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Josh Heupel Slotted with Lane Kiffin, Shane Beamer for SEC Media Days

Josh Heupel SEC Media Days
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel at 2022 SEC Media Days. Photo by Ric Butler/Rocky Top Insider.

The first major event leading into the 2023 college football season, SEC Media Days, has officially been announced.

The time for talking will be in July as each of the 14 SEC head coaches converge in Nashville, Tennessee for a four-day event from July 17 to 20. This will be the first time that Nashville has ever hosted the big-time SEC event.

Tennessee’s Josh Heupel will be on the final day of the event, along with some very familiar names for those that follow the Vols. Ole Miss head coach and former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin will also be on the day, along with South Carolina’s third-year head coach Shane Beamer.

Heupel and Beamer were named the Steve Spurrier co-First Year Head Coaches of the Year following their respective 2021 seasons.

Two new faces will be joining SEC Media Days this year. Zach Arnett, who replaced the late Mike Leach after his passing in December, will be on the second day of the event. Arnett had previously served as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator since the 2020 season.

Auburn’s Hugh Freeze will also be making his re-debut at SEC Media Days for the first time since the 2016 season. Freeze was the head coach at Ole Miss from 2012 until 2016 when several controversial scandals abruptly ended his time with the Rebels. Freeze sat out of football until being named the head coach at Liberty University in December of 2018.

Now, after being hired at Auburn following the firing of Bryan Harsin, Freeze is back in the SEC West. Freeze signed a six-year contract with the Tigers in late November.

This year’s SEC Media Days will also be the final year with 14 head coaches. Starting in July of 2024, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma will be welcomed into the Southeastern Conference right in time for Media Days. If neither coach gets fired between now and then, that will be Oklahoma HC Brent Venables and Texas HC Steve Sarkisian.

It is unclear what players Tennessee will bring to Media Days this year. After last year’s selections were Hendon Hooker, Cedric Tillman, and Trevon Flowers, one guess could be that Joe Milton III, Jabari Small, and Omari Thomas could be the three representatives. But, again, that’s just a guess based on which Tennessee players have often spoken with the media during the season.

The 2023 SEC Media Days lineup is as follows:

*Note that the order of appearance is alphabetically by school and not indicative of the actual order on that day

Monday, July 17

  • SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey
  • Brian Kelly – LSU
  • Eli Drinkwitz – Missouri
  • Jimbo Fisher – Texas A&M

Tuesday, July 18

  • Hugh Freeze – Auburn
  • Kirby Smart – Georgia
  • Zach Arnett – Mississippi State
  • Clark Lea – Vanderbilt

Wednesday, July 19

  • Nick Saban – Alabama
  • Sam Pittman – Arkansas
  • Billy Napier – Florida
  • Mark Stoops – Kentucky

Thursday, July 20

  • Lane Kiffin – Ole Miss
  • Shane Beamer – South Carolina
  • Josh Heupel – Tennessee

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