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REPORT: Name emerging in Tennessee coaching search

Central Florida head coach Josh Heupel has emerged as a leading candidate to be Tennessee’s next head football coach, according to a report from Austin Price of VolQuest.com. New UT athletic director Danny White hired Heupel at UCF’s new head coach in 2018 after Scott Frost departed for Nebraska.

Heupel is 28-8 in three seasons as UCF’s head coach. He went 12-1 in the first season after Frost left in 2018, guiding the Knights to a Fiesta Bowl appearance against LSU. Heupel followed his debut in Orlando up by going 10-3 in year two, ending 2019 with a bowl game win. This past season, UCF went 6-4 and lost in the Boca Raton Bowl to end the year.

The 42-year old was a star quarterback at Oklahoma, where he led the Sooners to a National Championship after transferring from Weber State. Heupel was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2000. He was also an All-American, the AP Player of the Year, and a Walter Camp Award winner. Heupel led the Sooners to an undefeated season and a national championship with a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl.

Heupel was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft but retired after dealing with shoulder tendinitis in his throwing arm. He returned to Oklahoma following his playing career, where he served as a graduate assistant under Bob Stoops. Heupel was an assistant under Stoops at Oklahoma from 2006-2014 after serving as Arizona’s tight ends coach in 2005.

Following his time as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, where he was fired after the 2014 season, Heupel made his way to Utah State, where he served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during the 2015 season. He then made his way to Missouri to serve under Barry Odom as offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017, which got him the job at UCF.

White was hired by Tennessee last Thursday after Phillip Fulmer retired in the wake of Jeremy Pruitt being fired for cause under his watch.

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Comments

9 Responses

  1. This seems like a smoke screen of some sort. You mean to tell me no one can get any hints on the progress of this coaching search yet we can find out that our new AD is going to poach his old school? I don’t buy this report/rumor at all.

  2. So he went 12-1 with the previous coach’s recruits and 6-4 when his filtered through, now he’s looking to jump ship before the bottom falls out and gets fired and this is UTs new answer?

  3. Nobody wants to come to knoxville, players or coaches. Nothing to do there; not many brothers are mountain climbers. Malls are empty, businesses on kingston pike vacant. All the good teams in the SEC beat them to death. They don’t send players to the NFL and coaching careers are ended there.

  4. WELL THIS SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT. SMALL SCHOOL AD HIRE, TO HIRE A SMALL SCHOOL COACH… SMH… SIR THIS IS THE SEC AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, WHO PLAY TEAMS SUCH AS, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, FLORIDA, OLE MISS, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND THE SUCH. BUT MAYBE SMALL SCHOOL MINDS AND HIRES BRING ON MORE SMALL SCHOOL MINDS AND HIRES !!!! SMH, IDK, BUT I DO KNOW THIS OR BELIEVE IN MY HEART, IF YOUR GONNA WIN IN THE SEC, YOU BETTER LOAD THE CANNON OLE SON !!! AS MUCH AS I DISLIKE ALAFREAKINBAMA AND SABAN/ SATAN, AND SICK OF SEEING, HEARING, AND READING ABOUT THE GUY, AM I THE ONLY FAN/PERSON WHO HAS NOTICED THAT HE IS HIRING PEOPLE QUALIFIED TO BE AN HC AS ASSISTANCES !?!? COME ON ! DAM IT MAN ! PLEASE GET OUTTA THIS SMALL SCHOOL THINKING AND HIRING BEFORE ALL THE REAL COACHES ARE GONE. HELL SABAN WILL HAVE THEM ALL BY SEASONS START, HE’S ALREADY HIRED WHAT 2-3 COACHES THAT WAS AT ONE TIME ON A POSSIBLE LIST FOR UT HC JOB ????? WTF, Y’ALL PULL OUT SOME BALLS AND GET US A REAL COACH !!! IF YOU DONT SUCK IT UP AND HIRE HUGH FREEZE A PROVEN SEC WINNER WE’RE STILL SCREWED. THE MAN WANTS THE JOB, HE LEARNED HIS LESSON FROM OLE MISS, SANKEY SAID ITS UP TO UT AND ALL SCHOOLS WHO THEY HIRE, SO PULL DOWN YOU BALL SACK AND GET US A DAM COACH !!!! FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD !!!! DID WE REALLY HIRE THE RIGHT AD ? I’VE READ HE’S SMART, DONE WELL, DON’T TAKE NO CRAP AND ACTUALLY HAS A SET, I HOPE THAT IS TRUE…
    ORANGETOTHEBONE

  5. Did we offer Malzahn? I can’t say I’m excited about Heupel but I’m willing to give him a chance. My major concern is his diminishing results in the AAC.
    If he’s the best we can get then we can only hope Heupel can get us to the next level in four or five sessions so we can attract the best available coach, who’s to say that Josh Heupel isn’t that guy.

  6. Heupel is a home run. His offenses were top 5 all 3 years he completely turned around Mizz’s offense from bottom 130’s to like 13th….multiple reasons he was 6-4 in 2020…multiple starters opted out, then 4 defensive starters he had the balls to kick off the team after they were caught riding around with weapons amongst other things, then he had 4 more starters opt out of the bowl game. Vol nation and Vol Twitter need to shut up and quit being so negative 1998 was a long dang time ago Vols haven’t been consistent or competitive since. We are super lucky we got Heupel and I hope for all of us he proves all the doubters wrong.

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