Major Applewhite, the renowned former quarterback for the Texas Longhorns, is set to embark on a new journey as the head coach, marking a significant career advancement in college football. This development, as reported by ESPN's Pete Thamel, sees Applewhite taking the helm at South Alabama, a role previously held by the outgoing Kane Wommack.
At 45, Applewhite brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success. Since 2021, he has served as the offensive coordinator for South Alabama under Wommack, who recently transitioned to a new position as the defensive coordinator for Alabama, working alongside his colleague Kalen DeBoer.
During his tenure at South Alabama, Applewhite has been instrumental in transforming the team's offense into a formidable force. Under his guidance, the Jaguars have achieved impressive feats, leading the Sun Belt Conference in yards per play and ranking second in yards per rushing attempt during the past season.
This marked a dramatic improvement from their performance prior to his arrival, where they were languishing near the bottom of the league.
Wommack-Applewhite Era Triumphs
The partnership of Wommack and Applewhite has propelled South Alabama to unprecedented heights.
In the three years since their arrival, the Cougars have amassed a commendable 22-16 record. Notably, the 2022 season saw the team clinching its first-ever 10-win campaign, a milestone in the program's history. Applewhite's coaching career, however, is not without its ups and downs.
He previously held the position of head coach at the University of Houston from 2017 to 2018. During his stint with the Cougars, Applewhite led the team to consecutive winning seasons, culminating in a 15-11 record. The 2018 season started promisingly for Houston, with a 7-1 record and a peak ranking of 17 in the AP poll.
However, the season ended on a sour note, marred by a series of losses, including a heavy defeat to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl, ultimately leading to Applewhite's departure. As Applewhite steps into his new role at South Alabama, expectations are high.
His impressive coaching acumen and the ability to turn around a team's fortunes suggest that this new chapter could be a game-changer for both Applewhite and the South Alabama program. With a history of success and a clear vision for the future, the stage is set for Applewhite to make a significant impact in the world of college football.