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.