Tennessee picks UCF’s Josh Heupel as head coach

Field Level Media

January 27, 2021 at 1:26 pm.

Josh Heupel is set to become head coach at Tennessee.

According to multiple reports, Heupel accepted the position with the Volunteers from new athletic director Danny White, who hired Heupel at UCF. Heupel had not officially resigned from UCF as of Wednesday.

The news shifts the narrative in Knoxville, Tenn., where the program has been mired in controversy for weeks. Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause Jan. 18 following an investigation summarized by university chancellor Donde Plowman as “serious violations of NCAA rules.”

Tennessee was 3-7 in 2020.

Since Philip Fulmer was fired in 2008, the Volunteers have hired six different coaches, including Heupel.

White was hired as Tennessee athletic director last week and used a search firm to conduct multiple interviews in a five-day span.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell and Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck all discussed the job with White. The 42-year-old Heupel takes over after three seasons at UCF, where he replaced Scott Frost (Nebraska).

The former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up went 28-8 at UCF.