The finalists for the job reporteldy included Lane Kiffin, who took the job at Florida International, their own defensive coordinator, Todd Orlando, Les Miles, and Lincoln Riley. The winner of those sweepstakes, Applewhite, will take over immediately to coach the team in the Las Vegas Bowl against San Diego State. That game will take place on December 17th.
Houston's coaching search began when Tom Herman took the Texas head coaching job after they fired Charlie Strong. Herman tweeted out his congrats to his former assistant following the announcement of the promotion.
The Cougars have had plenty of success the past 10 years, including a 34-28 record under Art Briles from 2003 to 2007. Kevin Sumlin took over and went 35-17 from 2008 to 2011, and Herman went 22-4 from 2011 to this past season. All three of those coaches have moved on to big-time schools, with Briles to Baylor, Sumlin to Texas A&M, and now Herman to Texas.
The 38-year-old Applewhite joined the school in 2015, leading the Cougars to the 15th-ranked passing offense and 21st in scoring this past season. They also averaged 157.3 yards rushing in 2016, and gained 500 yards or more in 11 games over the last two seasons. Applewhite can only hope that success as OC will translate in his new position, as he looks to follow the footsteps of the previous three coaches.