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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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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a record-setting second quarter during an earnings call broadcasted from the Giga Texas construction site in Southeast Travis County on Monday.
The electric carmaker reported more than $1 billion in quarterly net income and the production of more than 200,000 vehicles for the first time despite challenges such as a global semiconductor shortage.
"It … seems that public sentiment towards electric vehicles is at an inflection point, and at this point, I think, almost everyone agrees electric vehicles are the only way forward," Musk said.
Exterior shots taken just a while ago of Giga Texas (while @elonmusk is reportedly at the Gigafactory!) during today's earnings call!
Hope @peterdog15 got to catch the technoking in his video! #fastestinhistory #Tesla pic.twitter.com/WqeDlb5wU3
— Austin Tesla Club (@AustinTeslaClub) July 26, 2021
Despite rising consumer demand and adequate factory capacity, Tesla faces what Musk described as a "quite serious" global semiconductor shortage, which will determine the company's growth rate for the rest of the year.
With increased revenue and production, Tesla is investing in new factories, Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn said. These include Giga Texas, the $1.1 billion manufacturing plant that broke ground last summer and is slated to open later this year.
The Giga Texas factory in Southeast Travis County has rapidly increased in size since ground broke last August. (Tesla)
Musk commended the construction team for "incredible progress," transforming what was basically a vacant site into "a mostly complete large factory a year later."
I was at Giga Texas yesterday. Team is making excellent progress. Building will be almost a mile long when complete.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2021
Giga Texas will produce the highly anticipated Cybertruck, along with other models, but Musk said scaling its production will be difficult, especially given the supply chain delays caused by the pandemic. "It's going to move as fast as the slowest of its up to 10,000 unique parts," he said.
In other news, Musk said Monday's earnings call would likely be his last regular appearance, only jumping on future quarterly calls when big announcements warrant it.
Tesla Solar recently made news when it announced plans to build the nation's most sustainable residential community in Southeast Austin earlier this month. The newly built homes will feature Tesla solar roof tiles and Powerwall battery storage as well as electric vehicle charging stations.
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The city of Austin released a shortlist of seven candidates for the police chief position left vacant when Brian Manley retired in March.
City Manager Spencer Cronk hopes to announce an appointment by the end of August, which will require City Council approval.
The finalists, chosen from a field of 46 applicants, include:
- APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon, who previously served as an assistant chief in the department for almost five years
- Anne Kirkpatrick, former police chief in Oakland, California, who was fired last year after a federal monitor criticized her handling of a fatal 2018 police shooting of a homeless man
- Dallas Police Department Assistant Chief Avery L. Moore, who is a 30-year veteran of the department
- Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Celeste Murphy, who manages the department's community services division
- Dekalb County Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos, who previously served as division chief in the Miami-Dade Police Department
- Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon Ramsay, who is a former president of the Minnesota Police Chief's Association as well as one of the first police chiefs of a major U.S. City to call George Floyd's death a murder, as reported by the Wichita Eagle
- Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Emada E. Tingirides, who is also commanding officer of the department's newly formed Community Safety Partnership Bureau, which serves L.A.'s underserved communities
City staff will interview the finalists in the coming weeks, with several community input opportunities to come, according to a Monday press release.
The city conducted a public survey in March and hosted community input meetings in April to learn more about what residents are looking for in their next police chief, which helped shape the selection criteria for the position.
"They want to see the Chief be reform-minded and transparent and have a track record of fostering community involvement and accountability," Cronk said in the release. "The candidates selected show these characteristics in various ways."
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Days after Austin began once again recommending masks in public spaces, Austin ISD announced Monday that kindergarten through sixth-grade classes will have virtual options this fall.
The district will discuss the move in a special board meeting Monday evening starting at 5 p.m., while full details will be released Friday.
Teachers will not have to fret about the new option—no educators will have to juggle both virtual and in-person learning. Instead, certain teachers will specialize in virtual education, according to a press release.
The news comes after a recent spike in COVID cases in Travis County and across the nation. Children typically suffer fewer symptoms of COVID when contracted, but they are now catching the virus more often than their older counterparts without a vaccine available to them and as the more contagious Delta variant is quickly being spread.
While local health officials are recommending everyone wear masks, public school districts are unable to mandate masks due to an executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott in May.
Parents have expressed concern about classrooms with masks unenforceable and children under the age of 12 ineligible for a vaccine. Some have even said they would look for alternative schooling if AISD did not offer a virtual option for students.
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