Teams & Conferences

Major Applewhite Named Houston Head Coach. What Does It All Mean?

Major Applewhite Named Houston Head Coach. What Does It All Mean?


Major Applewhite taking over the Houston Cougars head coaching job. What does it all mean?


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The Cougars want to keep it all going for a while.

Houston made it very clear – it didn’t want a rental option.

Lane Kiffin seemed like the right fit, and others were in the mix, but it was going to require a big-time buyout to take over the Houston job, and as everyone is well aware, Kiffin has his sights sets on something a whole lot bigger.

In Applewhite, Houston might have a guy who could hang around for a long, long time.

Just 38 – turning 39 this summer – Applewhite has already proven himself as a Texas offensive coordinator, and then the Houston OC under Tom Herman. His O averaged 459 yards per game this season, and roared last year for 484 yards and 40 points per game.

And now, the goal is that he’ll grow into the job and with the program for several years, rumored to be offered a five-year deal to let him grow into the gig.

South Florida just became a whole lot more attractive

And there goes all negotiating leverage for Charlie Strong and Lane Kiffin.

South Florida is the one decent job opening left – with only some due respect for Cincinnati – and if anyone wants it, there might be some groveling going on now.

The Bulls can now sit back for a little bit and wait to see just how everything shakes out, and they can up their demands.

If you want to be the USF head coach, the buyout clause just became bigger, the salary just became smaller, and the timing of Applewhite going to Houston just couldn’t be any better.

And now the Houston recruiting class gets to keep on rolling

A solid 38th in the latest Scout.com recruiting rankings – one spot ahead of Texas – that’s only going to get stronger and better now that there’s continuity. Life just became a whole lot harder for the Big 12 Texas schools, and Texas A&M, for the Houston area.

What does The Major have to work with?

QB Greg Ward is gone, and heart-and-soul LB Steven Taylor will be done on the other side, but there’s a lot to get fired up about.

DT Ed Oliver leads a potentially loaded defense with seven starters coming back, and eight starters return on offense, including all five starters up front.

There aren’t any Oklahomas or Louisvilles on the 2017 schedule, but the Cougars are going to Arizona and hosting Texas Tech – that’s good enough.

The guy is Texas football

He might have been born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but The Major became a legend at Texas, putting up huge numbers in the late 1990s and stepping in to save the day in the 2001 Holiday Bowl.

This is the perfect first head coaching gig for him, and the program has set itself up perfect to keep the momentum going.

“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 Applewhite.

“The student-athletes truly are the backbone of every great program and as they’ve demonstrated over the past few years, 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.”

University of Houston President Renu Khator: “It’s no coincidence that the success UH football has achieved over the past two seasons happened with Major Applewhite running our offense. His energy and creativity are responsible for one of the most explosive passing games in college football and I am confident that as our head coach he will continue our upward trajectory as a nationally relevant athletics program.”