Tennessee hires Josh Heupel


by - Assoc. Editor -
Heupel is stepping into a program in disarray (Reinhold Matay - USA Today Sports)
Heupel is stepping into a program in disarray (Reinhold Matay - USA Today Sports)

Rocky Top has their new coach.

Tennessee has hired Central Florida head coach Josh Heupel on Wednesday.

"I am thrilled to be coming to Tennessee," Heupel said in a statement. "I understand that Volunteer fans are hungry for a return to the top that they so richly deserve, and it is my goal and commitment to bring a championship back to Rocky Top."

The 42-year-old Heupel will be the sixth different head coach by the Vols since they fired Phillip Fulmer after the 2008 season.

Interestingly, Tennessee's new athletic director Danny White hired Heupel at UCF just three years ago.

"We looked at a number of potential candidates," White said in a statement. "Josh Heupel, who I had the privilege of working with for three years, is everything we were looking for: winning with integrity, a history of championships and the architect of explosive offenses. He is a players' coach and the kind of person the student-athletes go the extra mile for. I saw that first-hand, and you can see it in his coaching record."

In three seasons at UCF, Heupel was 28-8, including a 12-1 season in 2018. They were only 6-4 this past season.

Heupel's buyout is nearly $3.45 million at UCF.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott was also a rumored target at one point in the coaching search, along with Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, Buffalo coach Lance Leipold, and Penn State coach James Franklin.

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