American Finish: 5-3
Coach: Major Applewhite (1st season)
The first season of the Major Applewhite era saw Houston advance to a bowl game for a fifth straight season as the program finished second in The American's west division. Sophomore defensive tackle Ed Oliver became the third major award winner in Houston history, claiming the Outland Trophy, while also becoming the eighth consensus All-American in Houston history, and the first since Andre Ware accomplished the feat in 1989.
American Finish: 5-3
Bowl Game: Las Vegas Bowl
Coach: Tom Herman (2nd season)
The 2016 season got off with a bang as Houston defeated No. 3 Oklahoma in the Advocare Texas Kickoff, 33-23, its first of two defeats of a team ranked third nationally as it later took down Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and No. 3 Louisville in week 11, 36-10. The only team in the nation with multiple wins over top-5 opponents in the regular season, the Cougars joined Alabama as the only teams with double-digit wins over multiple top-10 opponents. Houston started out 5-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history as the senior class capped its tenure with 38 wins, the best by a Houston senior class, and a berth in the Las Vegas Bowl. Freshman defensive tackle Ed Oliver earned first team All-America honors from seven outlets and ended the year second nationally with 23 tackles for loss.
American Finish: 8-1 (Champions)
Bowl Game: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (Champions)
Coach: Tom Herman (1st season)
The Tom Herman era could not have gotten off to a better start in 2015 as Houston raced out to a 10-0 start and ended the year by defeating No. 9 Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The win over the Seminoles was one of four wins over ranked opponents for the American Athletic Conference champions who also defeated No. 20 Temple in the inaugural American Championship, No. 16 Navy to win The American's west division and No. 25 Memphis in a thrilling home victory. Houston ranked fifth nationally in average margin of victory (19.7 points per game) and led the nation in turnovers forced with 35. Herman became just the fourth coach in NCAA history with at least 13 wins in his first season and just the fifth to win the first 10 games of his career.
American Finish: 5-3 (5th)
Bowl Game: Armed Forces Bowl (Champions)
Coach: Tony Levine (3rd season)
Houston made a national statement in 2014 when it opened the $120 million state-of-the-art TDECU Stadium for its inaugural season. The highlight of the year came in the historic 25-point, fourth-quarter comeback in the Armed Forces Bowl to secure the Championship win over Pittsburgh. The comeback was the largest fourth-quarter come-from-behind win in FBS Bowl history. Seven Cougars were named to the American Athletic Conference All-Conference teams. Rowdy Harper, Joey Mbu and Adrian McDonald all grabbed spots on the conference's First Team. Four Cougars nabbed spots on the Second Team: Kenneth Farrow, Deontay Greenberry, William Jackson and Efrem Oliphant. The 2014 season marked the final season for head coach Tony Levine. Houston officially hired new football head coach Tom Herman in December 2014.
American Finish: 5-3 (4th)
Bowl Game: BBVA Compass Bowl
Coach: Tony Levine (2nd season)
The 2013 season marked the first for the Cougars as a member of the American Athletic Conference. Due to construction of the new TDECU Stadium the 2013 season played five games at NRG Stadium and two games at BBVA Compass Stadium. Freshman John O'Korn was named Rookie of the Year and Demarcus Ayers was named the Co-Special Teams Player of the Year. Ayers and Deontay Greenberry landed on the American Athletic Conference's First Team. Three Cougars grabbed spots on the conference's Second Team, DeAnthony Sims, Zach McMillian, Trevon Stewart and Richie Leone. The Cougars went to the BBVA Compass Bowl where fell to Vanderbilt, 41-24.
C-USA Finish: 4-4 (4th in West Division)
Coach: Tony Levine (1st season)
Tony Levine took over as head coach in the final season at Robertson Stadium. Seven Cougars were named to the All-Conference USA Team. Jacolby Ashworth, Phillip Steward, D.J. Hayden and Richie Leone received First Team honors. Zach McMillian, Derrick Mathews and Charles Sims nabbed Third Team honors. True Freshman Trevon Stewart, who led all freshman nationally with 126 tackles picked up Freshman All-America accolades. D.J. Hayden was the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.
