Applewhite says he has assistant job at Rice

Updated: January 8, 2006, 12:44 AM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Former Texas quarterback Major Applewhite told a Houston television station Saturday that he'll be named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rice.

The move would mark a quick ascension for Applewhite, 27, who spent just one year as quarterbacks coach at Syracuse. Before that, he was a graduate assistant with the Longhorns for two years after graduating in 2002.

"From a professional standpoint, anytime you get a chance to be an offensive coordinator you have to take serious consideration, and I did," Applewhite told Houston television station KRIV. "...Obviously this is the quick route back to Texas, but it's an opportunity. A great opportunity."

Rice officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Applewhite would be the latest hire for new coach Todd Graham, who was hired Jan. 1 to replace Ken Hatfield, who resigned Nov. 30 after 12 seasons. The Owls ran the option under Hatfield, but Graham has said a key to turning around the program is "modernizing" the schemes.

Applewhite remains a fan favorite at Texas, where he was 22-8 as a starter and set several school passing records. He was named Big 12 co-offensive player of the year in 1999 before becoming stuck in a quarterback controversy with Chris Simms.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press