TUCSON, Ariz.- Josh Heupel, the 2000 Heisman Trophy runner up, has been hired as Arizona’s tight ends coach, head coach Mike Stoops announced today. Heupel moves to Tucson after spending the 2004 season as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Oklahoma.
“We’re very excited to have Josh join us here and he’ll be an immediate asset to our staff,” said Stoops. “Having both played and coached at Oklahoma, he is familiar with our system and what we want to do on the field. He has won a national championship as a player and coached in the national championship game this past year. He knows what it takes to be successful on a high level and how to teach that to our players.”
Heupel, who helped lead the Sooners to a national championship victory over Florida State in the 2000 Orange Bowl, replaces Steve Spurrier Jr., who took a job on his father’s staff at South Carolina in early December.
One of the all-time Sooner greats at quarterback, Heupel ranks among the top passers in school history in yards, completions and touchdown passes despite playing just two seasons in Norman. He began his collegiate playing career at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and spent one season at Snow Junior College in Ephraim, Utah, before transferring to Oklahoma.
At OU he won 80 percent of his games, going 20-5 as the starting quarterback, and passed for 7,456 yards and 53 touchdowns. In 1999 alone he threw for a school-record 3,850 yards and 33 touchdowns in 12 games. That same season he established Oklahoma’s single-game passing record with 429 yards and five TDs against Louisville.
Drafted by Miami with the 14th pick in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL draft, he spent one season with the Dolphins, one with the Green Bay Packers and another in NFL Europe before returning to Oklahoma as an offensive graduate assistant last year.
Stoops, Heupel and the rest of the Arizona coaching staff are currently working on wrapping up the 2005 recruiting class. A press conference is scheduled for Feb. 2, the first day recruits are eligible to sign National Letters of Intent.