Flying in the face of rumors that Lane Kiffin would become the head coach at Houston, the university has hired former offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to replace Tom Herman.
— Houston Football (@UHCougarFB) December 9, 2016
“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,” said Houston Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek. “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.”
Applewhite played quarterback for Texas from 1998-2001. He was a prolific passer and a fan favorite, setting 48 school records and winning the Big 12 championship two times.
An NFL career was not in the cards for Applewhite, who went into coaching in 2003 at Texas and worked his way up the ladder with tenures at Syracuse, Alabama and then back at Texas again before settling in at Houston as the offensive coordinator under Herman.
By sticking with Applewhite, Houston maintains some continuity. In addition to retaining his services, the school will keep defensive coordinator Todd Orlando on at least through the Las Vegas Bowl, where Applewhite will lead the way in his first game as head coach.