End-of-the-Year Rank: No. 14
C-USA Finish: 8-0 (West Division Champions)
Bowl Game: TicketCity Bowl (Champions)
Coach: Kevin Sumlin (4th season)
In Kevin Sumlin's final year as head coach the Cougars, he coached the program to a school-record 12 wins and the program's highest-ever Bowl Championship series ranking as he received the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year. Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury earned National Offensive Coordinator of the Year accolades. Case Keenum broke the NCAA career passing yardage (18,312) total offense (19,217) touchdown passes (150), total touchdowns (173), completions (1,460) and 300-yard games (37). Keenum was named Premier Player Awards National Player of the Year, Sammy Baugh Award Winner as well as being a finalists for the Davey O'Brien, Walter Camp and Manning awards. Keenum also picked up C-USA Player of the Year, as well as the TicketCity Bowl MVP and received All America honors. Patrick Edwards was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, Tyron Carrier was named Special Teams Player of the Year, while D.J. Hayden nabbed Newcomer of the Year. Five Cougars received All-America honors: Keenum, Edwards and Sammy Brown, while Derrick Mathews and Rowdy Harper received Freshman All-America honors. Charles Sims, Chris Thompson, Justin Johnson, Carrier, Keenum, McGraw all received All-Conference team honors, while punter Richie Leone was named Ray Guy Award Semifinalist. Three Cougars also received C-USA All-Freshman Team honors: Eric Braswell, Harper and Mathews. The Cougars defeated the Nitty Lions 30-14 to win the TicketCity Bowl.
C-USA Finish: 4-4 (3rd in the West Division)
Coach: Kevin Sumlin (3rd season)
Bryce Beall, Chris Thompson and Patrick Edwards nabbed Conference First Team honors as well as three Cougars receiving second team honors: Isaiah Thompson, Marcus McGraw and Edwards as a punt return. James Cleveland and Sammy Brown picked up Honorable Mention honors. True freshman Efrem Oliphant was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
End-of-the-Year Rank: N/A
C-USA Finish: 6-2 (West Division Co-Champions)
Bowl: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Coach: Kevin Sumlin (2nd season)
Conference USA Coach of the Year Kevin Sumlin led the Cougars to a West Division title and a national ranking for nearly the entire season. Case Keenum received the Sammy Baugh Award which honors the top passer in collegiate football. Keenum, James Cleveland and Tyron Carrier were named First Team All-Conference USA. Five Cougars nabbed C-USA Second Team honors: Brandon Brinkley, Tyrell Graham, Jarve Dean, Patrick Edwards and Marcus McGraw. The Cougars also landed four players on the All-Freshman Team: Charles Sims, Zeke Riser, Philip Steward and Matt Hogan. Tight End Fendi Onobun was picked by the St. Louis Rams as the first pick of the 6th round.
End-of-the-Year Rank: N/A
C-USA Finish: 6-2 (3rd in the West Division)
Bowl Game: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Champions)
Coach: Kevin Sumlin (1st season)
Kevin Sumlin was named the Head Coach of the Houston Cougars breaking Houston's postseason winless drought as the Cougars defeated Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars nabbed three Conference USA Player of the Year awards, Case Keenum was named Offensive Player of the Year, Phillip Hunt received Defensive Player of the Year honors and Bryce Beall picked up Freshman of the Year. Jake Ebner received C-USA Spirit of Service Award. Both Ebner and Keenum were named to the C-USA All-Academic Team. Beall was also named Freshman All-American by College Football news and Phillip Hunt also received All-American honors. Hunt and Sebastian Vollmer were named to the C-USA First Team and four Cougars were on the Second Team: Keenum, Tyron Carrier, Kenneth Fontenette and Mark Hafner, while four Cougars received Honorable Mention honors: Beall, Michael Bloesch, Cody Lubojasky and Chas Turner. Vollmer was selected by the New England Patriots as the 26th pick of the 2nd round.
C-USA Finish: 6-2 (West Division Co-Champions)
Bowl Game: Texas Bowl
Coach: Art Briles (5th season)
The 2007 season marked the beginning of Case Keenum's prolific career as a Houston Cougar when the freshman nabbed C-USA Freshman of the Year accolades as well as being named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team. Teammate Loyce Means also received All-Freshman team honor. Three Cougars were named to the C-USA First Team: Jeff Akeroyd, Donnie Avery and Phillip Hunt. Anthony Alridge and Kenneth Fontenette grabbed Second Team honors. All-American honors were given to Avery and Alridge. Donnie Avery was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the 2nd round as the 33rd overall pick of the NFL Draft.
