Open Season On Alabama’s Coaching Staff Is Starting Early in 2020
In a statement released by the University of South Alabama on Monday, two-year Alabama football analyst Major Applewhite will continue his coaching career in Mobile as an offensive coordinator for the Jaguars.
For Applewhite, the truncated 2020 season was an opportunity for the offensive-minded Bama analyst to work with some of the most prolific scoring weapons in SEC history. He was a part of the analyst team which facilitated the most conference wins (11 SEC wins in a single season) since the league's advent.
After a successful college playing career as a four-year-role-player under Mack Brown's Texas Longhorns from 1998-2001, Applewhite turned down an NFL contract to become a graduate assistant at his alma mater. Within three seasons of the hire, 27-year-old Applewhite earned himself a spot as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Rice University Owls.
Just twelve months later, however, the young offensive mind took his talents to Tuscaloosa with the same position, under Alabama-legend Nick Saban. Applewhite would have to make multiple stops in his coaching career prior to fighting his way into a head coaching spot, including the University of Houston, again, as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Nevertheless, the now 37-year-old would go on to take over the HC job and lead the Houston Cougars to two straight winning seasons with accompanying bowl games.
Applewhite's love affair with the state of Texas began at the age of 17 when he committed and signed to the Longhorn's 1997 recruiting class under accomplished head coach John Mackovic. As a freshman out of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisianna, Applewhite was sidelined and redshirted behind sophomore QB Richard Walton. This setback wouldn't last for long as the veteran Walton was benched due to injury in Texas' second game of Applewhite's redshirt freshman year. During his career as a Longhorn, the Louisianna native contributed to a 38-13 record (over 74% in wins) in concert with 1998 Cotton Bowl and 2001 Holiday Bowl victories, respectively.
Since joining the NCAA's FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) division in 2012, the University of South Alabama has yet to secure a season going over .500 in the win column (2013: 6-6). Even under the direction of new head coach Steve Campbell (2018-present), the negative win culture in Mobile, AL seems to be persistent. In his three seasons, Campbell has lead the Jaguars a lackluster record of 9-26. In 2021, Major Applewhite will replace the three-year-veteran offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kenny Edenfield.
Considering his current position for the College Football Playoff-bound Alabama Crimson Tide, it's unclear when he will join the Jaguars in Mobile exactly; however, Applewhite's first game outing as a South Alabama coach is scheduled for a home game on September 4, 2020.
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