AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Houston football team has temporarily relocated to Austin and the Texas football facilities as Hurricane Harvey wreaks havoc on the Texas coast.
The connections between the schools run deep when it comes to the two coaching staffs. Longhorns head coach Tom Herman spent the past two seasons in the same role at U of H. Once he left for Texas, former Longhorns quarterback and longtime assistant coach Major Applewhite replaced him. Applewhite was also with the Coogs as offensive coordinator the last two seasons.
The Houston football program chose Texas over offers from TCU, Baylor and SMU.
While Baylor’s athletic department is under the guidance of Mack Rhoades, who hired Herman at Houston during his nearly six-year tenure at UH before leaving for Missouri, the Cougars chose Austin partially because of its proximity and hotel accommodations.
According to current Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek, he initiated the contact with Texas AD Mike Perrin, who was completely willing to help accommodate Houston.
The Cougars are are staying in north Austin and operating out of a hotel and only using The Bubble at Denius Fields, not any of Texas’ other facilities. But making things more complicated is the fact that the Longhorns are also practicing and using the same practice fields, as are the Texas band and soccer team.
Houston opens the season on Sept. 2 in San Antonio against UTSA. Ideally, the program said they would like to leave Austin Sunday night, but are hoping to leave by Monday the latest. Class has already been cancelled for Monday, and they’re not scheduled to practice Monday, which is typically an off day during a normal game week for most programs.
Players and personnel with the Houston football team with family in the path of Harvey are in communication with their loved ones, and haven’t heard any reports of serious damage or injury as of Saturday afternoon.
The last time Texas football was affected by a hurricane was in 2008 when Hurricane Ike forced the Longhorns to move their game with Arkansas back two weeks. That wasn’t an issue because both teams shared the same bye week.