A veteran coach with experience both on the NFL level and as an FBS head coach, ESPN Courage Award recipient Chris Scelfo was named Houston’s offensive line coach.
Easily relatable to football parents as a parent of an FBS player himself (son Joey just completed his career at NC State and South Alabama), Scelfo joins the Houston program after most recently serving six seasons as the tight ends coach for the Atlanta Falcons.
While in Atlanta, Scelfo continued the development of tight end Tony Gonzalez who was named to the NFL Pro Bowl in four of his five seasons with the Falcons while the franchise advanced to the NFL Playoffs in four of Scelfo’s six seasons with the team.
“My family and I are really excited to be a part of the Houston family. This is a wonderful opportunity to return to the college game,” Scelfo said. “Major Applewhite is the main reason I accepted this responsibility because he stands for what I believe in: loyalty, hard work and dedication. As parent of a college football player myself, I know how much those character traits mean to the development of young men and I am eager to pass them on to another generation. I also look forward to coaching in the best high school football state in the nation while getting to know the Texas high school coaches who are invaluable in preparing young men for life on and off the field.”
A coach in the 2011 Pro Bowl and the 2013 Senior Bowl, Scelfo joined Atlanta after eight seasons as head coach of Tulane University, where he ended his tenure as the program’s second winningest coach of all-time. He guided Tulane through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, earning ESPN’s Courage Award in the process. He is the only coach in Tulane history to win multiple bowl games and successfully graduated 75 percent of his players with 10 being drafted in the NFL including first-round quarterbacks J.P. Losman and Patrick Ramsey.
“Chris is an outstanding teacher with vast college and pro experience. He has a great personality that relates well with recruits,” Applewhite said. “He also relates well to high school coaches and his knowledge as a head coach and as an assistant coach will enhance our offensive room."
Prior to Tulane, he spent nine seasons working with College Football Hall of Famer Jim Donnan, three at Georgia as assistant head coach, and six at Marshall, including three season as Donnan’s offensive coordinator. During his six years at Marshall, the Thundering Herd advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA national championship four times, winning the 1992 national championship.
What They Are Saying About Chris Scelfo…
“The University of Houston just signed its best recruit of 2017. Coach Scelfo was very instrumental in my growth as a player, person and father in the five years we spent together. He is a very positive teacher, communicator and motivator. He will help Houston develop and enhance their student-athletes in every facet of their development.”
Tony Gonzalez | 14-time Pro Bowler
“He is an amazing guy all-around, not just in coaching. He brings a lot of energy and is very smart. He can definitely rally the troops and loves to help his players develop. He genuinely cares about players and he is going to get players to play great football. He keeps the atmosphere very live which is needed for success.”
Roddy White | Four-time Pro Bowler & Atlanta Falcons all-time leader in receptions, yards and TDs
“He’s a great teacher and motivator. He took a huge gamble on me when no other school would offer me. He not only served as a coach, but as my mentor and father figure that I relied heavily on during my time at Marshall. He played that role with many others as well and continues to play that same role in my life. I call on him whenever, wherever, for whatever, and he always responds. And he’s a heck of a football coach!”
Troy Brown | Three-time Super Bowl Champion & New England Patriots All-Time Receptions Leader
“Chris is a great addition for Major Applewhite. He has a big background in developing players and recruiting, particularly throughout the south and in the Houston area. He is a really good developer of players and can teach great technique. If you want a good offensive line coach, you got one of the best in the business in my mind.”
Jim Donnan | College Football Hall of Fame Coach