The University of South Alabama (USA) football team now has its fourth head coach in program history.
"Following a broad evaluation of our program, it became very clear that the best leader for us in both the short and long term is Major Applewhite," USA athletics director Joel Erdmann said. "His professional experience, his string of mentors along his path and his proven ability to recruit, develop and sustain relationships with student-athletes were all significant contributing factors to this decision. I am incredibly excited about our future, and can't wait to work together with coach Applewhite as we continue to move this program forward."
Applewhite spent the past three seasons with USA working as offensive coordinator. The Jaguars went 22-16 during those three years, including a 10-win season in 2022 and a 2023 season that resulted in the first bowl win in school history.
"I'm incredibly humbled and excited to be the next head football coach at the University of South Alabama," Applewhite said in a statement. "My family and I love living in Mobile, and are thankful for the opportunity to further ingrain ourselves in the community here. I'm grateful to Kane Wommack for bringing me here three years ago, and I look forward to carrying on the winning tradition that has been established. I'm excited to work with the strong and proven leadership of the administration here at South Alabama."
"I'm anxious to get started and quickly turn my attention back to our players, and prepare them for spring ball and the 2024 season," he added.
Per ESPN, Applewhite was signed to a five-year deal.
Applewhite has experience as a head coach. He led the Houston Cougars to a 15-11 record with two bowl game appearances.
In 2020, he worked on Nick Saban's Alabama staff as an analyst. That year, the Crimson Tide went 13-0 and won the College Football Playoff National Championship. It was Applewhite's second of two stints at Alabama, his first coming in 2007 when he served as the program's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
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