REPORTS: Josh Heupel to Rocky Top

By: Eric Cain / @_Cainer

According to multiple reports, UCF coach Josh Heupel will be named the next head coach at Tennessee.

Jimmy Hyams reported early Wednesday morning a team meeting was scheduled for 8 am. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports later was the first to break the news, tweeting the expectation is for Heupel to be named Tennessee’s coach.

Volquest, who reported late Tuesday night that Heupel emerged as the top candidate, later followed – along with 247Sorts. Thamel is reporting the finalizing deal is for around $4 million annually.

Danny White ended up hiring his guy all along.

White, of course, is Tennessee’s new Athletics Director as the Vols poached him from Orlando last week. After a five-day coaching search that rumored disinterest in the job from the likes of James Franklin, PJ Fleck, Tony Elliot and more – White appears to be hiring Heupel who has a combined 28-8 record with the Knights.

Josh Heupel / Credit: Scott Clarke / ESPN Images

Then former Oklahoma quarterback took over the UCF program in 2018 when Scott Frost went home to Nebraska. That season, the Knights went undefeated in the regular season and finished with a loss to LSU in the Fiesta Bowl.

In 2019, UCF finished 10-3 with a bowl win, but fell to 6-4 in 2020 with a loss in the Boca Raton Bowl.

During the three-year stint, Heupel’s offense finished top-six nationally, including second in the country in 2020. All three 2018 losses were by a combined seven points and three losses I year three were by a combined eight points.

Heupel had only one double-digit loss in three seasons.

As far as recruiting, the former Knights head coach finished 52nd, 59th and 60th in the country through three cycles. Heupel did coach Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford at Oklahoma and spent two seasons as an assistant at Missouri before heading to Orlando.

As a player, Heupel finished second in the 2000 Heisman Trophy race – behind current Vols quarterbacks coach, Chris Wienke.