Herman Named Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach

By 11W Staff on December 9, 2011 at 4:36p

While it was reported yesterday that Tom Herman would be quarterbacks coach at Ohio State, apparently there will be a little more responsibility in store for the 36 year old coming from Iowa State. 

Ohio State just issued a release stating that Herman will also be offensive coordinator on Urban Meyer's staff and it appears the Buckeyes' head man is very excited about his new right hand man:

"Tom Herman has one of the bright young minds in college football. His philosophies are very similar to those of my own. I spoke to numerous colleagues about Tom and all had great things to say about him. I enjoyed our time together during the interview process and I am excited to have him on the staff."

Herman served the same role in his previous job for the Cyclones, whom he will still coach in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers on December 30 in Yankee Stadium. His offense is averaging 181.2 rushing yards and 211.7 passing yards per game this season, which included upset wins against Iowa and Oklahoma State .

He too, seemed excited about the opportunity to coach in Columbus, saying:

"To work with and for Coach Meyer is an exciting opportunity for me. I am really looking forward to working with him and learning about his offensive systems. And to be able to coach with him at The Ohio State University is simply a dream come true."

Before his three year stop in Ames, Herman was offensive coordinator at Rice from 2007-2008 and at Texas State from 2005-2006, wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator at Sam Houston State from 2001-2004, and was a graduate assistant at Texas from 1999-2000. 

Born in Cincinnati, Herman is known for his high-powered offenses that operate out of the spread. Coming back to his home state and getting to further develop his offensive mind under a great coach like Urban Meyer seems like a perfect fit for both the newly hired coach and the university. In Herman, Ohio State gets one of the smartest and innovative offensive minds in the college game and it should be interesting to see what he does with Braxton Miller and the other superb athletes on the Buckeyes' roster.


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DJ Byrnes's picture

so hard to envision the spread being run in ohio stadium tomorrow. ive been reeling over this since urban was crowned.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Craft to the Rafters's picture

tru - we all railed against Michigan's failure to execute a spread against the B1G defenses but now we're pretending it will rip up the league. 

And the comparison is not that far off: RichRod is master of the spread (if nothing else) and Denard if a fine running qb (if nothing else). I like our pieces better, and scUM did see some success this year, but Iowa/Mich St./Wisc were not often fooled by the wolverine schemes...

at least we know the Urban Legend developed his mastery in the tough SEC instead of RichRod working the BigLeast D's..

Craft to the Rafters's picture

too many puns.. ? i gotta take a break from adderall.. 

dancorona5's picture

Michigan with RichRod never had a problem scoring, it was his pathetic D that led to his downfall...I think our D will stay solid especially with Fickell staying on, and we will finally be able to punish teams on the other side of the ball as well.

BuddhaBuck's picture

Yes. Even DickRod was successful at not being one of the worst offensive teams in the FBS.

Don't text while driving.

Alex's picture

This is a MUCH different spread first of all. We will play power football, just not out of the same formations you are used to. If you look at Urban Meyer's offense, yes it is innovative and creative (Jim Bollman's fault we don't know how to visualize) in terms of some trickery here and there, but it's fairly simple if you break it down. Basically he will run your basic run plays but in various formations. Sometimes they will come under center, sometimes in shot gun, sometimes in pistol, sometimes with split backs, etc. He keeps defenses thinking by mixing up the WAY he calls certain plays, not by calling a multitude of crazy executions.

Secondly, Rich Rod's 3-3-5 defense was one of the bigger reasons he failed. If he brought in a coordinator who had full authority to run a straight up 4-3 or some variation of a normal defense they would have been fine. Michigan's offensive rankings soared up the ranks every year, but their defensive rankings plummeted down year after year. In year 3 of RR if they had a solid defense, they would have won the way they did this year.

Craft to the Rafters's picture

Both solid points. As long as Meyer's playcalling can keep the D on its heels, it will allow us to run out of the shotgun and the like w/less blocking.. but I don't consider that power football. 

Obviously excited and have high hopes, but there is an annoying, creeping doubt that this is not how Buckeye football is usually built..

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

So Michigan's spread didn't work in the B1G?

Umm... Yeah it did. To the tune of 470 yards per game in conference play last year, including an average of 423 yards per game against the Top 4 defenses in the conference (who all ranked in the Top 35 nationally).

It was their piss poor defense that let them down.

Craft to the Rafters's picture

their D certainly let them down. but they could not score against Mich St., for 3 quarters against Iowa until they were by 21, and went down 24-0 against the Badgers before they moved on a prevent defense. and of course the Bucks didn't have any problems shutting them down. All losses.

