Urban Meyer's wife, Shelley, recently visited Austin to assess the real estate situation, Austonia has learned. Does that mean it's time for coaching legend Urban to ride into Austin and take the reins from his former assistant coach Tom Herman?
After a second consecutive season of missing the Big 12 Championship, Texas fans have been clamoring for the job of fourth year Head Coach Herman. Everything is bigger in Texas, including expectations.
Tom Herman We want you out right now. I have plenty of boxes to help you pack. Signed, All Longhorn fans… https://t.co/49XqRT22Th— Trent Giesen (@Trent Giesen)1606509372.0
Meyer in, Herman out
Herman joined the Longhorns in 2016 after taking the Houston Cougars to two bowl games, including winning the Peach Bowl in 2015. Texas fans loved Herman's pedagogy.
A former assistant to Meyer, Longhorn fans thought they finally found a coach that could pick up where former head coach Mack Brown left off. Herman had success calling plays for Ohio State and Houston, so the Texas fan base was expecting an offense that would keep them in the national conversion.
What fans did not expect was only one 10 win season four years in.
Meyer on the other hand is known for winning, and winning quickly. After winning two National Championships in five years at Florida with Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow—a player Sam Ehlinger has been compared to—Urban jumped ship to coach at Ohio State.
While there, Meyer added another championship to his collection in 2014. He never won fewer than 10 games in a season with the Buckeyes, including a 4-2 Bowl Game record. This is the success that many fans expected from Herman's time at Texas.
There are some contributing factors to Herman's failure. Head Coach Lincoln Riley's rise at Oklahoma has put a boot on the necks of the rest of the conference with Oklahoma winning the conference every year since Riley has taken over. Herman is 1-4 against Oklahoma in his time at Texas.
For comparison, Meyer at Ohio State had a perfect record against rival Michigan, 7-0.
It also didn't help that Herman had to rely so heavily on quarterback Sam Ehlinger due to injuries to other key players during his time at the helm.
Meyer had to deal with a similar problem when multiple starters went down and Ohio State had to play three different starting quarterbacks. The difference is that Ohio State won a National Championship that season.
Herman is not a bad coach. He’s middle tier at this point. This is gonna be a very unpopular take after that, but i… https://t.co/IgnfoETT2g— Will Baizer (@Will Baizer)1606511197.0
Then there was the Zack Smith controversy that ultimately cost Meyer his job at Ohio State and added confusion for Texas fans trying to figure out if and when Herman knew anything about the alleged abuse.
Herman's loss Friday adds to his track record of disappointing UT fans.
The likelihood of the replacement
Texas has a big choice ahead of them. Herman signed a two year extension after the Longhorns won 10 games and the Sugar Bowl over Georgia in 2018. The program would be stuck with a $15 million dollar bill as part of the buyout if they fired Herman after this season. While one of the richest public universities in the country could afford it, any time a program is signing a check that big it's through clenched teeth. But that might be what's necessary.
Programs like University of Southern California and Michigan, both with deep pockets of their own, are going to be hunting for a new head coach soon after both of their last hires have turned out to be duds. If Texas wants to win the race, they can't lag behind other competing schools.
Add into the equation that Meyer has been known to suffer from health conditions that have prevented him from finishing his contracts at his two previous coaching stops. At Florida, Meyer cited that he wanted to "spend more time with his family" after suffering from chest and heart issues, only a year after taking his "dream job" at Ohio State.
Meyer retired again from Ohio State in 2018 after being diagnosed with a non-life threatening cyst located on the membrane of his brain. It should be noted however, that at both coaching stops Meyer left the program dealing with some pretty large issues. At Florida, it was allegations of drug use among players and at Ohio State it was the allegations of domestic violence and assault among players and coaches alike.
This month, talk of bringing Meyer to UT's family grew, especially on social media. UT fans want Meyer over any other potential name.
FIRE HERMAN HIRE URBAN— Mike 🤘 (@Mike 🤘)1606677189.0
UT can't make the same mistake they made in 2013 when the program moved off of Brown. The program at the time was looking for direction and tried to reel in the biggest fish in the pond: Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban.
While Saban was rumored to be looking for houses in the Austin area last year, he ultimately decided to take the raise from Alabama and won two more championships. Instead, Texas hired Head Coach Charlie Strong from Louisville which turned out to be one of the worst hires the program made with Strong finishing his time at Texas with a 16-21 record.
The thing most Longhorns fans are missing, however, is would Meyer want to leave his current job at Fox Sports where he has gained attention as being one of the best in studio analysts? Would Meyer want to recruit a state that already has political lines drawn? Where high school coaches direct their players to and away from certain schools and where other coaches like Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M, Dabo Swinney at Clemson and Nick Saban already have connections?
The problems at Texas won't go away with a snap of the fingers. If the Longhorns want to make a change, it's going to have to be decisive and fans are going to have to give the new coach something they didn't give the old one. Patience.
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After two years of no in-person events, Austin festival South by Southwest has agreed to give 50% of ownership to P-MRC, a Los Angeles company that controls publishing operations for Rolling Stone and Billboard.
The media venture was founded in 2020 and is part-owned by Jay Penske, racer Roger Penske's son and head of Penske Racing and Penske Media.
The move comes after the COVID-19 pandemic left the festival with two years worth of hemorrhaging funds. SXSW organizers were left scrambling for solutions in March 2020 when the city of Austin canceled the festival at the onset of the pandemic. One-third of the festival's 175 year-round employees were laid off, and the festival ran a shortened virtual event in 2021.
SXSW CEO and co-founder Roland Swenson said in a statement that the company is grateful to get aid when they need it most and that they are now looking to the future.
