Tennessee finalizing deal with Josh Heupel to become new head football coach
The Tennessee Volunteers are finalizing a deal to hire UCF’s Josh Heupel to be their next head coach, according to Yahoo!’s Pete Thamel.
Heupel would replace Jeremy Pruitt, who was recently fired for cause following an internal investigation. During his 3 seasons on Rocky Top, Pruitt had a 16-19 overall record leading the Tennessee program.
Heupel is set to come to Tennessee after being the head coach at UCF for the last 3 years, compiling a 28-8 overall record in Orlando. Heupel’s teams are known for offense, and that’s what the Vols need. The Knights have averaged around 42 to 43 points per game during his 3-year tenure.
Coming to the SEC will certainly be an adjustment for Heupel, as he’s never been a Power 5 head coach before. The Knights are coming off of a 6-4 season in 2020. 2018 was UCF’s best year under Heupel, as the Knights finished 12-1.
Heupel was instrumental in the development of quarterbacks Drew Lock (Missouri), McKenzie Milton (UCF) and Dillon Gabriel (UCF).
The Volunteers recently hired Danny White away from UCF to be their next athletic director less than a week ago, and he didn’t have to look too far for Tennessee’s next head football coach. White and Heupel had a great relationship at UCF, and it looks like they’ll reunite in Knoxville.
Heupel was was an All-American quarterback at Oklahoma and led the Sooners to the national title.
Per Yahoo!, Tennessee also looked at Penn State’s James Franklin, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and Buffalo’s Lance Leipold.
Tennessee later confirmed the Heupel hire via Twitter.
Welcome to Rocky Top, @coachjoshheupel!
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) January 27, 2021