Houston Cougars fire head coach Major Applewhite

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Houston Cougars have fired head coach Major Applewhite on Sunday. He was the team’s head coach for the past two full seasons.

A national search will begin to find his replacement. Applewhite went 15-11 as the Cougars head coach, including a 10-6 record in the American Athletic Conference.

Former Houston Cougars head coach Major Applewhite looks on against the Arizona Wildcats
Major Applewhite looks on against the Arizona Wildcats (Getty Images)

“We’d like to thank Coach Applewhite and his family for their commitment to the success of the Houston Football program over the last four seasons, including the last two as our head coach,” Cougars Vice President of Athletics Chris Pezman said. “After a thorough evaluation of our Football program, it is my assessment our future opportunities for success are better addressed by making this very difficult decision now.

“While the immediate future may be challenging, our future at UH is very bright. We’ve made many sizable improvements over the past five years, and I look forward to enhancing our future success through the hiring of our next head coach. At this time, we have already begun the search process for our next head coach and will not comment further until the search is concluded.”

There was speculation that Applewhite would lose his job beginning after the Cougars lost 70-14 in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl to the Army Black Knights. Then, on Saturday, it began to pick up steam, as FootballScoop reported that Applewhite was going to be replaced.

The football site also suggested that West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen would be the top target to replace Applewhite.

Prior to being named Cougars head coach, he spent two seasons as the team’s Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach in 2015 and 2016. He also served as the Texas Longhorns Co-Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach in 2013.

He also served as the Longhorns Co-Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs Coach in 2011 and 2012. He was the Longhorns Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach from 2008 through 2010.

Applewhite also served as the Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach in 2007. He also was the Rice Owls Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach in 2006.

He was the Syracuse Orange Quarterbacks Coach in 2005. He began his coaching career as the Longhorns Graduate Assistant in 2003 and 2004.

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