The No. 19 Houston Cougars plan to offer first-year coach Tom Herman a raise to $3 million annually in an effort to keep him after their 10-0 start, the school said Thursday.
The school's board of regents on Thursday authorized Houston chancellor and president Renu Khator and board chair Tillman Fertitta to negotiate a new contract for Herman.
A former Ohio State offensive coordinator, Herman is considered an attractive candidate for Power 5 conference schools seeking a new head coach, of which there are seven currently.
Herman's current contract is for five years and pays him $1.35 million annually, the highest Houston has ever paid a head football coach. The proposed raise, if accepted, would more than double that salary and make Herman the highest-paid head coach at a Group of 5 school. That title is currently held by Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville, at $2.2 million a year.
"The board is 100 percent committed to Coach Herman," Fertitta said at the meeting Thursday. "Our actions reflect our desire to retain him."
Herman is one of only five coaches to have started his college career 10-0, joining Walter Camp (Yale, 1888), George Woodruff (Penn, 1982), Larry Coker (Miami, 2001) and Chris Petersen (Boise State, 2006). He has also engineered significant recruiting success for the Cougars, who have the No. 35 class in ESPN RecruitingNation's rankings, their highest in the era of recruiting rankings.
The Cougars, who are tied with No. 16 Navy for first place in the American Athletic Conference's West Division, play Connecticut on Saturday.