Austin -- Texas Head Coach Tom Herman has hired six members to his football staff, he announced Tuesday.
The group includes four assistant coaches, all of whom have extensive coaching experience in the state of Texas with three being Texas natives. Former Longhorn great Oscar Giles, Corby Meekins, Derek Warehime and Jason Washington all were coaches on Herman’s Houston staff and will join him in Austin. Positions and titles for the assistant coaches will be announced after the completion of the staff.
In addition, Fernando Lovo will serve as Assistant AD for Football Operations, while Derek Chang will be Director of Player Personnel. Both also come from Herman’s UH staff.
“I’m thrilled to have all of these guys on board and hitting the ground running during this really important time for us,” Herman said. “All four of our coaches were with us in Houston and have strong ties and relationships in the state of Texas, so they will be a huge asset in recruiting right now. They’re terrific coaches, as well, so they’ll do a great job building and developing our team going forward. Fernando and Derek do a tremendous job, are totally aligned with our coaches and critical to the success of our program.”
Giles is a former Longhorn standout defensive end who spent a total of 10 seasons at UT as both defensive ends coach (2005-13) and a graduate assistant (1999). He spent the last two seasons with Herman at Houston coaching the defensive line. UH featured the nation’s second-ranked rush defense (99.7 ypg) in 2016 in addition to the 14th-best defense in total yards allowed (325.0 ypg). The Cougars were 12th in sacks and 18th in tackles for loss. In his first season at Houston, Giles’ position group set the tone for the nation’s No. 8 rushing defense (108.9 ypg) and 21st-ranked scoring defense (20.7 ppg). Prior to his two seasons at Houston, Giles spent a season at Louisiana Tech. During his nine seasons as defensive ends coach under Mack Brown at Texas, Giles coached players including Malcom Brown, Jackson Jeffcoat, Cedric Reed, Alex Okafor, Sam Acho, Sergio Kindle, Lamarr Houston, Brian Orakpo, Henry Melton, Tim Crowder and Brian Robison with all going on to NFL careers. A native of Palacios, Texas, and a 1991 UT graduate, Giles’ coaching career began in 1998 at Texas State. He has also spent time at SMU (2000-02) and another stint at Houston (2003-04).
“I’m really excited,” Giles said. “It’s a great opportunity to get back where I started and have a chance to work with some great kids. I have the passion inside me where I can’t wait to get out on that football field and work with those kids, share with them the experiences I had as a player and the experience the first time I was here as a coach.”
Meekins, a long-time high school head coach in the state of Texas, coached tight ends and fullbacks under Herman at Houston in each of the past two seasons. Prior to joining the UH program, Meekins was the head coach at Westfield High School for 11 seasons, accumulating a record of 114-27. During his 11 seasons, Westfield won seven district championships and advanced to the playoffs 10 times with one state championship trip, three appearances in the semifinals and six quarterfinal trips. With UH, he groomed tight end Tyler McCloskey into a dual-threat player, as he had 35 catches for 269 yards in his two seasons with Meekins. The former Westfield High School head coach was also responsible for the recruitment of DT Ed Oliver, the first five-star to ever commit to a Group of 5 program. Oliver had 19.5 tackles for loss as a true freshman and is an All-America candidate. A native of Shepherd, Texas, Meekins is a 1990 graduate of Sam Houston State.
“It’s a great opportunity, and I’m really excited to be wearing the burnt orange and white,” Meekins said. “I’ve grown up and lived my whole life in the state of Texas. This is a great place and a great city. I’m blessed to be able to be a part of this.”
Warehime spent the previous two seasons coaching the offensive line at Houston under Herman. In his first season at UH, he was forced to use 11 different starting lineups in 14 games. Despite numerous injuries, the Cougars finished 13th nationally in rushing offense and two players were named All-Conference. In 2016, the Houston offense was one of the least penalized in the nation and allowed just 30 sacks on nearly 500 pass attempts. Prior to his time at Houston, Warehime coached for three seasons at New Mexico. He was responsible for tight ends, adding the title of run game coordinator in his final season. In all three seasons with the Lobos, New Mexico finished in the top five nationally for rushing yards. A native of Choctaw, Okla., Warehime has also coached at the Sam Houston State (2010-11), Arkansas-Monticello (2008-09), and Rice (2006-07) and served as a student assistant at his alma mater, Tulsa (2005). He started 34 career games at center for the Golden Hurricane from 2001-04.
“I’m really excited to be here with Coach Herman,” Warehime said. “He’s been a mentor of mine for the past 10 years since I got into college coaching. I’m fired up to get with the players and help them develop into what they came here to be. We want to make them all champions in life and in football.”
Washington has coached in the secondary his entire career, which started in 2004 at Texas State. He added his special teams’ responsibilities under Herman at Houston, turning the Cougars into one of the most respected special teams units in the nation. In his first season at UH, the Cougars’ special teams units improved from 125th to 28th on kickoff return, while featuring top-50 units on both kickoff return defense and punt return. UH’s punt return defensive unit was ranked fourth nationally. That trend continued in 2016, as the Cougars were once again fourth nationally allowing just 1.8 yards per punt return. Washington has coached seven NFL players throughout his career, including William Jackson II and Demarcus Ayers, who were All-Conference cornerbacks for UH during his first season. A native of San Antonio and graduate of Texas State, Washington coached at Texas State (2004-06; 2011-14) and Rice (2007-10) prior to his two-year stint at Houston.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to come to Texas,” Washington said. “Growing up watching Texas and watching the great players who have played here and the great coaches who have coached here, I am really excited to be able to wear the burnt orange.”
Lovo spent each of the past two seasons on Tom Herman’s staff at Houston as the Assistant AD for Football Operations. He worked directly with Houston’s strength, sports medicine, football video, equipment and administrative staffs. He was also a liaison with the athletics communications, athletics administration, marketing, development, academics, game day operations and the athletics business office. Prior to his two seasons at Houston, Lovo spent three seasons as Ohio State’s Football Operations Coordinator. A two-time graduate of the University of Florida, Lovo spent five seasons with the Gators’ football program, including the final four as a football operations assistant.
Chang, a 2004 UT graduate, joined Herman’s staff in Houston in March of 2016 as the Director of Football Recruiting. He arrived there following a 19-month stint as a segment producer at Longhorn Network. Prior to his time at LHN, Chang had spent two seasons with Herman as a member of the Ohio State football program in a recruiting assistant role. He was part of the department that signed a top-three recruiting class nationally in both 2013 and 2014. Before his time in Columbus, Chang spent eight years with ESPN.