South Alabama hires former Houston coach Major Applewhite to replace Kane Wommack

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 16:  Assistant coach Major Applewhite of the South Alabama Jaguars talks with head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys before their game at Boone Pickens Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. South Alabama won 33-7.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

South Alabama is promoting Major Applewhite to replace Kane Wommack.

Applewhite, the former Texas quarterback and Houston coach, will be the Jaguars’ new head coach after Wommack’s departure to Alabama. Wommack had been South Alabama's coach for the past three seasons and left to be Alabama’s defensive coordinator earlier in the week.

Applewhite, 45, has served as South Alabama’s offensive coordinator during Wommack’s tenure. Before he came to Mobile, he was an analyst at Alabama in 2019 and 2020.

The stint at Alabama came after Applewhite was fired after two seasons as Houston’s head coach. Applewhite took over ahead of the 2017 season after Tom Herman’s departure and the Cougars went 15-10 in his two seasons with the program. The Cougars entered their bowl game 8-4 at the end of the 2018 season but were blown out by Army in the Armed Forces Bowl, 70-14. That game led to Applewhite’s firing.

Before he came to Houston ahead of the 2015 season, Applewhite was an assistant coach at his alma mater from 2008-13 and served as the team’s co-offensive coordinator in his final three seasons at Texas. In 2013, he was punished by the school for having an inappropriate relationship with a student athletic trainer at the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

As a quarterback at Texas, Applewhite threw for 8,353 yards and 60 TDs over four seasons. He played in 11 games as a freshman in 1998 before playing in at least nine games in each of the following three seasons.