving, presumably before the Cougars left town for their regular-season finale at Memphis. A Houston source said Herman was in Memphis and spent the entire afternoon with his team.

Herman’s agent, Trace Armstrong, could not be reached.

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“There was a group meet with Herman today in Houston,” a LSU source told USA Today. “This is moving in Herman’s direction.”

Herman, a former graduate assistant at Texas, was thought to be a solid candidate for the Longhorns when the school moved on from coach Charlie Strong. The American-Statesman reported last Sunday that UT administrators, namely president Gregory L. Fenves, had decided to fire the third-year coach who has a 16-20 record.

However, Strong was superb at an emotional press conference on Monday where he outlined the reasons why he should be given another year. More than 50 players were in attendance to show their support. Strong left the podium to applause, and TV cameras captured the coach giving and receiving hugs.

The optics of that moment had an effect on top UT officials, apparently. On Thursday, a university source told the Statesman that Strong still has a chance to save his job with a blowout win over TCU on Friday. The Horns are slight favorites at home.

Both Texas (5-6) and TCU (5-5) need one more victory to reach bowl eligibility.

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

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