New Tennessee Athletic Director Danny White did not have to look far to remove his head football coach. White on Wednesday named UCF’s Josh Heupel the next head coach of the Vols.
White first hired Heupel when White was the UCF’s athletic director.
“We looked at a number of potential candidates,” White said in a statement. “Josh Heupel, with whom I had the privilege of working for three years, is everything we were looking for: winning with integrity, the history of the championship, and the architect of the explosive crime. There are a coach and that kind of person. Student-athletes make extra miles. I saw first-hand and you can see it in your coaching record. “
White, who was announced Thursday as Tennessee’s new AD, is working hard to find a replacement for Jeremy Pratt, who was fired on January 18. Following the investigation, the university’s chancellor, Donde Plowman, described the “serious breach of NCAA rules”. White conducted an extensive netcast through the Parker executive search firm and interviewed several other candidates, including James Franklin of Penn State, Luke Fickle of Cincinnati, Sony Dykes of SMU, PJ Flack of Minnesota, and Clemson. Tony Elliott’s offensive coordinator
Sources told ESPN that over the past few days, Elliott had had serious discussions about the job, but rejected Tennessee’s performance and chose to stay in Clemson.
In the last 3 seasons, Heupel, 42, was UCF head coach for Scott Frost, who led UCF in 2017 to an unbeatable 13-0 record. Heupel is with 28-8 Nights, including a 12-1 record. The first season in 2018. They won 6-4 last season. Heupel will receive 4 4.34 million in purchases from UCF under the terms of its agreement.
“I’m delighted to be in Tennessee,” Heupel said in a statement. “I realize that Volunteer fans are hungry for a comeback to the top which they so richly deserve, and it is my aim and dedication to win a championship back to Rocky Top.”
UCF is nationally in the top eight in scoring offense and has played at least 42.2 points per game in its three seasons in Orlando.
Heisman has experience of coaching SEC as a quarterback in the 2000 Oklahoma National Championship team. Prior to joining UCF Head Coaching, he was Missouri’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2016-17. Heupel was also the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma under Bob Stops for four seasons but was fired after the 2014 season when the Sooners went 8-5.
Heupel is the sixth separate head trainer in Vols, back at the end of the 2008 season. Heupel was aimed at Phillip Fulmer. On the same day, Tennessee announced it was fired for Pruitt, Fulmer, who was named sports director in December 2017, resigned from this post.