USA Today Sports
The axe came to Texas’ coaching staff on Sunday.
Tom Herman announced that he fired defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, once believed to be a rising star in the profession who was on his way to his own head coaching job, and pass game coordinator Drew Mehringer, who was highly respected by five-star Bru McCoy and many others throughout the recruiting process.
He also demoted Tim Beck from offensive coordinator to quarterbacks coach and moved Corby Meekings from inside receivers coach to an administrative role.
This comes on the heels of Texas’ disappointing 7-5 season where the Longhorns, expected to be a possible College Football Playoff contender after beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl last season, lost to LSU and Oklahoma and then dropped away games at TCU, Iowa State and Baylor.
Texas also escaped with a last-second win over Kansas, which was largely seen as embarrassing that the game was anywhere near that close.
Herman is now 24-15 as the Texas head coach and just 17-10 in the Big 12 where two of his three seasons the Longhorns have dropped four conference games.
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Recruiting has not taken a major hit despite the Longhorns’ struggles on the field as they have the eighth-best class this cycle, led by five-star running back Bijan Robinson, who is putting up incredible numbers in his senior season. But Texas does have only two commitments from the top 11 players in the state.
On Sunday, Herman released a statement:
“After taking time, looking back and evaluating the season in its totality, I am very disappointed in our performance in a number of areas in 2019. 7-5 will never be our standard at Texas and I take full responsibility for any and all of our shortcomings and know we need to do a better job coaching across the board. With that said, I do believe the future is very bright, have decided to make some changes to our staff as we head into bowl preparation and look to finish strong in the final weeks of fall recruiting.”
We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if he believes these coaching moves will make any significant change in Texas’ struggles, if Herman is the right man to make Texas a national power again or if this is a program whose best years are behind it in an ever-changing college football landscape where elite talent is more concentrated than ever?
“Herman is the right guy for recruiting. He’s a huge step up from the mistake that was Charlie Strong. However, I no longer believe he’s going to be a successful coach at Texas no matter what changes he makes. I’ve lost faith.
“This was a guy who was amazing at Ohio State and was very impressive at Houston. Where did that guy go? Listen, the Texas job shouldn’t be this hard — it just shouldn’t. Strong was a bad hire because he wasn’t a fit. Herman has just plain failed despite being a great fit. And I can’t figure it out. But he’s gone next season barring a Big 12 title.”