Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The University of Houston named Tom Herman its new head football coach on Tuesday, agreeing to a five-year, $6.75 million deal with the Ohio State offensive coordinator.
Herman, who will stay with the Buckeyes during their playoff run, replaces the fired Tony Levine.
"Tom Herman's name continued to rise above the rest of the field," said Houston athletic director Mack Rhoades in a statement Tuesday. "He is an extremely gifted football coach and his aptitude to lead and connect with his student-athletes is special. Our expectations for the program continue to increase and Tom has a detailed plan for taking our program to the next level."
Herman has helped develop record-setting and explosive offenses in each of his 10 seasons as an offensive coordinator, including his three seasons in the position at Ohio State.
The 2014 Buckeyes finished the regular season ranked fourth in scoring offense at 45.2 points per game and eighth in total offense at 507.6 yards per game despite losing Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller prior to the season.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for my family and I to come back to Houston and lead one of the top programs in the country," said Herman, who has had no prior head coaching experience and spent 11 seasons of his collegiate coaching career in the state of Texas. "I am looking forward to working with one of the top athletic directors in the country as well as Chancellor Khator in a partnership that will make the city of Houston and the great state of Texas proud."
Levine was dismissed last week despite leading the Cougars to a record of 21-17 with a pair of bowl appearances, including a 7-5 mark this season. Houston was 5-3 in the American Athletic Conference in 2014.
Defensive coordinator David Gibbs is the interim head coach and will guide Houston in its Jan. 2 Armed Forces Bowl game against Pittsburgh in Fort Worth.