- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Tom Herman said he embraces the challenge of the Houston Cougars when he was introduced as their new football coach, but first he paid tribute to his former boss and mentor, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.

At an introductory news conference Friday, Herman said Meyer taught him the importance of competing every day in everything, the importance of a coach earning the trust of his players and “that the toughest-coached team always has a chance to win the game, regardless of talent.”

The Cougars “have a ton of talent,” and the Cougars “will recruit some of the finest talent in the state of Texas,” Herman promised.

“We will be exciting to watch,” he assured.

First, though, Herman said he needed to bring about a collective change in attitude.

“We have a long way to go, but the expectations have been set very high, and should be. We’ve got a long way to go, let me reiterate that. We’ve got some culture things to change.”

He asked the Cougars following for trust and patience, though. “Culture change takes time, but I will tell you this, the expectations of winning and competing for championships in the months of November and December are expectations that I as well feel are reachable here in the near future,” he said.

The former Ohio State offensive coordinator agreed to a five-year, $6.75 million contract to succeed fired Tony Levine.

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