March 22, 1978 |
Aberdeen, South Dakota
|2002||Green Bay Packers|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|2015||Utah State (AHC/OC/QB)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Consensus All-American (2000)
AP Player of the Year (2000)
Walter Camp Award (2000)
Archie Griffin Award (2000)
Harley Award Winner (2000)
Quarterback of the Year (2000)
Joshua Kenneth Heupel (born March 22, 1978) is the head football coach of the University of Central Florida football team (UCF). He was named to the job in December 2017, following the resignation of Scott Frost to take the head coaching job at Nebraska. He is also a former college football player who played quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. During his college playing career, he was recognized as a consensus All-American, won numerous awards, and led Oklahoma to the 2000 BCS National Championship. After two years unsuccessfully trying to make an NFL roster (featuring brief stints with the Miami Dolphins and the Green Bay Packers), Heupel became a coach after his playing career ended. He served as co-offensive coordinator for Oklahoma until January 6, 2015, when he was fired. He was named the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach for the Utah State University (USU) Aggies on January 23, 2015. After one season at USU, he was hired on Barry Odom's staff at the University of Missouri, where he was the offensive coordinator before being hired for his first head coaching position at UCF.
Heupel was born and raised in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His mother, Cindy, was a high school principal, and his father, Ken, was a head football coach at Northern State University. As a child, Heupel watched game film with his father.
He attended Central High School in Aberdeen, where he played high school football for the Central Golden Eagles. In the second half of the first game of his sophomore season in 1994, he became the Golden Eagles' quarterback in a scaled-down version of the run and shoot offense. As a senior, he was named South Dakota's player of the year. He got recruiting inquiries from major college football programs at the universities of Houston, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, but "it seemed I was always the second or third guy on their list," according to Heupel.
Heupel began his collegiate playing career at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He redshirted in 1996 and saw action in four games as a freshman in 1997, but he suffered an ACL injury during spring practice in 1998, pushing him down the team's depth chart. He transferred to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he beat out Fred Salanoa as the team's starting quarterback. Heupel passed for 2,308 yards and 28 touchdowns, despite sharing playing time with Salanoa. He later held a scholarship offer from USU, but committed to Oklahoma after meeting with Mike Leach, the Sooners' new offensive coordinator.
Heupel was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2000. He was also an All-American, the AP Player of the Year, and a Walter Camp Award winner. Heupel led the Sooners to an undefeated season and a national championship with a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl.
Heupel was drafted in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.Compromised by shoulder tendinitis of his throwing arm, he was relegated to fourth string for the entire preseason and failed to make the team.
He was then later signed by the Green Bay Packers in early offseason 2002, but was released a month before training camp. He did not further pursue a career in professional football afterward.
Heupel spent the 2004 season as a graduate assistant for Oklahoma under head coach Bob Stoops. In 2005, Heupel was hired as the tight ends coach at the University of Arizona by newly appointed head coach Mike Stoops, Bob's brother and an Oklahoma assistant coach during Heupel's playing days.
Heupel became the quarterbacks coach for Oklahoma in 2006. In that capacity he coached Sooner quarterback Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2008. On December 13, 2010, Bob Stoops named Heupel and Jay Norvell as co-offensive coordinators at Oklahoma, replacing Kevin Wilson, who had accepted the head coaching job at Indiana. Stoops said Heupel would be in charge of calling offensive plays during games. Heupel was fired in January 2015 following an 8−5 season capped by a 40−6 loss to Clemson in 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl.
Heupel was named head coach of the UCF Knights on December 5, 2017, replacing the departing Scott Frost.
Head coaches under whom Heupel has served:
|UCF Knights (American Athletic Conference) (2018–present)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
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