Tennessee Football head coach Josh Heupel has been named AP SEC Coach of the Year, the Associated Press announced Monday afternoon.
Tennessee’s Josh Heupel is the SEC Coach of the Year.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) December 5, 2022
For the full list of AP SEC Awards, click here.
Heupel’s award comes after a stellar second season at Tennessee in which the Vols won 10 regular season games for the first time since 2003, finishing second in the SEC East and with the second best record in the entire conference.
After his first season on Rocky Top, Heupel won the Steve Spurrier First-Year Head Coach Award alongside South Carolina’s Shane Beamer.
Heupel’s electric offense topped the FBS in nearly every category. Tennessee scored an FBS-best 75 touchdowns and 568 points, averaging 47.3 per game. The Vols scored 50 or more points in a whopping six out of 12 games and beat their opponents by four or more scores in half of their games as well.
The Vols led the nation in rushing touchdowns with 39 and finished third in the FBS in passing offense with 332 yards per game and 35 touchdowns. Heupel’s offense was a significant factor in Hendon Hooker flourishing as a top college quarterback, as the former Virginia Tech Hokie built off an impressive 2021 campaign by becoming a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate all throughout his super-senior season.
Outside of the numbers, Heupel has turned around a program that was left for dead in late winter/early spring of 2021.
“When I got here two years ago, nobody thought we’d win 10 by this point,” Heupel said after Tennessee’s 10th and final regular season win against Vanderbilt. “There were 30-plus kids that left this program. This group chose to stay, and they bought into me. They bought into our staff.