University Of Houston Football Google
The University of Houston football program had a storied history. Aside from playing in the Big West, the program played in the Southwest Conference and the Gulf Coast Conference. It even had a run in the Missouri Valley Conference. But it was the rise of Andre Ware that really launched the program to national prominence. His Heisman trophy win raised the Cougars' game to a new level. University Of Houston Football
As early as the 1950s, the program had a history of recruiting players from local high schools. Helton was no-nonsense and preached fundamentals. He also heavily recruited from the Florida and Georgia junior college ranks. This was a major difference from the program's previous reliance on a local talent base.
In the late 1990s, UH had a reputation for lackluster on-field performance. However, in 2000, the program made a breakthrough. In fact, it had a record-setting season. That season was also the first time the school ranked in a major college football poll since 1990.
Although the program missed a bowl game in 2000, the Cougars still managed a 13-1 record. Despite the impressive record, the team suffered a devastating home loss to Texas State. Another key win was a 34-20 victory over Southern Miss.
One of the most important achievements of this era was the development of the Run & Shoot offense. It was a highly pass-oriented system that allowed the coach to throw the ball in almost any situation.
While the team did not get as much publicity as it might have, it was still considered a major accomplishment. After a year of play, UH was tied for the first conference title in school history. Additionally, the offense set a school record with eleven touchdown passes.
The program was invited to join the Big East Conference in all sports. This invitation was motivated by a desire to shore up the program's football strength. Though the invitation was not a guarantee of a good season, it was certainly a step in the right direction.
Jack Pardee was a former NFL All-Pro linebacker and head coach of the Houston Gamblers in the USFL. Previously, he had served as the head coach of the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins. During his tenure at UH, he crafted the most successful passing offense in Cougar football in the past twenty years.
The program was ranked in the top 25 in six of the team's nine seasons. However, the team regressed towards the end of the year. Moreover, the program lost two SEC scheduled games.
The program ended the decade with a 5-7 record and a failed bid for a bowl game. After a rocky start, the Cougars returned to the field in 2012. They had their first winning season in over a decade and defeated Penn State, Houston, and Rice in the Bayou Bucket Classic. Unfortunately, they also lost to the Navy and Memphis.
With the help of a talented offensive line led by stud running back Antowain Smith, the Cougars went 7-5. In the process, they also earned a spot in the New Mexico Bowl.