UH hopes to wrap up search for new football coach quickly

- The University of Houston hopes to wrap up its search for a new head football coach within the next two weeks, if not sooner.

"I want to get it done as soon as possible," said Tilman Fertitta, chairman of the UH Board of Regents.

"Next week (if possible). Tom (Herman) left on Saturday. At the outside, two weeks from last Saturday."

UH President Renu Khator tweeted out something similar earlier on Wednesday."

"Three important searches to be filled in the next two weeks-president of UHD, VP of Research at UH and Cougars head football coach," Khator wrote on Twitter.

Fertitta will not discuss potential candidates who are in the midst of their seasons.

"There's people that we're zeroing in on as well as our offensive (Major Applewhite) and defensive coordinator (Todd Orlando) that we think a lot of, Fertitta said. "We have some good interest from some very high-profile names.

"We're going to do this with a lot of integrity. We're not going to talk to a football coach during the season."

Fertitta did acknowledge that two coaches who have expressed interest are former LSU coach Les Miles and former Baylor coach Art Briles, who was UH's head coach from 2003-2007.

Considering Briles will not be easy, given the fact he was fired at Baylor in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against some of his former players and the way that Briles handled those allegations.

"I would love for Art Briles to be on our super-short list, but until, or if, or when we can ever get full clarity, I can't see us going there," Fertitta said.

"There's a lot of administrators and ex-administrators and board of regents from Baylor that say that Art Briles was a scapegoat at Baylor. I've had calls from ex-chairmen of the board of regents there, current big, big boosters there, lawyers who represent Baylor. I've not had one negative call about Art Briles.

"There still seems to be a clarity problem, and until we get clarity I don't know that we can go there"

Miles, who won a national championship at LSU in 2007, was fired during the season by LSU.

"I think we have interest in him and he has interest in us," Fertitta said. "He's on the list. I'm not saying he's No. five on the list or No. one on the list. He's just on the list."

Meanwhile, Fertitta said it will not be easy for the next UH coach to leave quickly.

"We're just making it clear that the first couple of years that there's going to be a huge buyout number," Fertitta said. "We owe it to these student-athletes and to the students and the alumni and everybody else, that we can't have a football coach that comes in here with a bunch of really good athletes right now and goes 10-1 or 11-1 next year and takes another job.

"If we lose out on our best candidate, then so be it. It's still college, and it isn't fair to these kids that came in to lose a coach again next year or the year after and have to go through three coaches in their four years of college. We owe it to the student-athletes to prevent a coaching change in the next two years.

"I've put it out there, If you want a cheap buyout the first couple of years, then don't come apply."





 


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