Former Oklahoma quarterback and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was named Central Florida head coach Tuesday.
Heupel, who quarterbacked the Sooners to the 2000 national championship and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up that year, spent 2015 as Utah State's offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and was offensive coordinator at Missouri the past two seasons after OU let him go following the 2014 campaign.
Heupel began a full-time coaching job at OU in 2006 and spent five seasons coaching Sooner quarterbacks, overseeing the development of Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford before a promotion to offensive coordinator before the 2011 season.
This marks Heupel's first head coaching job. UCF is 12-0 and headed to the Peach Bowl. Former Knights coach Scott Frost recently resigned to accept the same position at Nebraska, his alma mater.
Heupel lauded UCF's administration for possessing good vision for the program.
"[That] makes this an exciting opportunity," he said in a statement. "That vision, the amazing campus, along with the recruiting base not only allows you to have immediate success but sustained success. I'm very excited to get a staff together and get to work with our wonderful student-athletes."
• Bedenbaugh misses out on Broyles: Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott won the Broyles Award Tuesday, given to the nation’s top assistant, beating out Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.
It’s straight season a Clemson coach has won the award. Former OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables, now with the Tigers, won last year.
OU coach Lincoln Riley won as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator in 2015.
Bedenbaugh is in charge of arguably the nation’s top offensive line, which has paved the path for 215.9 rushing yards per game. He came to OU in 2011 and was promoted to co-offensive coordinator this past offseason.
The award is named for former Arkansas football coach and athletic director Frank Broyles, who died in August at age 92.
“Outside of my father, Frank Broyles was the most influential man in my life,” Bedenbaugh said during his speech at the award ceremony in Little Rock. “It’s a privilege for me to represent the offensive line community. Besides being a husband and a father, one of the most rewarding things in my life up to this point in time has been the players I’ve coached on the offensive line.”
• Riley makes recruiting trips: OU coach Lincoln Riley made some important in-person recruiting visits in Texas on Tuesday.
He saw 2018 four-star quarterback commitment Tanner Mordecai (Waco), four-star receiver commit Jaquayln Crawford (Rockdale) and three-star receiver commit Treveon Johnson (Brenham).
December is a key recruiting period, with the new early signing period beginning Dec. 20.
“Lot of recruiting work to do,” Riley said Sunday. “Got to make up some time for missing virtually the whole week last week. We had a few coaches get out sporadically throughout the week. But the majority of our focus, as you’d expect, was on the Big 12 championship game.”
• Drake Stoops lands Iowa offer: Is a Stoops headed back to Iowa?
Norman North receiver Drake Stoops, son of former OU coach Bob Stoops who starred as a defensive back at Iowa from 1979-1982, reported a scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes on Sunday.
Drake Stoops also has offers from Memphis, Ohio and Western Kentucky, among others.
His twin brother, Isaac, received an offer from Youngstown State on Sunday, the university from Bob Stoops' hometown in Ohio. Isaac also has offers from Army, Drake and UCO, among others.
• Rose Bowl student tickets: Student tickets for the Rose Bowl go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. for $175, plus a $10 fee.
They can be purchased at Soonersports.com. Students may only purchase one ticket.
A limited number of tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 11 at Soonersports.com. OU plans to update its social media accounts with more information as it becomes available.