• Major Applewhite was named head coach at Houston on Dec. 9, 2016 after serving two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
• Applewhite, who has 13 years of coaching experience including seven as an offensive coordinator, has coached in 10 bowl games, four of which have been the New Years Six variety including the 2010 BCS National Championship.
• Over the last two seasons, Applewhites explosive offenses have helped the Houston program to the best two-year win total in program history with the 22 wins over 2015-16 ranking fourth nationally behind only Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State. Houston started out 5-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history with Applewhites offense averaging 45.3 points per game in those 10 games.
• A veteran coach with experience both on the NFL level and as an FBS head coach, ESPN Courage Award recipient Chris Scelfo was named Houstons offensive line coach on Feb. 4, 2017.
• Easily relatable to football parents as a parent of an FBS player himself (son Joe just completed his career at NC State and South Alabama), Scelfo joins the Houston program after most recently serving seven seasons as the tight ends coach for the Atlanta Falcons.
• While in Atlanta, Scelfo continued the development of tight end Tony Gonzalez who was named to the NFL Pro Bowl in four of his five seasons with the Falcons while the franchise advanced to the NFL Playoffs in four of Scelfos seven seasons with the team.
• Brian Johnson joined the Houston Football program as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Dec. 26, 2016 following three seasons as quarterbacks coach at Mississippi State.
• A native of Baytown, Texas, Johnson joined Houston after three seasons as quarterbacks coach at Mississippi State where he helped develop 2016 NFL Rookie of the Year favorite Dak Prescott and lead the Bulldogs to three consecutive bowl games.
• Under his tutelage, Mississippi State quarterbacks have led the SEC in total offense in two of Johnsons three years as sophomore Nick Fitzgerald totaled 3,798 yards of total offense this season and Prescott led the league with 4,435 yards in 2014. The current Dallas Cowboy was second in the league in 2015 with 4,381 yards.
• Clay Jennings was named secondary coach at Houston on Dec. 22, 2016.
• Having spent 13 season coaching in the state of Texas including a previous two-year stint at UH (2005-06), Jennings arrives in Houston after one season as Texas defensive backs coach and two in the same position at Arkansas. In a defense that ranked 12th in the nation against the run in 2015, seven of Jennings defensive backs ranked among the top 10 on the team in tackles. That group combined for nine tackles for loss, while producing nine interceptions and 30 pass breakups. For the second straight year, Jared Collins led the unit in breakups with nine after tying for the SEC lead with 13 in 2014.
• That year, Jennings helped the Razorbacks finish 10th in the nation in both scoring and total defense, as the team allowed just 19.2 points and 323.4 yards per game. Arkansas finished in the top 40 in passing yards allowed for the first time since 2011, surrendering just 208.8 passing yards per game to rank 37th. The Razorback secondary helped hold Heisman Trophy finalist Amari Cooper of Alabama to just two receptions for 22 yards, his lowest output of the season.
Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
• Mark DOnofrio joined the Houston Football program as its defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach on Jan. 6, 2017 following five seasons as defensive coordinator at Miami.
• Has 14 defensive players from his tenure with Miami currently in the NFL, seven of which were drafted under his watch.
• His 2015 defense at Miami ranked third in the ACC with 25 turnovers gained.
•?Kenith Pope was named running backs coach at Houston on Jan. 9, 2015.
•?Well-known and a highly respected veteran in the coaching profession, Pope has 37 years of coaching experience on the collegiate level, including three seasons as Tom Hermans running backs coach at Iowa State. He is a veteran of 19 bowl games during his coaching career.
•?He has mentored 18 players who have gone on to the NFL including Jorvorskie Lane who holds the school record for career rushing touchdowns (49) at Texas A&M. He also recruited Super Bowl champion Joseph “Red” Bryant. Pope has played and coached for some of the biggest names in college football history, including Barry Switzer at Oklahoma, Jackie Sherrill at Mississippi State, Howard Schnellenberger at OU and Dennis Franchione at TCU, Alabama and Texas A&M.
Wide Receivers Coach
• Kenny Guiton was named Houstons Wide Receivers coach on April 21, 2017, after a four-month stint as a quality control coach for wide receivers at Texas. The former Ohio State quarterback spent the 2015-16 seasons with Houston as an offensive graduate assistant working with Houstons receivers.
• In Guitons two seasons working with the Houston receivers as a graduate assistant, the Cougars had a 1,000-yard receiver in both years as Demarcus Ayers (1,222 yards in 2015) and Linell Bonner (1,118 yards in 2016) each accomplished the feat. Ayers earned first team honors from The American, while Bonner earned honorable mention during their 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Ayers led The American and ranked sixth nationally with 98 catches in 2015, while Bonner was third in the league and fifth nationally with 98 receptions in 2016.
• As a student-athlete, the Houston native and Aldine Eisenhower High School alum, Guiton spent four years as a member of Ohio States program. He saw action in 22 total games with two starts in his senior season. In eight appearances for the Buckeyes in 2013, Guiton completed nearly 69 percent of his passes, accounting for 14 passing touchdowns to just two interceptions. He also ran for five touchdowns. In relief of Braxton Miller in 2012, Guiton either finished off a touchdown drive started by Miller or led the Buckeyes on a touchdown drive in eight of his 15 series at quarterback.
• Dan Carrel was promoted to Houstons outside linebackers coach on Jan. 6, 2017 following two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant with the Cougars working with the teams outside linebackers.
• Part of a staff that helped UH rank 13th nationally in total defense and fourth in rushing defense in 2016.
• Team finished second in The American in sacks, scoring defense and total defense while leading the league in rushing defense.
• James Casey joined the Houston Football program as a offensive football analyst in January of 2016 following a seven-year career in the NFL. In his first season with Houston, the Cougars offense finished the regular season ranked 15th in passing offense (310.9 yards per game) and 21st in scoring offense (38.0 points per game) as Houston scored at least 30 points in 11 of 12 regular season games.
• An All-American tight end at Rice, Casey was drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, and spent four season with the team, at both tight end and fullback. He later spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and one with the Denver Broncos.
• In just two seasons with Rice (2007-08), Casey set three program records (receptions in a season, receiving yards in a game and a season) en route to earning Freshman All-America honors in 2007 and first team All-Conference USA honors in 2008. He was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2008 and received Rices James W. Glanville Award, presented annually to the player who has achieved excellence in athletics, academics and integrity.
• A.J. Blum joined the Houston Football program as its defensive line coach on Dec. 22, 2016 following eight seasons as defensive coordinator at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas.
• Having developed 33 players that have advanced to the collegiate level, including 31 defensive linemen, since 2005, Blum makes the jump to the collegiate ranks after 14 years on the high school level, including 13 in the Houston area.
• Blum most recently spent the last eight seasons as assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas, where he worked specifically with the defensive line, developing several players into FBS level talent, including Houstons Ed Oliver who earned First Team All-America honors from six different outlets following his freshman year with the Cougars.