The unfortunate reality of a new head coach taking over a program involves the decision on whether or not to keep the old regime’s assistant coaches. Following the firing of head coach Charlie Strong after the most losses in three consecutive seasons in Longhorns football history, new Texas head coach Tom Herman has decided not to retain any of the current coaches following interviews with the staff on Monday.
The removal includes offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, who took over the duties for Texas in 2016, after having come over from Tulsa. Paid nearly $1 million in annual salary to attempt to resurrect the Texas offense, Gilbert now becomes one of the highest free agent offensive minds on the market.
Also removed is the team’s experienced defensive line coach Brick Haley, who joined the group in 2015, following six years with LSU in the same role. Having been around the coaching circuit with Clemson, Baylor, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and the Chicago Bears of the NFL, Haley even coached at Herman’s old home in Houston as the outside linebackers coach back in 1997.
The logical choice to replace Gilbert at offensive coordinator is Herman’s old offensive coordinator with the Cougars in Major Applewhite. Applewhite is a former Longhorn quarterback himself from 1998 to 2001, before he joined the staff as a graduate assistant and then went on to become the co-offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2013.
Herman’s defensive coordinator, Todd Orlando, has taken over as the Cougars’ interim coach for the team’s bowl game. Whether or not Houston attempts to keep him on as their new head coach or if Herman recruits him to Texas is still to be told.