January 08, 2007
The first sign of a successful program: Coach poaching

We all knew this was a matter of time, though I think we all hoped it would be a matter of a little bit more time than this: Rice offensive coordinator Major Applewhite has been contacted by Alabama about a similar position there.

After helping steer Rice to its first bowl berth in 45 years, Owls offensive coordinator Major Applewhite was contacted by Alabama on Saturday to gauge his interest in joining the staff of new Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.

"I have been contacted, and I do have some interest, but I have not been offered the job," Applewhite said. "I'll sit down with my wife, Julie, and we'll make a decision this week.

"Right now, I'm still committed to Rice and the recruiting class we have coming here."


Applewhite does not have coaching ties to Saban or anyone on his staff, but Applewhite's father, Larry, is a past president of the Alabama Alumni Association. Applewhite was named after Crimson Tide tailback Major Ogilvie (1977-80) and, as a youth in Baton Rouge, La., idolized Alabama quarterback Jay Barker (1991-94), who led the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 1992.

There are reports that Applewhite would share offensive coordinator duties with former Texans offensive line coach Steve Marshall.

With Saban signing a reported eight-year, $32 million deal to coach at Alabama, Applewhite, if offered the job, likely would receive an offer more lucrative than his undisclosed salary at Rice, even with an increase that likely will follow once Graham signs a multiyear extension that was agreed upon last month.

Reaction to this news from Rice fans is here. I appreciate the fact that Applewhite is being up front about this, unlike his would-be boss was. I hope he stays, but if he goes, I wish him the best of luck.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 08, 2007 to Other sports | TrackBack

Steve Marshall and Major Applewhite to run an SEC offense?

I would have expected Alabama to go after assistants with more star power than that.

Maybe the boosters gave all the money to The Liar and there's not much left over for the staff.

Posted by: kevin whited on January 8, 2007 8:24 AM

More power to him.

Major Applewhite was my all-time favorite Longhorn. Just like Tom Brady at Michigan, he was screwed by dumbass starstruck coaches who didn't know what they had. And just like Tom Brady, the man lived through it with a whole lot more character and grace than his own coaches.

Best of luck Mr. Applewhite. You've earned it.

Posted by: Kent on January 8, 2007 8:44 AM