Hundreds crammed into Tejas House’s front yard to hear from Tom Herman and ask questions about the upcoming football season Thursday evening.
Herman, the University’s new football coach, was the featured guest at Tejas Coffee, a weekly speaker series hosted by Tejas Club.
After hosting celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong, Tejas Club President McKay Proctor said they’re used to huge crowds. The only hard part is remembering to buy extra animal crackers, Proctor said.
“We’re pretty used to the crowd control aspect of it, but it’s really nice to see the enthusiasm people have for Coach Herman,” said Proctor, English and supply chain management senior. “I think that some sense of school spirit is palpable here, which I really like.”
As he walked out of the house onto Tejas’ front porch, Herman was greeted by cheers and screams of “Texas Fight.”
Herman said returning to the University after being a graduate assistant for the football team almost 20 years ago was special for him.
“This place has a special place in my heart,” Herman said. “It is the place where I learned football … This is extremely exciting for me and my family.”
Audience questions ranged from what students can do to make Herman’s job easier to examples of his pregame rituals. When an audience member asked Herman to express an unpopular opinion, his answer drew laughter from the crowd.
“Justin Bieber is really talented,” Herman said. “He is. Have you heard that little kid sing? He’s unbelievable.”
Herman recalled Mack Brown laughing at him and mispronouncing his name as “Harmon” when he was a graduate assistant, but now, he said he looks to his predecessor for advice anytime he needs help.
“I made it my mission to ensure that by the time I left my graduate assistantship … he knew my name,” Herman said. “I used him as a resource and a mentor really my entire career and especially when I got the head coaching job.”
Finance sophomore Hudson Standish, who has been attending Texas football games since kindergarten, said he was grateful that Herman made time to speak at Tejas House.
“I was just really excited with how he took every question,” Standish said. “He didn’t shy away from anything. Whether you were asking him about programs changes or his top five favorite rappers, he was game for everything.”