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Major Applewhite named new UH football coach

HOUSTON – University of Houston offensive coordinator Major Applewhite has been named the new head football coach for the school.

Applewhite is the 14th head coach for the Cougars football team.

His appointment is immediate, school officials said in a Friday morning news release. UH had named defensive coordinator Todd Orlando as interim head coach, but now Applewhite will lead the Coogs when they take on San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17.

Applewhite replaces Tom Herman, who left last month to coach at the University of Texas where Applewhite was quarterback from 1998 through 2001 and led the Longhorns to a 22-8 record in games he started.

"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."

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Applewhite was offensive coordinator at Rice University and the University of Alabama for one season each, then spent seven years at UT, his final four years as co-offensive coordinator after serving as assistant head coach his first three seasons, before joining UH's staff.

"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," Houston Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. "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."

University of Houston President Renu Khator said in a statement, "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."

UH System Board of Regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta said in a statement, "Major Applewhite is a huge reason we’ve won 22 games in the last two seasons and I’m excited that he’s our head coach.  He has demonstrated success on the field and on the sideline throughout his career.  He knows we are positioned to compete for championships and I’m confident we’ll continue our success under his leadership."

Applewhite and his wife have a son and daughter.

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