HOUSTON, TX, Sporting Alert – Houston announced on Friday that Major Applewhite has been promoted to succeed Tom Herman as the Cougars’ college football new head coach.
Applewhite was the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach in the last two seasons.
The news on Friday came less than 24 hours after several reports suggested that Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was closing on the head coach position.
Herman left the Cougars (9-3) to take over at the Texas Longhorns.
“When we set out on our search for the new leader of our football program, we wanted a coach with great integrity who believed in our mission and truly believed in our student-athlete experience,” athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement on Friday.
Applewhite has spent 11 of his 13 coaching years in the state of Texas, which probably was a major boast in him getting the job.
“We had our sights set on a focused competitor who has demonstrated success and possesses a deep connection to college and high school football in the great state of Texas.
“As this process was completed, it was clearly evident the only individual to offer our position to was Major Applewhite and he was indeed the right man to lead our program.”
Houston defensive coordinator Todd Orlando also was a candidate for the job.
Applewhite will be in charge immediately, as he will coach Houston against San Diego StateAztecs in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17.
“My family and I are excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead such a tradition rich program and continue our lives in one of the greatest cities is the nation, a city we love,” said the new head coach.
“We have an exceptional group of young men in our program, and we’ll continue to add men with great character and a competitive drive in our recruiting.
“Living in the best state for high school football is a true blessing and advantage for our program and I cannot be more thankful for the support of our outstanding high school coaches from throughout the state.”
Kiffin was heavily linked with then vacant position and was backed by Alabama head coach Nick Saban to succeed had he took over the program.