ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) – Josh Heupel is the 11th head coach in the history of UCF Football. UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Daniel J. White announced the hire Tuesday morning.
UCF Head Coach Josh Heupel: "I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to represent UCF. What makes this opportunity so unique is the vision of the leadership from President John Hitt, Provost Dale Whitaker and Director of Athletics Danny White. Their vision for this becoming one of the premier programs in the country makes this an exciting opportunity. That vision, the amazing campus, along with the recruiting base not only allows you to have immediate success but sustained success. I'm very excited to get a staff together and get to work with our wonderful student-athletes."
UCF VP/AD Danny White: "I'm thrilled to welcome Josh and his family to UCF. I believe we've identified one of the brightest offensive minds in college football. His offensive system is very similar to what we've been running. I know he's going to utilize all the great talent on our roster and continue to add to it. He's no stranger to success, winning a national championship as a quarterback and leading a number of extremely high-powered offensive teams. Coach Heupel is in coaching for the right reasons. He cares about his student-athletes and that's one of the most important attributes I look for in a coach."
President John C. Hitt: "Josh believes in recruiting and developing well-rounded student-athletes. That's a perfect fit with UCF, the No. 1 public university in the nation for student-athlete academic success. Josh is an outstanding leader, competitor and winner. Looking at what his Missouri offense did this season, I can't wait to see the scoreboard light up at Spectrum Stadium."
Heupel comes to UCF after serving as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Missouri for the past two seasons.
In 2015, prior to Heupel's arrival, Missouri ranked 124th in the nation in total offense (280.9). In 2016, the Tigers led the Southeastern Conference and were ranked No. 13 in the nation, averaging 500.5 yards per game. In 2017, Mizzou is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation in total offense, averaging 511.5 yards per game. The Tigers are currently No. 10 in the nation in scoring at 39.3 points per game.
Missouri quarterback Drew Lock blossomed under Heupel's tutelage. Lock led the SEC in passing as a sophomore, throwing for 3,399 yards and 23 touchdowns. He followed that up with an even stronger junior campaign in 2017, passing for 3,695 yards and an SEC-record 43 touchdown tosses, with a bowl game left to play.
Heupel served as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Utah State in 2015. Despite the loss of their starting quarterback to injury, Heupel's unit improved from 81st nationally to 60th in scoring offense.
Heupel started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater. He was on a coaching staff that took part in back-to-back national championship games following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Heupel helped mentor Jason White to the Heisman Trophy in 2003.
He spent the 2005 season at Arizona before heading back to OU as a full-time assistant.
He returned to his alma mater for the 2006 season and coached the quarterbacks for five seasons. Heupel coached Sam Bradford to the Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien and Sammy Baugh Awards in 2008. Bradford led the nation in passing efficiency that season and the Sooners tallied an NCAA record five straight 60-point games.
Heupel was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011 and served in that role for four seasons. His 2011 offense ranked fourth in the nation in total offense and passing offense. The 2012 unit ranked fifth in the nation in passing and 12th in total offense. In 2013, OU led the Big 12 in rushing and total offense. In his final season with OU, the Sooners led the nation in fewest sacks and led the Big 12 and ranked 10th in the nation in rushing, as well as finishing 20th in the nation in scoring and 23rd in total offense.
National Championship Playing Career
Heupel was a national-championship winning quarterback at Oklahoma. He was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2000 while leading the Sooners to a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl, sealing the national title for OU. In 2001, Heupel was the Associated Press Player of the Year, Walter Camp Award winner, Archie Grifin Award winner and a consensus All-America performer.
During his two seasons as the starting quarterback at Oklahoma, Heupel posted a 20-5 record. He passed for 7,456 yards and 53 touchdowns. Overall, he still ranks among OU's top three quarterbacks in passing yards, completions and touchdown passes, despite playing just two seasons. He was a junior college All-America performer at Snow College in Utah in 1999, throwing for 2,308 yards and 28 TDs. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.
- Drew Lock (Missouri) – SEC Single-Season Touchdown Passing Record, 43 (2017)
- Landry Jones (Oklahoma) – 2010 Sammy Baugh Award Winner; Finished No. 3 in NCAA career passing yards, No. 5 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 earned his bachelor's degree in business marketing from Oklahoma in 2001. He and his wife Dawn have two children – daughter Hannah and son Jace. Heupel is an Aberdeen, S.D. native.