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3 Jan 2001: Josh Heupel #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks for an open receiver against the Florida State Seminoles during the Orange Bowl at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT

Josh Heupel Named UCF’s New Football Coach; Randy Shannon Is New Defensive Coordinator

Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has been hired as the University of Central Florida’s new head football coach, the university announced Tuesday.

UCF new football coach news

The 39-year-old built a Tigers attack that is currently ranked 7th in total offense in the country.

Heupel will replace Scott Frost, who lasted just two seasons in Orlando. Frost and his staff left a lot of talented young players on UCF’s squad, including American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback McKenzie Milton. 

“I’m thrilled to welcome Josh and his family to UCF,” said athletics director Danny White. “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.”

The Knights (12-0) finished this season with a perfect record and first in the American East. UFC next defeated Memphis 62-55 in overtime on Saturday, and next plays at Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day. All 12,500 allotted tickets have been sold, the bowl announced Tuesday.

Heupel also served as quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 2006 to 2014 before being released at his alma mater. He also played quarterback for the Sooners and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up, as well as a member of the Sooners’ national championship team in 2000.

Heupel’s first hire on his staff is former Florida defensive coordinator Randy Shannon. 

Shannon served as the Gators’ interim head coach after Jim McElwain was fired. He was also Miami’s head coach from 2007 to 2010 after being the team’s defensive coordinator.

UCF had targeted former Texas A&M and Houston coach Kevin Sumlin for its football head coaching position.

Knights offensive coordinator Troy Walters, named acting head coach after Frost’s departure Saturday to Nebraska, interviewed for the job. It remains unknown who exactly will coach UCF for the Peach Bowl game.

3 Jan 2001: Josh Heupel #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks for an open receiver against the Florida State Seminoles during the Orange Bowl at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT

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Written by Pablo Mena