The UCF Knights football team has hired Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel as its next head coach, the school announced in a release.
The Knights moved quickly to name its replacement for Scott Frost after it was announced on Saturday that Frost would be the new head coach at Nebraska. The team wanted to move quickly on a hire with the signing period starting on December 20.
Word began to surface that a new head coach would be announced at a team meeting on Tuesday morning. Heupel was not previously reported to be among those considered for the position, but has built an impressive resume during his two seasons at Missouri. He guided the Tigers to one of the best offenses in the country after ranking 11th in points scored, 10th in total yards and seventh in yards per game.
The hiring on Tuesday came just one day after the school decided to move on from former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. It was speculated that Sumlin was using UCF as leverage to potentially chase after the Oregon position that could open up soon. The university also reportedly considered Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Toledo head coach Jason Candle and UCF interim head coach Troy Walters for the position.
Under Frost’s direction this season, the Knights secured one of the nation’s top offenses as they led the country in scoring and finished inside the top 10 in several other key offensive categories. With Heupel now in charge, the offense figures to pick up where it left off given his ability to lead Missouri on the offensive end.
The Knights won the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Saturday en route to a perfect 12-0 record.