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It sounds like Tennessee has decided upon its next coach. Various sources are reporting Wednesday morning that the program is hiring UCF’s Josh Heupel for the head coaching position.
New AD Danny White promised a quick hire after the program fired Jeremy Pruitt for cause back on January 18th, and now just nine days later, he’s got Heupel coming in to be the next voice of the program.
The program wanted to get a new voice in quickly to distance themselves from Pruitt, who after an investigation was found to have committed “serious violations of NCAA rules.”
White has called for a 9:30 a.m. EST team meeting on Wednesday according to ESPN.
Though the organization eventually selected Heupel, White spoke to a number of possible candidates including Penn State’s James Franklin, Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, SMU’s Sonny Dykes and Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck.
Heupel will be the sixth head coach at Tennessee since 2008, but he brings SEC coaching experience. He served as Missouri’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2016-17. He was also a Heisman Trophy runner-up back in 2000 when he was the quarterback at Oklahoma.
The 42-year-old has spent the last three seasons as the head coach at UCF, where he led the Knights to an impressive 28-8 record.
UCF went 12-1 in Heupel’s first season as coach, and in 2020 went 6-4. Reports say he would have to pay back a $3.4 million dollar buyout to go to Tennessee, which the Vols will likely cover.