Granted, much of that can be attribtued to ducks from Denard. but i watched those games - the solid D's were not intimidated.

btalbert25's picture

One other point I have to make is, how often has Ohio State had a great offense the last 10 years or so?  Hell the team made a BCS bowl game because the kicker was their most valuable offensive player.  They won a title with a team that when Clarrett was hurt struggled to move the ball. 

It's not exactly as if Ohio State is scrapping a high octane, system that just moves everyone down for this new fangled gimmicky system.  We've mostly been mediocre/average to bad offense most years. 

chitown buckeye's picture


"I'm having a heart attack!"

btalbert25's picture

I've never understood those who said yeah look what the spread did for Michigan.  Yeah look what it did, made a QB who couldn't pass all the rage in college football last year.  My personal favorite is, well look what it did against really good defenses.  Well, you can say that about any offense.  Not many great defenses give up a ton of yards or points to any offense.

Haven't other spread or non traditional offenses done well in the B1G before?  Purdue has had some teams that were not typical pro style offenses right? What about Northwestern.  Forgive me I don't have inimate knowledge of all types of offense, but it always seems that teams who don't do well with the spread, usually fail because they can't recruit great defensive players.  Balance out a team with great defense and you have a much much different group. 

I'm kind of glad RichRod didn't get another season at Michigan.  His offense with the new DC they have, could've actually been really tough on the rest of the B1G. 

Bucks's picture

RichRod played the game of 'Square Peg, Round Hole ... but I'm gonna force it'. I don't see the same issue with Meyer. He's well aware of the roster & even stated in his presser that the scheming would go towards current attributes, not his ultimate desire.

RichRod, isn't even close to a comparison when looked at.

nickma71's picture

I don't recall being excited about the spread coming to TOSU. I am excited that he will be agressive on offense.

BuckeyeChris's picture

In an attempt to stop all of this, a reminder:  Urban Meyer > Rich Rod 

..... on many, many levels. 


Kurt's picture

DJ...You've actually already seen some spread in the Shoe before.  Tress got into passing spread first with Zwick, then full-on with Troy.  He accomodated for Boeckman.  Then dabbled in some power spread with Pryor (should've gone all out and ditched the multiple shit).  

The power spread where the qb is a running threat is the wave of the future, no other way around it.  Having that qb that can run which then forces the defensive to account an additional defender creates great offensive advantages...

Denny's picture



AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Could it just be that Urban wants to pick the guys brain (he is the smartest guy in college football, after all) to further develop his schemes?  My guess is Herman works primarily with Braxton and he and Meyer work together to reboot Walrusball.

Let him be called the O-Coordinator if he wants. We all know Urban will be the architect of this offense and the one calling plays on Saturdays.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Matt's picture

Meanwhile, in Russia:

Robbie Andreu
Hearing from a very well-connected source that Will Muschamp is targeting Mike Shula as a possible replacement for Charlie Weis.

1 hour ago via web


Shula?  Yikes.  Florida destroys us in 2007 national title game, we spend several years in the wilderness as we strive to get our mojo back to win big games, and then we get our groove back by hiring their messiah, raiding their coaches/personnel, potentially stealing their recruits, and helping to force their hand into hiring an awful, awful OC.  As Jerry Seinfeld tells us, it all evens out.

onetwentyeight's picture

Somewhere, (possibly in the bowels of LucasOil stadium), Jim Tressel takes off his glasses, wipes them, and then


* evil villian laugh *

BrewstersMillions's picture

Urban has elements of RR's spread option attack. There is a link to understanding Meyer's offense on 11W-I highly recommend it. Well worth a few minutes. The idea is VERY simple. Outnumber the defense in space and allow for your players to make plays. Rich Rod's offense worked just fine. Sure, he struggled against MSU-No offense is unstoppable. Even Mighty Meyer's offense will sputter. The Spread works everywhere people. EVERYWHERE. Like any offensive attack, it can be stopped-that's what defensive players get recruited to do. It's a fools errand to assume anything will or won't work in the Big Ten or any other conference but I do know that Meyer's offenses cut some pretty fantastic SEC defenses to ribbons while he was in Gainesville.


