Tom Herman just might be the best young coach in college football. The 41-year-old was an offensive coordinator for Ohio State’s national-title team in 2014, and he is 14-1 as a head coach at Houston – a run that includes wins over Florida State and, after last Saturday, Oklahoma.
As a result, he’s probably on the wish list of every major program with an impending head-coaching vacancy. But that doesn’t mean he’s going anywhere. In fact, Herman has had several run-ins with media outlets claiming that he is entertaining offers to go elsewhere. He also blasted some local radio hosts who – citing an anonymous source – said Herman and a member of his staff had lunch with Kyle Allen last December to discuss the quarterback potentially transferring from A&M to Houston.
Herman took the duo to task on air in January.
“I shouldn’t have gone on air,” Herman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “The night before, I spent an hour ripping his butt on the telephone and I should have left it at that. So I certainly don’t want to do anything like that again. But I have opinions, too. My opinions are that if you’re going to call yourself a reporter, if you’re going to call yourself a journalist and you’re going to report things as fact based on quote-unquote sources, then you better be able to back that up and it better be right.
“It’s really hard for me,” Herman continued. “I studied communications. I thought I wanted to be like you guys. I thought I wanted to be a broadcaster and a journalist myself. The direction that the media has turned to where it doesn’t matter if you’re right anymore in terms of repercussions, I don’t like the road we’re heading down. And maybe I can’t stop it, but maybe if I continue to express my displeasure, (it will help).”
Herman, to be clear, doesn’t dislike media. He just doesn’t like irresponsible media.
“I love legitimate guys like you and some of the other guys,” he said. “I love legitimate reporters. Our beat writers here at Houston are great because they get it right. And you know what? Every now and again when they get it wrong, they say, ‘Hey, I’m sorry, I got it wrong.’ I’ve got much more respect for a guy that gets it wrong and puts his hand up and says, ‘That’s my fault, I got it wrong, I’ll do better next time’ than a guy that continues to defend his wrongness. But again, I know it’s the nature of social media and where technology has kind of turned that business, but I’m never going to stop fighting for what I believe is journalistic integrity and getting it right before you print it.”