UCF names Josh Heupel as new head coach

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida named Josh Heupel as its new head football coach on Tuesday morning.

Heupel, 39, becomes the Knights’ 11th football coach in program history.

The school introduced Heupel during a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

UCF also hired Randy Shannon as its defensive coordinator. Shannon, 51, served as the Florida Gators' interim head coach this season after Jim McElwain was fired.

Heupel takes over for Scott Frost, who will leave UCF to coach the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Scott said he plans to coach the Knights during the team's Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl contest against No. 7 Auburn on New Year's Day.

Related: UCF coach Scott Frost headed to Nebraska

The details of Heupel's and Shannon's contracts were not immediately available Tuesday.

Frost made about $2 million this past season at UCF. He signed a five-year, $35 million contract with Nebraska.

Heupel inherits a UCF team that finished 12-0 during the regular season and clinched its third American Athletic Conference title.

Heupel spent the past two seasons as the University of Missouri’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Missouri (7-5, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) will face Texas in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 27.

Heupel coached at Utah State in 2015. He also coached at Oklahoma from 2006-2014, before his alma mater fired him as co-offensive coordinator in January 2015.

The South Dakota native coached at Arizona in 2005, and began his coaching career at Oklahoma as a graduate assistant in 2004.

Heupel has coached several noteworthy quarterbacks, including:

  • Drew Lock (Missouri) - Holds the SEC single-season touchdown passing record with 43 this season
  • Landry Jones (Oklahoma) - 2010 Sammy Baugh Award winner; Finished No. 3 in NCAA career passing yards, No. 5 in NCAA career touchdown passes
  • Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) - 2008 Heisman Trophy winner; No. 1 overall pick in 2010 NFL Draft
  • Jason White (Oklahoma) - 2003 Heisman trophy winner

Heupel played quarterback at Oklahoma in 1999-2000. He was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2000. During that season, Heupel and the Sooners went undefeated. The team won a national championship with a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl.

The Miami Dolphins drafted Heupel in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He did not make the team, partially due to shoulder tendinitis.

The Green Bay Packers signed Heupel in the offseason in 2002, but he was released a month before training camp.

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