The interim tag has been removed by University of Houston Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades as he announced Thursday night that Tony Levine is the new head football coach. He is the 12th and has spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach at UH, the final two as the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator.
Named one of the country’s Top 10 Fastest Rising Assistant Coaches by CBS Sports, Levine coordinated special team’s play which saw the Cougars advance to three bowl games in the last four years. The Cougars won a school record 12 games in 2012.
Prior to his time at Houston, Levine was with Carolina Panthers of the NFL for two seasons and served as the assistant special teams and assistant strength and conditioning coach. While at Carolina, Levine coached kicker John Kasay, punter Jason Baker and long snapper Jason Kyle. In 2006, the Panthers led the NFC with a net punting average of 38.8 yards while Baker’s 39.0 net punting average set a Panthers team record.
WHERE IT BEGAN
Levine began his career in 2003 as director of football operations at Louisville where he was responsible for day-to-day operations of the school’s football program during head coach Bobby Petrino’s first season. Levine was named special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach in 2004 and helped to make an instant impact on the field through his players.
Under Levine, the Cardinals ranked near the top in Conference USA in almost all special teams category. During that season, Louisville’s defense finished 15th in total defense, 18th in rush defense, 24th in scoring defense, and 30th in pass defense, all national marks.
Levine became a three-time letterwinner at wide receiver for the Gophers after walking-on at the University of Minnesota. He was twice named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team. His first career catch came against Penn State, also his first opponent in his first career contest as a head coach.