KNOXVILLE, TN (WSMV) — The University of Tennessee has officially announced Josh Heupel as their new head football coach.
Heupel, the former Oklahoma quarterback who led his team to the national title, and who as an assistant coach and head coach captured conference championships at Oklahoma and UCF, was officially named the 27th head coach, Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White announced on Wednesday morning.
“We looked at a number of potential candidates,” White said. “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 named the 2018 First Year Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America, and he was a finalist for the Associated Press National Coach of the Year Award, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award that same season.
“I am thrilled to be coming to Tennessee,” Heupel said. “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.”
“We brought Danny White in to hire a talented coach who can be here for a long time and build a championship program,” UT Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman said. “Coach Heupel has compiled an impressive record, and I think Vols fans can look forward to a bright and exciting future. We are delighted to welcome him and his family to Tennessee.”
Heupel became head coach at UCF in 2018 and promptly became one of only three coaches in college football history to lead a team to an undefeated regular season in his first year with them.
Under Heupel’s watch, UCF was the only team in the country to rank among the top five in the country in total offense each of the last three years, and the Knights were the only program in the nation to average at least 522.7 yards of total offense in each of the last three seasons.
Prior to his successful run at UCF, he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Missouri from 2016-17.
As a player, he was a national champion as Oklahoma’s quarterback in 2000. He was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2000 while leading the Sooners to a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl, sealing the national title for the OU.
In 2001, Heupel was the Associated Press Player of the Year, Walter Camp Award winner, Archie Griffin Award winner and a consensus All-American.
During his two seasons as the starting quarterback at Oklahoma, Heupel posted a 20-5 record. He passed for 7,456 yards and 53 touchdowns.
Overall, he still ranks among OU’s top three quarterbacks in passing yards, completions and touchdown passes, despite playing just two seasons.
Heupel will be formally introduced during a live-streamed press conference Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. ET on UTsports.com and SEC Network.
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