Before the announcement of the hire, no one was connecting Heupel, a former star quarterback at Oklahoma, to the UCF job, so it came as quite a bit of a surprise.
Former Central Florida coach Scott Frost left for Nebraska hours after leading No. 14 Central Florida to a 62-55, double-overtime win over No. 20 Memphis in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game.
While their schemes differ, Heupel is known for developing potent offenses that can score often.
Heupel is the ninth coach in UCF football program history. Frost has already committed to coaching the Knights in the Peach Bowl, so Heupel could stay to coach the Tigers or get a jump on recruiting. "He cares about his student-athletes and that's one of the most important attributes I look for in a coach".
"[That] makes this an exciting opportunity", Heupel said in a statement.
UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Danny White announced the hire Tuesday morning. "I believe we've identified one of the brightest offensive minds in college football".
Before joining Missouri, Heupel was with Utah State in 2015 after spending nine seasons as an assistant at Oklahoma, including the final four as co-offensive coordinator. Shannon was the head coach at Miami from 2007-10 and was the Hurricanes' defensive coordinator for six seasons from 2001-06.
Heupel was always be remembered as the starting quarterback for Oklahoma's 2000 national championship season. In 2016, upon Heupel's arrival, the team jumped all the way up to No. 13, leading the SEC in total offense with 500.5 yards per game. Someone who also runs a fast-paced, high-octane system would be ideal, as it would be asking a lot for Lock to completely change his style of play as a senior.
During his time at Missouri, he coached quarterback Drew Lock to become the SEC leader in passing yards. I know he's going to utilize all the great talent on our roster and continue to add to it. "Looking at what his Missouri offense did this season, I can't wait to see the scoreboard light up at Spectrum Stadium", Hitt said in a news release. He led the Sooners to a national title win over Florida State in the Orange Bowl.