A Texas native who has seven years experience working with Tom Herman on offense, Drew Mehringer (MAIR-in-jer) has been hired as an assistant coach at Texas, Herman announced Monday. Positions and titles for assistant coaches will be announced after the completion of the staff.
“As somebody who has been born and raised in the greatest state and greatest place in the world, the opportunity to be back here, to be back near family, to be working with a group of guys I know really well and love and are great football coaches and great men, it’s incredible,” Mehringer said. “The fact that I get to do that here at The University of Texas, a place that we all grew up as high school players and kids with our eyes on the burnt orange, is something I don’t know that I could have ever passed up. So for me, I’m tremendously excited.”
“Drew is an outstanding young coach, and I’ve worked with him extensively over the years,” Herman said. “He’s from Texas, went to Rice and knows this state extremely well. Drew has a great offensive mind, gained tremendous experience at a lot of different places in a short period of time and will be a terrific addition to our staff.”
Mehringer comes to Texas after spending one season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers where, at age 28, he was the youngest play caller in the Power Five conferences and worked to install a new offensive system under first-year head coach Chris Ash.
He joined the Rutgers staff after spending the 2015 season as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator under Herman at Houston. Besides UH, Mehringer has worked with Herman at Ohio State, Iowa State, and as a student assistant Rice.
“The guys on this staff are tremendous football coaches,” Mehringer said. “I think the dynamic within this staff is incredible, it’s unlike one I’ve ever been a part of. They are great people and a lot of fun to be around. I think we all have the same vision for what we want the program to look like, the staff dynamic to look like. That’s driven and led by Coach Herman. Because we have such great quality character people on staff, I think everyone falls into alignment and makes the transition from one program to another really easy.”
In 2015, the Cougars went to their first New Year’s Bowl in 30 years, had their second 13-win season in program history and won their 11th conference championship by claiming the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship. With a 38-24 win over No. 9 Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Houston ended the season ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, its highest finish since ranking No. 5 in 1979, and just the sixth time in program history to finish in the top 10.
The UH offense was one of three nationally to average over 235 yards per game in both rushing (235.8 yards per game) and passing (248.4 yards per game), as the Houston offense ranked 20th nationally in total offense with an average of 484.1 yards per game. The explosive Cougar attack ranked 10th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 40.4 points per game, an improvement of 47 spots from 2014 when it finished the year 57th nationally with an average of 29.8 points per game. Houston scored over 30 points in 12 games, over 40 points in six games and over 50 points in four games.
Under Mehringer’s tutelage, four receivers collected at least 25 receptions and 300 receiving yards, highlighted by first-team All-AAC selection Demarcus Ayers. Ayers led the conference and ranked sixth nationally with 98 catches for 1,222 yards (18th nationally) and six touchdowns. Chance Allen was second on the team with 56 receptions for 752 yards and tied Ayers for the team lead with six touchdowns.
Prior to arriving in Houston, Mehringer spent the 2014 season at James Madison as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. While at JMU, the Dukes advanced to the FCS Playoffs for just the second time in the previous six years. The offense ranked 10th nationally with 484.6 yards per game behind the arm of junior quarterback Vad Lee who finished fourth in voting for the 2014 Walter Payton Award, considered the Heisman Trophy of FCS football. Lee was also named third-team All-American by the Associated Press, and received the Bill Dudley Award, given to the best collegiate football player in Virginia.
The team also set single-season program records with 1,060 offensive plays, 6,300 offensive yards, 315 first downs, 475 passing attempts, 286 passing completions, 30 passing touchdowns, 3,499 passing yards and 159 passing first downs. Lee set single-season James Madison records in passing completions (282), attempts (465), yards (3,462), touchdowns (30) and total offense (4,288 yards). He threw for more than 300 yards in five contests and had a streak of six games with at least 250 passing yards.
Lee also did it on the ground, ranking ninth in the league at 63.5 rushing yards per game and a team-high nine rushing touchdowns. He ranked fourth nationally in total offense with an average of 329.8 yards per game, while ranking sixth with 30 touchdowns and seventh with 3,462 yards.
Mehringer spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as a graduate assistant at Ohio State, working with the program’s tight ends and wide receivers in his first season before working with the offensive line in his second season in Columbus. With Mehringer’s assistance, offensive tackle Jack Mewhort was named first-team All-America in 2013 and first-team All-Big Ten, along with Corey Linsley and Andrew Norwell, as the Ohio State offense broke 12 single-season records.
He also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Iowa State, where he worked with the wide receivers. During his time in Ames, receiver Aaron Horne was named the 2011 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year.l
A native of Mansfield, Texas, Mehringer attended Rice as a quarterback before suffering a career-ending injury. He then served as a student assistant with the quarterbacks under Herman for three seasons, graduating in 2010 with a degree in political science. Mehringer earned a master’s degree in sports management at Ohio State in 2013.