UCF gives Heupel contract extension

UCF Knights head coach Josh Heupel led the team to a 12-0 mark in his first season.-Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Heupel needed only one season to merit a contract extension at Central Florida.

After guiding the Golden Knights to a perfect 12-0 record and an American Athletic Conference championship, Heupel was rewarded with a contract extension by the school on Friday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the new agreement will run through January 2024, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Heupel was hired last December to replace Scott Frost, who left Central Florida to return to his alma mater at Nebraska.

Frost left Heupel with a hard act to follow after guiding the Golden Knights to a perfect 13-0 mark and a conference championship. Frost also took many of his coaching staff with him to Nebraska.

“In the short amount of time the amount of energy the staff and players have put into building those relationships — they’re real. That doesn’t typically happen within 11 months, in my opinion,” Heupel said after UCF wrapped up the AAC title.

“It wasn’t easy; it took a lot of time and energy. But there is a brotherhood inside of that locker room. … We love competing together. We have a lot of fun when we’re around each other. We work hard, but we have a lot of fun and I think that shows in the way that they play in the way they interact with the coaching staff and with each other.”

Heupel spent two seasons as offensive coordinator at Missouri before he was tabbed as Frost’s successor. Under Heupel’s watch, Missouri improved from 124th nationally in offense to 13th in 2016. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock set an SEC record with 43 touchdown passes this season, earning first-team all-conference honors.

Prior to joining Missouri, Heupel was with Utah State in 2015 after spending nine seasons as an assistant at Oklahoma, including the final four as co-offensive coordinator. His first full-time coaching job was coaching tight ends at Arizona under then-head coach Mike Stoops.

Heupel was a former quarterback at Oklahoma, leading the Sooners to the 2000 national championship and finishing second in the Heisman race.

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