STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Seconds after the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees approved the hire of Brian Herman as the new head football coach and boys athletic coordinator April 15, Herman, his wife, Nicole, and their children, Faith, Isabella, and Brody, walked up to the podium.
“We know Marble Falls is a special place,” Herman told those assembled. “We’re super, super excited to be here. We have a bunch of purple and gold in the closet.”
The board went into executive session for about 50 minutes but took only seconds to approve the hire. Herman was the head football coach at Lockhart from 2013-18 prior to accepting the Mustang position. Before that, he was the head football coach at Eustace High School.
Herman’s track record of building programs and staying at one place for a long period of time was important to the parents, students, and community members who attended an April 1 meeting on selecting the next football coach. Marble Falls Independent School District Superintendent Chris Allen reiterated that Monday night after the board hired Herman.
“He has a history of making the playoffs in recent years,” Allen said. “He convinced the committee he could build strong, meaningful relationships in the community and the staff at large. … We’re ready to put our kids in position to start thinking about the future.”
Herman, who is the 22nd head football coach at Marble Falls, is taking over his third program with previous stops at Lockhart and Eustace high schools. He has an overall record of 46-42 and district record of 23-31. Herman has led his teams to three bi-district championships. Those teams losses in the area round of the playoffs have been to an eventual state champion, an eventual state runner-up, and two state semifinalists.
Herman also has been on the staff of one of the most successful programs in Texas when he was an offensive coordinator at Liberty Hill High School, where he worked for head coach Jerry Vance.
“We want to be here,” he said about the Highland Lakes. “Every coach has a central place they’re eyeballing. This has been at the top for a long time.”
Herman said he applied for the position in 2000, when Marble Falls hired Dale Heath, and 2012, when the district tapped Todd Dodge.
Herman went to Liberty Hill in 2002 as an offensive coordinator and learned the Slot-T offense from Vance. He stayed in Liberty Hill until the end of the 2003-04 school year. Then, he became a wide receivers coach at Bemidji State University in Minnesota in 2004.
He returned to Liberty Hill in 2005 in time to be part of the Class 3A state championship teams in 2006 and 2007. When he left the Panthers after the 2010 season, it was to take over as Eustace High School head football coach. In the 2011 season, Herman guided the Bulldogs to a 10-2 overall record and a 4-1 District 6-2A Division II record. Eustace lost 19-10 to Melissa, the eventual state champion, in the second round of the playoffs.
The following year, Eustace went 6-5 and 4-2 in district, finishing in a three-way tie for second place. The Bulldogs lost to Daingerfield, the eventual state runner-up, in the first round of the playoffs.
Herman became the head coach at Lockhart in 2013, staying until 2018. While there, he compiled a 30-35 overall record and a 15-27 district record.
The Lions’ best seasons were in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, Lockhart went 7-5 overall and 4-4 in District 27-5A. The Lions defeated Brackenridge 35-25 in bi-district but lost to Leander Vandegrift, an eventual state semifinalist, in the next round.
In 2015, the Lions were 8-4 overall and 5-3 in district. They defeated San Antonio Highlands 42-21 in a bi-district championship but lost to Cedar Park Vista Ridge, a state semifinalist, in the second round.
Marble Falls and Lockhart were in the same District 26-5A in 2016 and 2017. The Lions won both meetings 31-17 and 28-24.
Herman takes the Mustangs’ reins from Mike Birdwell, who announced his resignation March 11.
Herman has installed the Slot-T offense when he was at Eustace and at Lockhart but stopped short of saying he would do the same in Marble Falls. While the Slot-T is his “foundation,” he said he wants to evaluate the players and see their skills.
“We’ll look at the talent we have and try to fit the pieces here,” he said.
The two high schools, Lockhart and Marble Falls, are similar in their demographics and socio-economics. In that sense, Herman is already comfortable.
“We’ll build relationships and build that trust,” he said. “Culture will come. They’re hardworking, tough, physical kids who want to be successful.”
Allen said Herman and his coordinators will have assigned duties to be determined after the master schedule is complete.
Herman is enthusiastic about the opportunity and couldn’t wait to meet his players and begin establishing relationships.
“Marble Falls is a place we feel we can be successful,” he said. “I’m comfortable to be in Marble Falls for a long time. There’s no reason we can’t be here and have some type of success.”