Major Applewhite named Houston head coach.
Houston offensive coordinator Major Applewhite was named the school's next football coach, the school announced Friday.
The school said that Applewhite’s appointment is effective immediately and he will coach in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17 against San Diego State.
Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reports Applewhite's contract is for five years.
Applewhite, 38, has spent the last two seasons at Houston under Tom Herman, who left earlier this month to become the head coach at the University of Texas.
Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, Alabama offensive coordinator and Houston defensive coordinator Todd Orlando also were candidates for the job. ESPN reports Les Miles and Lane Kiffin were also finalists.
“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 athletic director 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 spent seven years at Texas before arriving in Houston his final four years as co-offensive coordinator after serving as assistant head coach his first three seasons.
“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
Applewhite also played his college football at Texas, earning the Big 12's Offensive Player of the Year in 1999 and leading the Longhorns to a Holiday Bowl victory in 2001.
– Scooby Axson