Houston has its next head football coach. It will not be Lane Kiffin. The Cougars have promoted offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to the head coaching job.
USA Today Sports’ Dan Wolken reported that Kiffin was “expected” to get the job pending final approval and final negotiations. Houston wanted its next coach to have a “significant” buyout clause to preclude the next coach from leaving as soon as Tom Herman did, which may have held up a potential deal.
Applewhite, a former Texas quarterback, was an offensive coordinator at Texas and Alabama before joining Houston in 2015. Applewhite’s name was actually brought up for the Houston head coaching job back in 2007 when the school sought to replace Art Briles.
Three years ago, Texas’ reprimand for Applewhite having a consensual affair with a student was made public as part of a lawsuit.
This appears to be Houston opting for continuity and potential longevity over a coach, such as Kiffin, using Houston as a stepping stone job. While one has sympathy for that sentiment, Houston having another coach leave after two to three years of success would not have been a terrible outcome. Tom Herman left the program in far better shape than he found it.