The University of Houston spoke this week with Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Tom Herman, multiple sources with knowledge of the search have told ESPN.com.
They added that the 39-year-old Herman impressed athletic director Mack Rhoades and the school’s administration.
Those familiar with the program say it is looking for someone to again make its offense as explosive as it was when Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Baylor’s Art Briles were at UH.
This season, Ohio State finished behind only Oregon in terms of Power 5 yards-per-play offense (7.04). The Buckeyes overcame a lot at the quarterback position to accomplish that.
Ohio State lost Heisman candidate Braxton Miller to a shoulder injury midway through preseason camp in August, but Herman and OSU’s coaching staff were able to turn backup J.T. Barrett into another Heisman hopeful by November.
Then, when Barrett broke his ankle in the regular-season finale against Michigan, the Buckeyes plugged in Cardale Jones for the team’s 59-0 rout of Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
The win propelled OSU into the first College Football Playoff. Jones, the No. 3 quarterback in August, had 257 yards and three touchdowns against the Badgers.
Herman has some familiarity with the Houston area, as well. He was the offensive coordinator at Rice from 2007-08. Rice and Houston’s campuses are separated by a couple miles.