By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
Here are some of the quotes and reaction that I ran across today on the University of Tennessee’s hiring of Josh Heupel from UCF as the new head football coach.
The quotes below are only part of what each spoke about in interviews on the SEC Network about Heupel to Tennessee. These were just a few of the things that stood-out, both positively and negatively. It was a mixed bag, overall. It was a little more of a positive lean, in my opinion, based largely on Heupel’s success with offenses, familiarity with the SEC and even more due to the difficult circumstances to try and hire a head football coach for the Vols right now. Take it all for what it’s worth.
There are tweets included below, as well as full interviews you can listen to from our station about Josh Heupel, with Josh Heupel and his introductory press conference.
Rece Davis – ESPN/ABC
“Solid, not spectacular.”
Paul Finebaum – SEC Network/ESPN
“This was a comfort hire.”
Booger McFarland – ESPN
“Tennessee did the best they could.”
“Danny’s (White) outstanding as an AD. I think that (White) was a homerun hire.”
“I like the hire of Josh Heupel.”
“I have no doubts that Tennessee is going to be able to get some dynamic skill players and a quarterback. What’s going to separate him in the SEC is can you stop people.”
Chris Doering – SEC Network
“He wasn’t always the most welcoming. Was a little stand-off-ish. Didn’t necessarily show who he was.”
Gene Chizik – SEC Network
“He can change that narrative (Doering’s above.) He has to be very authentic. Culture is everything.”
Peter Burns – SEC Network
Vols needed 4 things in the hiring of their next HC.
1) Someone offensive minded
2) Someone who can develop QB's
3) Someone who has head coaching experience
3) Someone to work closely with the AD during unforeseen times
Heupel checks every single one of those boxes.
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) January 27, 2021
Barrett Sallee – CBS Sports
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) January 27, 2021
David Cobb – CBS Sports
The Josh Heupel hire bears similarities to the Bryan Harsin hire at Auburn.
Both are offensive minds who won between 77-79% of their games at G5 powers while struggling to reach the impossibly high bars set by their predecessors.
DC hire will be absolutely critical for Heupel.
— David Cobb (@DavidWCobb) January 27, 2021
Blake Beddingfield – Titans NFL Director of Scouting
-successful player at a top 5 football program
-top 5 offense in FBS
-Success as a HC.
Good hire by @Vol_Football
—hiring a top Defensive coordinator
—recruiting Nashville and not letting top state players leave.
—attract top skill players
— Blake Beddingfield (@BlakeBedd) January 27, 2021
Aaron Torres – National Fox Sports Radio
Trying really hard to get excited about Josh Heupel's hire at Tennessee. You guys know me, and I always like to tell it like it is, so let me just say… I'm having a really hard time getting excited about Josh Heupel's hire at Tennessee
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 27, 2021
Brett McMurphy – Stadium
Tennessee’s Josh Heupel becomes 49th head coach at SEC school since Alabama hired Nick Saban in 2007. At Bama, Saban is 108-16 vs. SEC
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 27, 2021
Zach Tibbs – High School Coach
New Tennessee HC Josh Heupel and his staff at UCF can coach some offense.
They use the entire field, Tempo, and motion to get matchups they like
Power Jet Sweep with RB Wheel up the numbers
— Zach Tibbs (@Z_Tibbs) January 27, 2021
ESPN Stats & Info
Josh Heupel led UCF to a 28-8 record in his tenure as HC (2018-20).
The Knights averaged 43.0 PPG in that span, 5th-best in FBS.
Since 2018, Tennessee has posted a 16-19 record while averaging 22.9 PPG (111th in FBS). pic.twitter.com/beQXZ26fzO
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 27, 2021
— SportSource Analytics (@SportSourceA) January 27, 2021
Looking at the last three years, new @Vol_Football head coach @coachjoshheupel is one of only two active head coaches whose teams averaged 225+ rushing yards and 225+ passing yards. #VolNation #Vols #JoshHeupel pic.twitter.com/3lxVBcdXff
— SportSource Analytics (@SportSourceA) January 27, 2021
Jimmy Hyams – 99.1 The Sports Animal
Heupel was 28-8 at Central Florida (12-1, 10-3, 6-4). UCF lost three games by one possession this season and also lost about 10 players who opted out for COVID reasons. UCF QB Dillon Gabriel led the nation in passing yards per game: 3,570 yards, 29 TD, 7 picks.
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) January 27, 2021
Josh Ward – 99.1 The Sports Animal
I'm not sure if Danny White realizes he said he tried to not hire Josh Heupel but that Heupel was also their No. 1 option.
— Josh Ward (@Josh_Ward) January 27, 2021
Will West – 99.1 The Sports Animal
This is the kind of thing I've been talking about. The fact that Tennessee still landed a good coach is a win imo https://t.co/BHR05gAlVI
— Will West (@WillWestWNML) January 27, 2021
Brian Rice – 99.1 The Sports Animal
Nobody has to love the hire, you should have a healthy skepticism about it. But ignoring his numbers while also ignoring the situation this program is in with the sanctions it is facing is a waste of energy.
— Brian Rice (@briancrice) January 27, 2021
Tyler Ivens – 99.1 The Sports Animal
Back in October we were receiving multiple tweets and calls wondering why the offense wasn’t to the level of “those other schools like UCF.”
Now that the author of said offense is here the fan base is unhappy?
— Tyler Ivens (@TylerIvens) January 27, 2021
Eric Cain – 99.1 The Sports Animal
I’d imagine some of the top in-state Tennessee talent is pleased with #Vols hire.
2022 class is loaded.
— Eric Cain (@_Cainer) January 27, 2021
Josh Heupel – Guest Wednesday on 99.1 The Sports Animal
Josh Heupel & Danny White Press Conference Wednesday
Mike Bianchi – Orlando Sentinel
Braden Gall – Athlon Sports on 99.1 The Sports Animal
Ryan Bass – 10 Tampa Bay