HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Tilman Fertitta, chairman of the University of Board of Regents and chairman and CEO of Landry’s, Inc, said Monday the school will upgrade Coach Tom Herman’s contract after the season is over, and that money will not be an issue if there is threat UH could lose him.
“I do not fear a bidding war for Tom,” Fertitta said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “We’re not going to lose him over money. If he wants to leave, he’s going to leave. I don’t think Tom Herman has any desire to leave over money. It’s because he would want to go to a program where he feels like he personally has a better chance of competing for a national championship every year.
“We will do whatever it takes to keep Tom Herman at the University of Houston. We’re not going to lose Tom Herman because of money. If Tom Herman wants to go LSU or Texas or Oregon or Baylor or wherever else, we cannot stop him from doing that. He’s not going to leave because of money.”
Fertitta said UH looks forward to getting with Herman and his agent after the season has ended to work on upgrading his contract.
“When the season’s over we’ll sit down with Tom Herman and make adjustments to his contract to pay him what he’s worth,” Fertitta said. “We’ll make other adjustments and other wants and needs that are important to him, and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep Tom Herman as the football coach at the University of Houston, but if Tom Herman decides he wants to leave, head football coaches today of Tom’s caliber don’t usually leave because of money. They leave because they think they have a better chance of competing for national championships.
“You got to understand, our athletics director (Hunter Yurachek) and Tom’s agent, they talk all through the year,” Fertitta said. “We’ve made it real clear to Tom Herman and his agent that we don’t want to lose you over financial items. We can’t promise you certain things, but we’re going to do whatever it takes to keep you. We’re not going to let you leave over financial matters.”
Fertitta does not believe it is a forgone conclusion that UH will lose its head coach.
“I absolutely do not think it’s a forgone conclusion that we’re going to lose our coach,” Fertitta said. “Tom Herman loves the University of Houston. He’s happy to be coaching at the University of Houston, and I think there’s only a few places Tom Herman would even consider.”
However, Fertitta also understands the reality that goes with the business of college football.
“Tom has a buyout in his contract as all college football coaches have,” Fertitta said. “If he wants to leave, Tom Herman can leave and there is nothing we can do to keep him here. Tom might want to compete for a national championship every single year and he may think he might have a better opportunity at another school.
“We think the opportunity is very good here.
“It’s Tom Herman’s call. We hope Tom Herman is here for the next 20 years and we build a statue for him one day.”