Houston no longer has a problem.

The University of Houston football program has a new football coach, and it’s not Lane Kiffin. Despite media reports Thursday saying the Cougars were close to reaching a deal with the Alabama offensive coordinator, they elected to go a different route. Houston instead named Major Applewhite its new head coach Friday.

It’s a promotion for Applewhite, who was serving as the Cougars’ offensive coordinator. According to the Houston Chronicle, Applewhite beat out Kiffin and a group of finalists that included former LSU head coach Les Miles.

Applewhite, 38, served as offensive coordinator under new Texas head coach Tom Herman for the past two seasons at Houston. It’s the first head coaching job for Applewhite, who previously served as offensive coordinator at Texas, Alabama and Rice before joining Herman in Houston. Applewhite takes over effective immediately as the Cougars prepare for the Las Vegas Bowl against San Diego State.

Kiffin, on the other hand, now will turn his sights to Alabama’s College Football Playoff Semifinal game, while he awaits word on potential job opportunities as head coach at South Florida and as offensive coordinator at LSU, according to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports.

Alabama will play Washington on New Year’s Eve in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

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Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin