Tilman Fertitta is thinking big with the next Houston Cougars hire.
And that could help the Texas Longhorns bring one of or both of new head coach Tom Herman’s coordinators to Austin.
According to the Houston Chronicle, former LSU head coach Les Miles and former Baylor head coach Art Briles both have interest in the job and the school plans on contacting West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen to gauge his interest.
ESPN also believes that Miles is in the mix and even threw in the name of Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
There are other younger coaches who could receive consideration, like Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. However, since Fertitta is vocal about putting a large buyout in place to keep the next head coach in Houston for the long term, that could give a coach like Riley pause.
Former defensive coordinator Todd Orlando is the interim head coach for the bowl game and offensive coordinator Major Applewhite still serving on his staff, slowing down the search process for Texas.
In fact, other than LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda landing an extension to remain in Baton Rouge, there hasn’t been any news at all, which suggests that Orlando and Applewhite could be Herman’s top targets.
There’s still the lingering issue of Applewhite’s inclusion in the ongoing Bev Kearney lawsuit, but he was already disciplined for that one-time incident. Any further punishment from the school, like keeping Applewhite from returning to the school on Herman’s staff, would seem excessive.
Landing Orlando and Applewhite would probably be the ideal scenario for Texas as Herman builds his staff in Austin and with Fertitta targeting big names, there’s an increasing likelihood that could happen if Herman decides to go that route.