Breaking News: Major Applewhite, not Lane Kiffin to coach Houston
The Houston Cougars have hired offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to succeed Tom Herman as the team’s new head coach, it was announced Friday.
“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. “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.”
It was reported yesterday that Alabama OC Lane Kiffin was the frontrunner for the job, and even told people he’s close to that he “expected the job.”
Obviously, that wasn’t the case.
Applewhite will take over the job immediately, coaching the Cougars against San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17. Orlando, who has been serving as the interim coach since Herman accepted the Texas job on Nov. 26, will assume his usual duties as defensive coordinator.
A source told ESPN on Thursday that the university wanted to require an excessive buyout so the next coach can’t leave after a couple of seasons without paying a substantial penalty. Herman left after going 22-4 with the Cougars over two 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,” Applewhite said. “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.”
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