C-USA Finish: 8-1 (Conference USA Champions)
Bowl Game: Liberty Bowl
Coach: Art Briles (4th season)
Head Coach Art Briles received the Sportexe NCAA Division 1-A Coach of the Year honor. Briles led the Cougars to a Conference USA Championship, Houston's first since 1996. Briles also received C-USA Coach of the Year, the second head coach in UH history to receive honors. Kevin Kolb was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Year and was named to the C-USA First Team. Sterling Doty, Will Gully and Wade Koehl were also named to the C-USA First Team. Five Cougars nabbed Second Team honors: Anthony Alridge, Jeff Akeroyd, Marquay Love, Willie Gaston and Vincent Marshall. Three Cougars received Third Team honors: Jackie Battle, Donnie Avery and Phillip Hunt. The Philadelphia Eagles selected quarterback Kevin Kolb as the 36th overall pick.
C-USA Finish: 4-4 (3rd in West Division)
Bowl Game: Fort Worth Bowl
Coach: Art Briles (3rd season)
Three Cougars received honorable mention Freshman All-America honors, Kenneth Fontenette, Cody Lubojasky and Cody Pree. The trio were also named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team as well as Phillip Hunt and Ben Bell. Ryan Gilbert, Vincent Marshall grabbed All-Conference USA First team honors while Kade Lane picked up Second-Team accolades. Five Cougars represented the C-USA Third-Team: David Douglas, Wade Koehl, Kevin Kolb, SirVincent Rodgers and Rocky Schwartz. The Cougars went bowling for the second time in the last three seasons as they faced the Kansas Jayhawks at the Fort Worth Bowl.
C-USA Finish: 3-5 (9th)
Coach: Art Briles (2nd season)
The Cougars placed four members on the All-Freshman Team in Bryon Alfred and SirVincent Rogers, Donnie Avery and Rocky Schwartz. Joe Clay and Vincent Marshall were honored with All-Conference USA Second Team honors. Three Cougars were named to the C-USA Third Team, Phil Hawkins, Kade Lane and Standford Routt. Routt, defensive back, was drafted to the Raiders as the overall 38th pick of the 2005 NFL Draft.
C-USA Finish: 4-4 (6th)
Coach: Art Briles (1st season)
Head coach Art Briles became the first-ever former Cougar player to run the UH football program. Briles led the Cougars to the Hawaii Bowl, the first bowl game since 1996. Rex Hadnot and Bandon Middleton were named to the All-Conference USA First Team. Joe Clay, And Matt Mattox were placed on the Second Team, while Kevin Kolb, Johnathan Pritchett and Anthony Evans received Third Team honors. Kolb was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year, becoming the third Cougar to win the award. Middleton also received Honorable Mention All-America honors. Hadnot was drafted to the Miami Dolphins with the 9th pick in the 6th round.
C-USA Finish: 3-5 (8th)
Coach: Dana Dimel (3rd season)
Running back Joffery Reynolds wraps up his career as a Houston Cougar as he set the C-USA single-season record with 1,545 yards and became only the third play in Cougar History to rush more than 1,500 years in a single season. Reynolds was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year and also was selected to the C-USA First Team as well as to the Honorable Mention All-American Team. Free safety Hanik Milligan was honored as a First-Team selection to the C-USA squad, while senior tackle Chris Redding and a pair of juniors, guard/center Rex Hadnot and tight end Stephen Cucci, grabbed Second-Team accolades. Three freshmen-defensive linemen Matthew Bentley and Kade Lane and offensive guard Roy Swan were named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. Hanik Milligan was drafted to the Titans with the 15th pick in the 6th round.
C-USA Finish: 0-7 (10th)
Coach: Dana Dimel (2nd season)
Houston saw Hanik Milligan and Rex Hadnot earn Conference USA First Team honors. Jermain Woodward named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, while senior wide receiver Orlando Iglesias and junior safety Hanik Milligan earned Conference USA Second Team honors. Woodward also was selected as a Third Team Freshman All-American.
C-USA Finish: 2-5 (T-7th)
Coach: Dana Dimel (1st season)
Dana Dimel was named head coach of the Houston Cougar program. Josh Lovelady and Wayne Rogers were picked to the C-USA First Team, while Brian Robinson was selected to the Second Team. A trifecta of freshmen Al James, Heard Robinson and Josh Tubbs were named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. Wayne Rogers was named an All-American by the editorial staff of "Football News" the publication. Rogers-who was twice named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week in games versus Memphis and Southern Miss in successive weeks-set a Houston single-season record with 26 tackles for loss. Mike Green was drafted to the Titans with the 7th pick during the 7th round.
A Look Back at 1999