He's a member, too | TOM HERMAN

A member since 1998, Tom Herman just finished his third season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Despite recently taking the University of Houston head coaching job, Herman helped lead the Buckeyes to the college National Championship over Oregon on Jan. 12, 2015.

Interviewed in September 2014

Good for recruiting

I didn't know I was going to be a coach until the end of my college days. My mom suggested that because I was in some gifted and talented programs growing up that I should try for Mensa. She thought it might be good on my resume, so I did. Later on I got a job coaching at Rice. At that time I think my membership had lapsed, and I figured I'd be coaching and recruiting a bunch of smart kids, so I wanted to get back up to date. [Being a Mensan has] been a good ice breaker, a fun topic of conversation.

If not coaching, then

When I was in college I did a lot of work with broadcasting, radio. I did a lot of work in Los Angeles. Did some NFL work. So I guess if I wasn't coaching that's what I'd be doing.

My boss, coach Urban Meyer

In my business you usually don't get hired by guys who don't know you. The first time I shook his hand was after an Iowa State game. At the end of the [2011] season, in December, my cellphone rings, and it's a Gainsville [Fla.] number. [Meyer had just accepted the head coaching position at Ohio State after a one-year hiatus from football. Prior to that, he had coached the Florida Gators to two national championships in six years.]

It was in the morning, and I was trying to sleep in; I hadn't since July. He said, “This is Urban Meyer.” I said, “Yeah, right,” figuring it was a prank. I could've blown it right then. He said he'd followed my path and wanted to interview me.

On his coaching style

I think both myself and Coach Meyer have been attached to the spread offense during our careers. I like doing that style because it allows you to spread the width and length of the field. It makes the defense have to defend the quarterback run. We're up-tempo, no huddle. Still, each year you have to evaluate your team's strengths and weaknesses and evaluate what you can do without getting too far removed from your fundamentals.

Preparing student athletes for life after college

It's hard. It's really hard nowadays. When I was an undergrad, when you graduated from college you got a job. I don't think that's the case now. It's a very competitive job market these days. And college athletes are at another disadvantage, because with all the time they have to spend practicing they can't take advantage of some other opportunities. But we do our best to prepare them. At Ohio State we have this program called Real Life Wednesdays.

Every Wednesday we bring in someone with real-world knowledge to talk to the team. It might be how to buy insurance, how to maintain your credit score, real-life stuff. Then we also bring in guys with different professional experiences, everything from FBI agents to entrepreneurs to corporate CEOs. Those sessions culminate in a job fair at the end of the year for just our athletes, where there are something like 75 to 100 companies represented. We work with them so that hopefully when their playing days are up they'll have a leg up in this competitive job environment.

Off the field

I do a lot of crossword puzzles. I read a lot. I try to read a lot of nonfiction about leaders and business people and others who've been successful in all facets of life. I don't have too many hobbies. This job takes enough of my time that when I'm free I try to relax with my family.