Friday, July 19, 2024

From the Sidelines to Life’s Playbook: Get to Know FAU Head Football Coach Tom Herman

As Tom Herman prepares to bring his winning strategies and passion to the field for Florida Atlantic University, Boca magazine contributor Paige Kornblue huddled up with him for an exclusive interview and conversation about his outlook on the season ahead and Herman’s thoughts on leadership, football, fatherhood, fitness and his career thus far.

You don’t have to follow football to be inspired by Tom Herman. 

The newly appointed FAU Hagerty Family Head Football Coach is all in and ready for Florida Atlantic University’s new season, new conference and new era. 

“I have fallen in love with this team. They love football. They are my kind of guys,” says Herman.

Tom Herman
Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics

Herman is the eighth head coach in the FAU football program’s history. This is his first season at the helm for the Owls but he led the Longhorns at the University of Texas for four seasons and was also head coach at the University of Houston for two seasons. He has also held coaching positions at Ohio State, Iowa State, Rice, Texas State, Sam Houston State and Texas Lutheran. 

“My very first job at Texas Lutheran was for $5,000 a year. I got two meal swipes a day at the cafeteria so I took my two undergraduate degrees and packed up my Honda Civic in Los Angeles and hopped on I-10 and told my mom, ‘I’m gonna go take a Division III job for $5,000 a year,’ and she looked at me like I had horns coming out of my forehead, you know?” says Herman.

Following his much more profitable football positions at colleges across the country from 2001 to 2020, Herman served as an offensive analyst for the Chicago Bears in 2021 and a television analyst for CBS Sports in 2022. 

“I missed the players badly. Last August was the first time I had not been a part of a training camp in close to 40 years. Knowing the impact that coaches had on my life growing up… I made it my mission to do the same. Pressing pause for a little bit for those couple of years for the Bears and then on television, I said ‘Okay is this really, really what you want to do for the rest of your life? And obviously the answer is yes. Yes, very much so,” says Herman. 

2023 FAU Football Tom Herman Press Conference, photo courtesy of FAU Athletics

The opportunity to coach at FAU was an exciting one for Herman. He says he loved an institution so ready to win championships in a community that would be a perfect fit for his family. Over the past seven months, Herman acquired new coaches, some strong transfers and reset an entire team for American Athletic Conference play. 

Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics

The FAU Owls host their season opener Saturday, Sept. 2 versus Monmouth. Herman has two messages for the South Florida community. 

“One is we need you. Everybody wants to win. They have the will to win. It’s about the will to do the things necessary to win. How does that apply to the community? We are better when we’re supported by our community, when the stands are packed and loud and it’s an intimidating environment for our opponent. I think you get the best version of our players when they know that they’re being supported by the community and it’s not just family and friends and students in the stands,” says Herman. 

“The second thing is we really believe in the pride of the Tri-County area, that being Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. We want not just the Boca community here but our surrounding areas too—all of South Florida. We’re gonna prove to you that we’re a worthy rallying cry to be behind,” adds Herman. 

For more on Herman’s approach to leadership, fatherhood, thoughts on NIL and the evolving landscape of collegiate athletics plus strength and conditioning tips we all can use, look for this story in the SPORTS section of Paige’s blog at or tune in to Episode 56 of The Paige Kornblue Show or watch on YouTube

FAU tickets are now available – support the Owls at ! 

Paige Kornblue
Paige Kornblue
ESPN Boca Raton Bowl's Paige Kornblue is an award-winning journalist and media/event specialist, Boca magazine contributor, The Paige Kornblue Show podcast host and former TV News anchor/reporter. Paige founded Paige Kornblue Media and The Paige Kornblue Show to feature everything from interesting people to premium products and fascinating places to the gems that make our communities special. She also now has her hands in all facets of the Boca Raton Bowl, one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN via its events division, ESPN Events. In her nearly two decades anchoring and reporting for top-rated television stations across America, Paige covered countless stories and interviewed numerous world leaders while at WPTV (NBC 5) in South Florida, WMUR Channel 9 in New England and FOX 29 in Louisiana to include special live reports for CNN and The Weather Channel. Some of her most memorable stories include exclusive interviews with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator John McCain, Barbara Walters, Emmitt Smith, Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert. PK is a proud Boca Raton native who grew up loving Boca magazine and all that comes with the fabulous city of Boca Raton! You can often find her on stage assisting charities as event emcee and moderator, on the courts working to improve her tennis game and always on momma time enjoying each moment with her three young kiddos! Follow PK on Instagram @PaigeKornblueMedia and at

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