Heupel on his way home

Arizona Football Head Coach Mike Stoops just finished his second year as a head coach and already he must search for his third tight ends coach. UA Tight Ends coach Josh Heupel has decided to leave the Wildcat program and return home to Oklahoma to coach Quarterbacks at his alma mater.

CatTracks caught up with Coach Heupel for a brief moment to talk about his departure and the year he spent in Tucson.

"It was an easy decision but still a very hard decision at the same time," Heupel told CatTracks. "Coach Mike (Stoops) is building something special there in Tucson and I had a great year there. The people of Tucson and at the University were great and are amazing people and that is the hardest part about leaving. I really enjoyed my time there."

Heupel, who will replace Chuck Long on the Sooner staff, went on to say that coaching his position at the school where he won a national championship is too hard to pass up.

"Being able to come back here and coach quarterbacks is an awesome opportunity for me," he said. "Coming back and coaching with Bob and the rest of the guys is just not something that I am able to pass up."

Heupel leaves Arizona after helping Wildcat tight end Brad Wood to a career year. Wood, a junior in 2005, caught 27 passes for 304 yards and a career high and team leading six touchdowns. Heupel came to Arizona a year ago from his graduate assistant position at Oklahoma and he replaced Steve Spurrier Jr., who was in Tucson for just a year.

Arizona Offensive Coordinator Mike Canales had nothing but great things to say about Josh Heupel the person and Heupel the coach.

"Josh is a great young coach," Canales said. "He brought great things to this program and we will definitely miss him. You saw what he was able to do with Brad Wood and Travis Bell and that was just one year. We are definitely going miss him, he is a dynamic recruiter and he is a just a great guy. He is destined for great things as a coach. Arizona is losing a good one and Oklahoma is getting a good one for sure."

Heupel will assume his position in Norman immediately and will coach OU quarterback Rhett Bomar in the upcoming Holiday Bowl when the Sooners face off against the Oregon Ducks.

An official announcement from the University of Oklahoma is expected some time today.

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