Dec. 12, 2011
Houston, Texas - Dear Coog Nation -
I am pleased to write to you today to address a number of topics, including our national search for our next head football coach. I know our fan base has run the gamut of emotions over the last few weeks, from the pride and excitement of a 12-win football season and the move to the BIG EAST Conference, to our search for new leadership to direct our football program.
I want to start out by thanking Kevin Sumlin for his tireless efforts at the University of Houston. We certainly hate to see him leave, but we wish him and his family all the best in their new endeavors at Texas A&M University. I know our fans rode the emotional roller coaster with all the social media speculation, but Kevin was professional and honest with us throughout the entire process and we have nothing but respect for him.
With that being said, it's time to look forward and frankly, we are excited about it. We have already received a number of calls and emails from our supports and we greatly appreciate your interest. I would also like to apologize in advance if I am unable to respond, but we will be focused and diligent as this process moves forward.
As we move forward in our search process, I want to stress this will be done confidentially and with the utmost respect to any potential candidates. Any speculation you read in the media, will be just that, speculation. We will not comment on this process or on potential candidates, so the next time you hear from me will be when we are introducing the 12th head coach in the history of the University of Houston.
In the meantime, I am so pleased to announce Tony Levine will be the interim head coach of our football program while we prepare for the 2012 TicketCity Bowl against Penn State. Coach Levine was an automatic choice for us. He is an outstanding football coach and an even better individual. His passion for UH, and most importantly our student-athletes, is apparent. Tony would not say this, but he received an emotional standing ovation from our student-athletes when I named him our interim on Saturday. Our young men are very excited to play for Coach Levine and our staff's entire focus is on beating Penn State and getting a historic 13th win.
It's a great time to be a Houston Cougar and it's time to look forward to an incredible future. Our new head coach will have the opportunity to coach in a B.C.S. conference, he will recruit to an incredible new facility and we will provide him every possible resource to lead UH Football to a championship level. He will also have the support of an incredible fan base. You have set new attendance marks at Robertson Stadium each of the last two years and our students are as loud and as passionate as any in America!
I would also like to remind you about the open practice Coach Levine and the football team will have before the Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl. The practice is this Saturday at 2 p.m. and we certainly invite our fans to come out and see the team practice before they head to Dallas later in the month. It's a great opportunity to get autographs and see your favorite student-athletes, including our seniors, one final time.
Director of Athletics