Texas Football: What Tom Herman can learn from Dabo Swinney

The Texas football program and head coach Tom Herman seem to be taking advice from a lot of good sources through the COVID-19 pandemic recently.

While busy trying to cope with a lack of certainty during the 2020 offseason and finding ways to innovate with his current team and on the recruiting trail, Texas football head coach Tom Herman has to have a lot on his mind. Texas sits in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic waiting to figure out their fortunes on the recruiting trail with so much up in the air and what will happen for the impending 2020 regular season.

In the meantime, Herman and the Texas Longhorns football program is taking advice from elsewhere. In a sit down with The Football Scoop on May 18, Herman opened up on the status of the program during the pandemic, recruiting, and how he can find more sustained success heading into the future.

One of the most interesting parts of this interview featured Herman receiving advice from another highly touted college head coach, and a recent two-time national title winner. Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney apparently gave Herman some good advice that he’s taking to heart this offseason. He took this advice from Dabo more specifically on the Longhorns program culture while Herman’s squad is so spread out.

Here’s what he said on the matter.

I don’t think you should worry. I called Dabo prior to this previous season and I said, “Coach, I’ve been a head coach four years now but I’ve never been a head coach going into Year 3. I’ve got a lot of these kids that have heard the same message for the last two years from me. What did you do? Did you bring in guest speakers, did you change your message?” He said absolutely not. He said, “When they can mock you and they know what’s coming out of your mouth before it comes out of your mouth, that means they’re listening.”

I think it’s okay to be repetitive, and it’s okay to sound like a broken record, because eventually the kids are going to naturally understand how important some of those things that we talk about are on a daily basis.

The confidence that Herman is carrying with him right now is a good sign that he can pull things back together if, and when, the football players get back to campus this year. Herman seems to be keeping in close contact with the rest of his coaching staff and players through this challenging time.

Related Story: Herman on how to unseat the Sooners

Moreover, Herman is no stranger to referencing to other successful programs and college and NFL head coaches to find answers he’s looking for. He’s turned to the likes of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams to find innovative ideas in the past. He also referred to Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley and his success at the quarterback position recently.

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Dabo took Clemson to win the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to cap the 2016 and 2018 seasons. Clemson was also one game away from getting their third national title in the last four years, but fell short against the juggernaut LSU Tigers earlier this year.