Applewhite says he has assistant job at Rice

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.