Please stop saying RR's offense let him down or didn't work. They did. Just because some teams with superior talent stopped them, that doesn't mean they didn't work. Here's the big secret though professor, Meyer is going to have superior talent running his run based scheme.

unknownmusketeer's picture

I have said this a few times before (not here).  RR's problem at Michigan was that he knew how to win with Big East talent and not Big Ten talent.  When he recruited Big East talent, he got exposed.  He would have been much better if he could have brought in elite talent, but he was never able to do so.

onetwentyeight's picture

Not to mention ... Urban's spread seemed to do just fine against OUR Big Ten defense in 2006 (yeah, i know, sorry for bringing it up). 

I think people also still have conceptions about what "spread" means. It just means SHOTGUN, more or less. Assuming all spread offenses are the same is liek assuming all offenses run from under center, from the Mike Martz types to the West coast offense to the Walrusball offense (HA!) are all the same. 

Spread-option is more run-based (Hence the "option" part). There are different variations. RR, Meyer, etc all run differing forms of it, as does Oregon. 

Then you have the Air Raid style Texas tech, okla state, throw it 40-50 times a day type of "spread" offense. Complete polar opposite from what Meyer does. And yet a lot of times I see people just lump it all into one gimmicky category called "Spread". 



dmurder's picture

The fake has got to be the single most important part of the offense! Makes the defense have to stop and think about the other option. We hardly ever used it and meyer is one of the best coaches at setting up situations. Whether that is overloading, or getting more blockers on less defenders. 


The fake ladies and gentleman will be a beautiful thing when tOSU is winning 65-0. Who has the ball miller? Hall? Smith? etc?

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

dmurder's picture

Pretty sure i was right on this one. Have to find the post.

It's a good hire, meyer will be calling the plays.

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

lhardeman's picture

This is post really has no bearing on the article, but I noticed the new O-Coordinator was from Cincinnati.  How many great coaches has Ohio produced?  It seems like every big time coach now-a-days has come from Ohio or coached in Ohio.  Just an observation.  It would be interesting to find out how many D-1 coaches and coordinators are from Ohio. 

God, Country, Ship, Shipmate, Self.

WMBuckeye's picture

I didn't find the statistics but this is interesting..



Proud to be a Buckeye in SEC territory...Long Live the Vest!!
Class of 2003 OSU/ATI "Where the men are men, women are few and the sheep are scared.."

Dean's picture

Frankly, I like that we're going after young up-and-comers.  No need to chase somebody who's already established, entrenched at another school, and whose truly innovative years are likely behind them.  Better to grab a guy like Herman and see what he can do once he's got some really talented athletes to plan around.  I'm really feeling good about this.

Orlando Buckeye's picture

I like your positive spin, buddy!

SonOfBuckeye's picture

Frankly, I like that we're going after young up-and-comers.  No need to chase somebody who's already established, entrenched at another school, and whose truly innovative years are likely behind them.

Couldn't agree more.

Is there is a promising O-line coach available who can break the tradition of turning 4/5 star recruits into NFL walk-ons?

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Just throwing out a few names/schools that might be good prospects:

Alex Gerke, Utah State; Justin Frye, Temple (Urban Meyer connection); Rod Carey, N Illinois; Randy Clements, Baylor; Matt Campbell, Toledo.

Also, Missouri used two OL coaches quite effectively this year.

BuckeyeTrack10's picture

+1,000,000,000 and beyond.

Riggins's picture

After reading more about the guy yesterday, I was really excited to have him in the fold and was unconvinced that we would find anyone markedly better for the OC position.  I'm excited about him getting the OC title.  Can't wait for spring ball.

Hoody Wayes's picture

The Ohio State-Michigan Game: From Tom Harmon to Tom Herman

tampa buckeye's picture

Recruiting is really heating up. I dont remember the last time ohio state had this many 4 and 5 star kids visiting in a two week span. The d line prospects alone could be a game changer.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

So true. Fla D line won the MNC for them. OSU D line won the MNC for us.

dmurder's picture

Man it would be nice to walk away this weekend with a few verbal's...!

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

BuckeyeJim's picture

We gotta get Dodson and Diamond - Double D's.

ThirdLegLouie's picture

& flip Pittman!

Those Dodson, Diamond, and Pittman out of this week and I'm good. Dunn can go to TSUN for all I care at this point. Don't need RBs for next year b/c we already have proven commoditites at that position on the roster. And there's this kid Derrick Green in the 2013 class...

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

biggy84's picture

People tend to forget we are getting Ball too! Ball is a real talent and wants to be a Buckeye.

William's picture

Exactly! Honestly I think Warren Ball could end up being better than Dunn. He's faster, he can catch the ball well, he cuts better, and he's just as physical as Dunn.

biggy84's picture

The fact that Dunn committed here, then is considering jumping to tscum, makes me not want him. He is an Ohio kid, so he knows the feelings Ohioans have about our crappy neighbors to the north.

