Josh Heupel arrives in Knoxville after being announced as Vols head coach
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -The University of Tennessee has named Josh Heupel as the new head football coach.
Heupel and his family arrived in Knoxville Wednesday afternoon ahead of UT’s press conference.
The hire comes after former head coach Jeremy Pruitt was fired over NCAA violations and Phillip Fulmer retired from his position as athletic director.
The University of Central Florida coach is a former quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners and has had a successful coaching career.
During his college career, Heupel was recognized as a consensus All-American and led Oklahoma to the BCS National Championship in 2000.
After an unsuccessful two years trying to make an NFL roster, Heupel took up coaching. In 2006, he served as co-offensive coordinator for his alma mater until he was fired in 2015. Then he was named assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Utah State University Aggies in 2015. After one season in Utah, he served as offensive coordinator for the University of Missouri under Barry Odom from 2016 to 2017.
At Missouri, he took the offense from 124th in the nation to 8th in the country, lead by Quarterback Drew Lock, who is now starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the NFL. At the time, Lock set the SEC record for single-season passing touchdowns with 44.
As an assistant at Oklahoma, Heupel helped coach Heisman Trophy winners Sam Bradford and Jason White. Bradford went on to be the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Recently, Heupel was hired for his first head coaching position at the University of Central Florida. He has been the head coach since 2018. During his three seasons at UCF, the Knights have won 28 games and lost 8.
Under Heupel at UCF, Quarterback Mckenzie Milton was recognized as 2018 AAC Offensive Player of the Year. In 2019, Quarterback Dillon Gabriel set the school’s passing yards record 3,653 yards.
Heupel is originally from Aberdeen, South Dakota. He is married to Dawn Heupel and they have a son, Jace, and daughter, Hannah.
The new coach is the first hire made by Tennessee’s new AD, Danny White.
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