JOSH HEUPEL JOINS MIZZOU FOOTBALL COACHING STAFF
Accomplished Coach, Player to Serve as Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Head Football Coach Barry Odom has recruited Josh Heupel (pronounced HIGH-pull) to join his new coaching staff, as announced today. Heupel will serve as Mizzou’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Heupel brings with him an impressive track record of success, including four national championship game appearances, seven BCS bowl games and coaching oversight of two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks. He has 13 years of coaching and recruiting experience at the highest level, including the last five seasons as offensive coordinator and play caller at Oklahoma and Utah State. Heupel is currently finishing his first season as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach with Utah State, and will join the Mizzou staff shortly after the conclusion of the Aggies’ bowl game on Dec. 22nd against Akron in the Idaho Potato Bowl. Details of Heupel’s contract will be released once fully executed, along with the completion of human resources procedures.
The upcoming bowl game will mean that Heupel has been part of 13 bowl games and six conference championship teams since beginning his coaching career in 2003, including 11 seasons on staff at his alma mater Oklahoma (2003-04, 2006-14). During his coaching tenure at OU, the Sooners played in three national championship games (2003, 2004 and 2008 seasons), and Heupel helped mentor two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks in Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008), while a third, Landry Jones, won the Sammy Baugh Award in 2010 as the nation’s top passer. Heupel’s name also carries a lot of clout in recruiting circles due to his prowess as a quarterback during his playing days, when he led Oklahoma to the BCS National Championship in 2000, while finishing as the Heisman runner-up that season.
“I’m really pleased to have someone the caliber of Josh Heupel join our staff,” said Odom. “I’ve known him for a long time and have always respected him highly, as a player, a coach, a recruiter and a coordinator. I’ve been impressed by the offenses that he runs, they’re very difficult to defend, and his achievements speak for themselves. He’s a high-character person who has the type of leadership abilities that will be outstanding for our program, and he’s exactly what we’re looking for. We’re excited to have him on board,” said Odom.
“I am very grateful to Coach Odom for this opportunity,” said Heupel. “First and foremost I believe in the person Barry Odom is and what he stands for. I believe in the vision that he has for this program. I have a lot of respect for Mizzou and the football program, as someone who’s seen it from an outsider’s perspective for a long time. I believe this is a special place that has just scratched the surface of what it can be, and it’s a program that is capable of winning championships on a consistent basis. I want to be part of that. I think it’s a great time to be at Mizzou, and I’m excited to get there and to go to work,” he said.
Utah State has reached a bowl game in 2015, despite losing all-star quarterback Chuckie Keeton to a season-ending knee injury after just three games. Despite that loss, Heupel’s Aggie offense improved to 60th nationally in scoring (29.7 ppg), up from 81st in 2014, prior to his arrival there.
In his final season at Oklahoma, the Sooner offense led the nation in fewest sacks allowed (0.69 pg), and led the Big 12 and ranked 10th nationally by averaging 261.2 rushing yards per game, which was the best output by OU since 1991. OU also ranked third in the Big 12 and 20th in the nation in scoring (36.4 ppg), and fifth in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally in total offense (464.7 ypg).
With Heupel calling the signals of a balanced Oklahoma offensive attack in 2013, the Sooners led the Big 12 by averaging 223.9 rushing yards and 423.0 yards of total offense. Despite three different quarterbacks seeing action over the course of the season, the Sooners registered an 11-2 campaign, culminating with a 45-31 win against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
In 2012, Oklahoma ranked fifth in the nation in passing (336.5 ypg) and 12th in total offense (497.9 ypg) as Jones became the Big 12’s all-time leader in passing yards and total offense. Jones also finished his career third all-time in passing yards (16,646) and fifth all-time in touchdowns (123) in FBS history.
In 2011, Heupel’s unit finished fourth nationally in both total offense (512.3 ypg) and passing offense (349.4 ypg). Jones ranked third in the nation in total offense that year after finishing second in the nation in passing yards in 2010 when he won the Sammy Baugh Award as the nation’s top passer. Jones led all FBS freshmen with 26 touchdowns after Bradford was lost to injury in the 2009 season opener.
In 2008, Heupel tutored Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien and Sammy Baugh Awards, after throwing for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns with just eight interceptions and leading the nation in passing efficiency.
Prior to being a full-time assistant at Oklahoma, Heupel spent the 2005 season as the tight ends coach at Arizona. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma as he helped the Sooners to the 2004 (Sugar Bowl) and 2005 (Orange Bowl) national championship games. A native of Aberdeen, S.D., Heupel began his collegiate playing career at Weber State where he played in four games as a redshirt freshman in 1997. He then spent his sophomore season at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he earned All-American honors as he passed for 2,308 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Heupel then transferred to Oklahoma for his final two seasons, and he was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 2000 while leading the Sooners to an undefeated regular season and a national championship victory against Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl. As a senior, Heupel was named the Associated Press Player of the Year, the Walter Camp Award winner, the Archie Griffin Award winner and a consensus All-American. Overall, Heupel was OU’s first consensus All-America quarterback and first Oklahoma quarterback since 1971 to earn All-America honors.
During his two years at Oklahoma, Heupel posted a 20-5 record as the starting quarterback as he passed for 7,456 yards with 53 touchdowns. Overall, Heupel still ranks among the top three quarterbacks all-time in school history in passing yards (7,456), completions (654) and touchdowns passes (53) despite playing just two seasons.
Following his collegiate career, Heupel was drafted in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.
Heupel earned his bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Oklahoma in 2001. Heupel and his wife Dawn have one daughter, Hannah (7), and one son, Jace (5).