The University of Houston has issued an official press release announcing Tony Levine as the next head coach of the Houston Cougars. The school also announced a press conference for 10 a.m. Thursday to introduce Levine. Per the official statement:
"I'm so pleased to be able to announce Tony Levine as our new head coach," Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades said. "Before we began this process we talked about the characteristics we wanted in the leader of our football program and Tony embodies each of those qualities. We spoke with former players, current student-athletes and interviewed some of the top football coaches in the country, and all of our talks led us right back to Tony.
Among those thought to be interviewed by UH officials were current Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes, who received a new contract from the Bulldogs on Wednesday before their Poinsettia Bowl game against TCU.
Levine has been a part of the Houston staff since 2008, when he was hired from the Carolina Panthers. Under former head coach Kevin Sumlin, Levine coached special teams and was named assistant head coach in 2010. Like every other part of the Cougars' 2011 team, Levine's special teams unit has been explosive in the return game. Courtesy of UH:
Houston has had three returns for scores in 2011, including Tyron Carrier's seventh career kickoff return for a TD (tied an NCAA record) and two punt return scores by two different returners in the road win at Tulane. Junior place kicker Matt Hogan also broke the NCAA record with 78 consecutive extra points made in a season and is No. 2 among active place kickers, making 87.8 percent (36-of-41) of his field goal tries during his career.
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