"It has been an incredibly tough period for small businesses, SXSW included," Swenson said. "When Jay Penske approached us with an interest in becoming a partner, it was a true lifeline for us. Both of our companies share a passion for producing high-quality content that helps shape modern culture, so this feels like a natural alliance."
Both of Austin's big-name festivals are now in the hands of out-of-town buyers. In 2014, homegrown festival Austin City Limits was bought in part by LiveNation, who took 51% ownership in Austin live promoter C3 Presents.
.@MLS Commissioner @thesoccerdon and @AustinFC's Minister of Culture and part-owner Matthew @McConaughey will discuss how the League is deepening fan engagement, and how Clubs are becoming cultural mainstays at 10am on Channel 3. ⚽ #SXSW pic.twitter.com/2XFj4XEdwL
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 18, 2021
The fest has captured the essence of Austin arts and culture for 34 years, and it doesn't plan on stopping now. With P-MRC by its side, SXSW said it plans on keeping its unique identity but expanding operations as it prepares for an in-person celebration next spring.
"Since 1987, SXSW has been the world's premier festival centered at the convergence of tech, media, film, and music," Penske said. "Today SXSW continues to be one of the most recognized brands for empowering creative talent and bringing together the brightest creators of our time. As part of this significant investment, we plan to build upon SXSW's incredible foundation while extending the platform further digitally and assisting Roland and his incredible team to bring their vision to even greater heights."
With their future restored, SXSW's newest slogan rings truer than ever: "See you next year at SXSW!"
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Update: Former Travis County deputy suspected of killing 3 in northwest Austin now in police custody
Stephen Broderick is now in police custody for a suspected domestic violence incident that killed three in northwest Austin on Sunday.
After initially being called an active shooting incident, joint local law enforcement and more than 75 FBI agents proceeded with an almost day-long manhunt with three helicopters and on-ground teams for former Travis County deputy Broderick. Police captured him after a 911 caller reported a suspicious man walking along U.S. 290, where he was taken into custody.
Police believe the victims, who have been identified as two Hispanic women and one Black man, knew their assailant. A child was involved but is now safely in police custody. Two of the victims have been identified as former and current Elgin ISD students: Alyssa Broderick and Willie Simmons III.
The school district released a statement offering its condolences to the families. Alyssa was enrolled until October 2020 and played on the basketball team. Simmons was a senior at Elgin High School where he was captain of the football team and had been recruited to play football at the University of North Texas.
Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez released the following statement on the incident: "I'm truly heartbroken that a former Travis County Sheriff's Office Deputy is the suspect in such a horrific incident. TCSO is standing by to provide any, and all assistance we can to the families of the victims in their time of need. I'm proud of the integrity and professionalism shown by the men and women of TCSO, APD and other law enforcement agencies, who worked tirelessly throughout the night to locate Stephen Broderick. I'm especially grateful to the vigilant citizen who called 911 after seeing Broderick, and to the Manor PD officers and TCSO deputies who took him into custody this morning."
APD @Chief_Chacon provides updated media briefing in relation to Great Hills Trail incident. - PIO8 https://t.co/47siNWhARI
— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) April 18, 2021
During a press briefing at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, Interim Police Chief Joe Chacon said law enforcement was on the scene for several hours investigating the incident with 41-year-old Broderick.
"We're very sorry that obviously this has happened and we continue to try and locate this individual, we are transitioning from a search in this area to a fugitive search and those efforts will continue until this person is located," Chacon said. "I don't want anyone to think that we're packing up and going home. We're going to continue to look for this individual because he continues to pose a threat to this community."
#texasshooting #masshooting Arboretum shooting Austin. pic.twitter.com/SkIsgDoYHt
— Jamie Hammonds (@jamie_hammonds5) April 18, 2021
This story has been updated at 8 a.m. Monday to include the latest information.
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Formula 1 is returning to Florida for the first time since 1959, announcing that the brand-new Miami Grand Prix will join the calendar in 2022 and Austin will no longer be the only F1 race in the U.S.
Held at the Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens, this will be the first race in the Sunshine State in 62 years. With a new track setup, F1 will loop the stadium, home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
Excited for @F1 @f1miami @HardRockStadium - a Global Entertainment Destination. This event will bring opportunities for so many and will be world-class. Thank you to @gregmaffei #chasecarey #stefanodomenicali @MayorRHarris @Ogilbert @CommishDiaz @MayorDaniella pic.twitter.com/n6dDDD1cPX
— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) April 18, 2021
The new 3.36 mile circuit has 19 corners, three straights and potential for three DRS zones, with expected top speeds of 198 mph.
Now with two races in the U.S., F1 President Stefano Domenicali said they will avoid having back-to-back events by keeping the Miami Grand Prix separate from the U.S. Grand Prix, which is held at Austin's Circuit of the Americas.
The date of the race has yet to be confirmed, though Domenicali said he expects the first race in a 10-year deal to take place in the second quarter of 2022. Austin's race will take place on Oct. 24 this year.
"The USA is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the U.S. which will be further supported by this exciting second race," Domenicali said.
Miami will mark the 11th race location in the U.S. since the Championship began in 1950: Circuit of The Americas in Austin; Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Sebring, Florida; Riverside, California; Watkins Glen, New York; Long Beach, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Detroit, Michigan and Phoenix, Arizona. COTA was first opened in 2012.
Domenicali said F1 will be working with the FIA and the Hard Rock Stadium to leave a lasting impact on the community: discounted tickets for residents, a program to support local businesses and a STEM education program through F1 in schools.
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