Per multiple Austin media outlets, Major Applewhite is expected to be named the Offensive Coordinator as soon as today. Applewhite, who joined the Texas Longhorns coaching staff in 2008, is currently the Running Backs Coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator, though Harsin has primary responsibility for playcalling duties.
The Austin-American Statesman's Cedric Golden tweeted last night: "I'm told that Major Applewhite will become the new offensive coordinator and could be announced as early as Wednesday." This jives with both national and local reports that Applewhite is the prohibitive favorite.
Inside Texas' Eric Nahlin approves of the promotion.
'Wait' is a good word when discussing Applewhite. 'Patient' would be another. This is a guy that flattened his career arc to come home to Texas. He could have been an OC at any number of schools had he instructed his agent to solicit work, but instead he chose to come to Texas and do whatever's asked of him.
Coach a running back unit devoid of natural ability? Will do. Recruit his ass off? Without a doubt. Help hold a recruiting class together after the disaster of 5-7? He was integral.
Not only does Applewhite have the football aptitude, but he also has the same composure that translated during his playing days. He also understands the ebbs and flows of a game as well as anyone on staff.
The continuity of Harsin to Applewhite would likely ensure that the current roster wouldn't have to overhaul its knowledge of the offense and the playbook. This could prove critical if Mack Brown is looking at 2013 as his "swan song" as he tries to gear up the team to beat Oklahoma and make a BCS run. Further, it would also likely prevent any major attrition, either from the current roster or from the 2013 recruiting class.
If Applewhite does get the job as expected, it would create an assistant coach opening that Brown would need to fill. Brown could replace Applewhite with another Running Backs coach, or look to fill other another personnel position, possibly a Linebackers coach or a Tight Ends coach with Bruce Chambers shifting to fill the Running Backs position.
Early names thrown against the wall are Claude Mathis (current Head Coach at DeSoto High School), Daron Roberts (former West Virginia Defensive Backs Coach and a UT-Austin alum), and Tim Brewster (former Texas coach). Expect more names to be thrown into the hat in subsequent days.
UPDATE [8:25 am]: Confirmation from Longhorn Network.
With Harsin taking ASU job, Major Applewhite will be play-calling OC, and Darrell Wyatt is promoted to co-offensive coordinator.— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) December 12, 2012