Josh Heupel
File:File:Josh Heupel (46088559552) (cropped).jpg
Heupel before the 2018 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game
Current position
TitleHead coach
ConferenceThe American
Biographical details
Born (1978-03-22) March 22, 1978 (age 42)
Aberdeen, South Dakota
Playing career
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
1 AAC (2018)
1 AAC East Division (2018)
* Consensus All-American (2000)

Joshua Kenneth Heupel (born March 22, 1978) is an American football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He was named to the job in December 2017, following the resignation of Scott Frost, who left for the head coaching job at Nebraska.[1] Heupel played college football as 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. He served as co-offensive coordinator for Oklahoma until January 6, 2015, when he was fired.[2] He was named the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach for the Utah State University (USU) Aggies on January 23, 2015.[3] 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.

Early yearsEdit

Heupel was born and raised in Aberdeen, South Dakota.[4] 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.[5]

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.[5]

College careerEdit

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,[6] 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.[7] He later held a scholarship offer from Utah State, but committed to Oklahoma after meeting with Bob Stoops, the Sooners' new Head Coach.

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.[8][9]

Professional careerEdit

Heupel was drafted in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.[10] Compromised by shoulder tendonitis 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 the early 2002 offseason, but was released a month before training camp. He did not pursue a career in professional football afterward.

Coaching careerEdit

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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] Heupel was fired in January 2015 following an 8−5 season capped by a 40−6 loss to Clemson in 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl.

Following his termination from Oklahoma, Heupel served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for one season each for the Utah State Aggies and Missouri Tigers, respectively.


He was named head coach of the UCF Knights on December 5, 2017, replacing the departing Scott Frost. In 2018, Heupel led UCF to a 12-0 record (The Week 3 game against the North Carolina Tar Heels was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence) and an appearance in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl, where they lost to LSU.

Coaching treeEdit

Head coaches under whom Heupel has served:


Heupel and his wife, Dawn, have a son, Jace, and a daughter, Hannah.[14] His sister, Andrea Heupel, is married to former U.S. Representative Dan Boren.[15]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
UCF Knights (American Athletic Conference) (2018–present)
2018 UCF 12–1 8–0 1st (East) L Fiesta 12 11
2019 UCF 1–0 0–0
UCF: 13–1 8–0
Total: 13–1
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. "Hello Heupel - UCF" (in en) (Press release). December 5, 2017.
  2. Evans, Thayer. "Oklahoma fires OC Josh Heupel after four seasons". Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  3. "Josh Heupel Named Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Utah State". Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  4. National Football League, Historical Players, Josh Heupel. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Austin Murphy, "Norman Conquerer," Sports Illustrated (December 25, 2000). Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  6. "Josh Heupel author of the new era for OU". June 5, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  7. "Heupel's Odyssey Hardly Average". Orlando Sentinel. December 31, 2000. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  8. Drehs, Wayne (September 16, 2002). "Heupel on biggest stage of his life". ESPN. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  9. Dienhart, Tom (December 18, 2000). "Heupel deserved Heisman; QBs are favorites in 2001 - Josh Heupel - Brief Article". CNET Networks (Business Network). Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  10. "Josh Heupel : 2001 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile".
  11. "Heupel to Wildcats".
  12. Matt Baker, "Heupel is happy to serve under Stoops on OU staff", Tulsa World, July 15, 2010.
  13. John E. Hoover, "OU names co-offensive coordinators; Heupel will call plays", Tulsa World, December 13, 2010.
  14. "School Bio: Josh Heupel". Sooner Sports. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  15. Tramel, Berry (December 12, 2012). "Oklahoma football: Should Josh Heupel have gone to Louisiana Tech?". Retrieved June 17, 2014.

External linksEdit

Template:American Athletic Conference football coach navbox

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