BuckeyeChris's picture

Two things: 

1) I don't get kids who have it down to TSUN and Tosu. I want a kid who has Michigan helmets on his toilet paper. Not a guy who's going to make out with Hoke before The Game. This, to be honest, was always my first, early sign of trouble with a certain #2. 

2) Getting Dunn, to me, would be the same thing as the Yankees trading for a left handed pitcher they didn't really need, just before the trading deadline.

Why did they trade for that guy? Simple, so the Bo Sox couldn't have him for the stretch run. 

noturbanmeyer's picture

Sorry I have been a bit MIA there boys... I am sure you understand, massive car budget and all.  The way I see it is like this:  I am going to be rocking on a yacht with tons of strippers and cocaine anyway... oh wait, that's Al Golden.

But seriously, have you heard the hype?  I have a QB coming up to visit just because it's me!  And I coached the school he committed to's rival!  A couple of these kids are going to walk away and think the Urb is not for them, but the rest of them are going to be looking forward to signing up with the Urbinator.

And do not worry about Herman's time at ISU. The guy is going to be great.  I'm here.  My mustache might not be anymore though.

Follow me on Twitter (@NotUrbanMeyer)

And in case the name did not make it obvious, I am a parody... Goddamn lawyers.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Eek, its not that I don't believe this guy is a good get. Its just that Urban talked so much of an all-star staff, yet this guy really can't be called an established great coach quite yet. I mean really? His offenses were nothing to be talked about at the water cooler in his two years at Iowa State, nor were his teams known for winning a whole lot of games. Consider me a tad disappointed, but I still have full faith in Urban's decision making process. I'm going to "let this one slide", but if we have a similar hire at defensive coordinator in terms of experience and provenness I will start to get a tad anxious.

dmurder's picture

yeah, i here you. However, i am pretty sure that urban meyer will be running this offense. Regardless who we get a OC. Not to say he won't have a say or gameplan. But I would worry much more about the defensive side of the ball.

I personally will trust the new head coach. If you think about it what a great oppurtunity for the young OC. If he does well he will be gone soon anyway.

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

ThirdLegLouie's picture

Interesting note about Herman's offense while at Rice: " Two Rice receivers had more than 1,300 yards receiving that year, tight end James Casey had 111 catches".. which leads me to wonder, how many times has Stoneburner pissed himself in excitement when thinking about Urban coaching him, and now Herman.  BuckeyeNation is going to hear sooo much Stoneburner, #1 TE in the country, 1st rd draft pick, etc. that it's not going to be funny, but it's never going to get old. Can't wait for Jake!

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

yankeescum's picture

A lot of talk has been out there about Tim Brewster as the TE's coach as a recruiting magnet.  How about Dave Johnson from Cincinnati?  He was Georgia's TE's coach for years and also coached O-line at WVU.  

Or Bob Heffner, from Northwestern's staff.  

Matt Canada, currently with Northern Illinois turned Indiana into a decent offensive teams and worked a lot from the pistol.  

Mike Bajakian from Cinci is also an intriguing dude.

cplunk's picture

The most misused term in football is "the spread". There are worlds of difference between Richrod's offense, Urban's offense, or what Mike Leach ran at Texas Tech, but all are spread offenses. Spread offense is a concept, not a specific scheme, look, or set of plays. Saying a team runs "the spread" is about as descriptive of what they do as saying someone drives "a sporty car". Certain looks and plays may be more common, but really the statement doesn't describe anything.

People need to stop comparing how OSU will do to how Michigan did under Richrod. The offenses will have nothing in common beyond their base conceptualization. Some things will be there out of the necessity for constraint- bubble screens in particular- but that's about it.

If you want a more valid comparison, think about the-game-I-don't-like-to-mention where it is rumored OSU played one of Urban's teams. OSU had one of the best defenses in the Big Ten. I certainly remember how that offense did. Urban's offense will do just fine in the Big Ten.


tedglover's picture

Maybe it's me, but when Urban said he was going to hire the best staff in America, I didn't envision the Iowa State OC and Tim WINFIGHTRY Brewster.

I grew up in Minnesota before I moved to C'bus and went to OSU, and am still a tangential Gophers fan, and I'll tell you, Brewster was horrid.


I get that he's not going to be the head coach, and I get that he's a good recruiter, but with Urb and Fickell, do we need another recruiter? 

And if we do, aren't there TE coaches out there who are recruiters as good as Brewster?