Applewhite Hiring Made Official

University of Alabama head football Nick Saban announced today that Major Applewhite, former offensive coordinator at Rice University, has joined the Crimson Tide football coaching staff. Applewhite's specific duties have not been determined at this time.

Major Applewhite joins the Crimson Tide football staff after spending the 2006 season as the youngest coordinator in Division I football. Applewhite, 28, crafted a spread attack that scored the most points (350) and gained the third-most yards (4,486) in Rice's history. Under Applewhite, the Owls produced a 1,000-yard rusher, a 1,000-yard receiver, and a 1,000-yard passer for the first time in school history en route to the program's first appearance in a bowl game since 1961. The 2006 Rice offense produced a 109-point improvement in scoring over the previous season.

Applewhite was the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse University in 2005. In 2003-04, he was a graduate assistant on the offensive staff at Texas, where he was influential in the development of all-America quarterback Vince Young. One of the top quarterbacks in University of Texas history, Applewhite, 27, had a 22-8 record as a starting quarterback with the Longhorns. Finishing his career in 2001, he is UT's all-time leader in passing yards (8,353), passing touchdowns (60), passing attempts (1,065), and total offense (8,059).

The Longhorns' team captain in 2001, he helped Texas to four straight bowl games: the 1999 and 2000 Cotton Bowls, and the 2000 and 2001 Holiday Bowls. He was the Holiday Bowl's co-offensive MVP in his final college game in 2001, leading the Longhorns to a 47-43 comeback win over Washington. Applewhite was the Big 12's freshman of the year in 1998 and shared the league's offensive player of the year honors as a sophomore in 1999.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Applewhite threw for 50 touchdowns and ran for eight more in two years as a starter at Catholic High School. He was tabbed an honorable mention prep all-America by USA Today after leading Catholic High to a 13-1 record and no. 10 national ranking as a senior. He was 25-2 as a schoolboy starter. Applewhite completed his degree in sport management at the University of Texas in December, 2002.

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