UCF hires Missouri assistant Josh Heupel to lead program


The UCF Knights football team has hired Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel as its next head coach, the school announced in a release.

Heupel has spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Missouri.

"Excited about having him [Shannon] as part of our staff", Heupel said.

"Coach Frost did an outstanding job", Heupel said Tuesday at his introductory news conference.

Frist departed UCF after leading the Knights to a victory in the AAC Championship and a berth in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl where they will face off against Auburn on January 1.

Heupel's last game calling plays for the Sooners was inside the now-named Camping World Stadium, which is only 16 miles from the UCF campus.

Frost will coach UCF in its bowl appearance against Auburn. Randy Shannon, the Gators' defensive coordinator under Jim McElwain this season and the interim coach following McElwain's dismissal, has been hired as the Knights' defensive coordinator. Shannon, a Florida native and former player and coach at Miami, recently held the same position at Florida from 2015-17. "When I was first contacted about this opportunity, interviewing for the job here, you immediately start to go through and pull some guys that you want to have on staff". What we do know is that the Heupel hiring came nearly out of nowhere. He's going to run a 3-4 scheme that has the ability to move in a four-man front. "He is one of brightest offensive minds in the game".

The 39-year-old Heupel is practically the same age Frost was (40, nearly 41) when he was hired at UCF, along with the obvious parallel of both being successful, national title-winning collegiate quarterbacks.

"That's the style they want and that's what's important to me", he said. That's the style that's true to me. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock set an SEC record with 43 touchdown passes this season, earning first-team all-conference honors. The Tigers are 7-5 this year and slotted to play Texas in the Texas Bowl. Heupel will especially enjoy working with quarterback McKenzie Milton, who had the sixth-most passing yards in college football this season.

With Heupel leading the way, Oklahoma won in 2000.