Tue, 02 Mar 2021

Tennessee names UCF's Josh Heupel as head coach

Field Level Media
28 Jan 2021, 01:40 GMT+10

Josh Heupel is the new head coach at Tennessee.

Heupel accepted the position with the Volunteers from new athletic director Danny White, whose previous football coaching hire was Heupel at UCF.

"We looked at a number of potential candidates," White said Wednesday. "Josh Heupel, who I had the privilege of working with for three years, is everything we were looking for: winning with integrity, a history of championships and the architect of explosive offenses. He is a players' coach and the kind of person the student-athletes go the extra mile for. I saw that first-hand, and you can see it in his coaching record."

Heupel was 28-8 at UCF.

The news shifts the narrative in Knoxville, Tenn., where the program has been mired in controversy for weeks. Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause on Jan. 18 following an investigation summarized by university chancellor Donde Plowman as "serious violations of NCAA rules."

Tennessee was 3-7 in 2020.

"I am thrilled to be coming to Tennessee," Heupel said Wednesday in a statement released by the school. "I understand that Volunteer fans are hungry for a return to the top that they so richly deserve, and it is my goal and commitment to bring a championship back to Rocky Top."

Since Philip Fulmer was fired in 2008, the Volunteers have now hired six different head coaches.

White was hired as Tennessee athletic director last week and used a search firm to conduct multiple interviews in a five-day span.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell and Minnesota's P.J. Fleck all discussed the job with White.

The 42-year-old Heupel replaced Scott Frost (Nebraska) at UCF.

As a senior quarterback at Oklahoma, Heupel finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2000 and led the Sooners to a 13-0 record and a BCS national championship.

--Field Level Media

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