Josh Heupel – University of Missouri

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Josh Heupel is the 2017 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

In his two seasons as Missouri’s offensive coordinator, Huepel took the Tigers’ offense from being one of the worst attacks in the country to one of the best.

A unit that ranked 125th nationally in total offense and yards per play just two years ago concluded this year placing seventh and sixth, respectively. Heupel’s expertise helped Missouri gain an additional 2.86 yards per play, every play, across the entire season — a growth of 65 percent.

Quarterback Drew Lock ranked 10th nationally and first in the SEC by completing 58.2 percent of his 385 passes for 3,695 yards — 307.9 per game — with 43 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Lock’s 307.9 passing yards per game were the most by an SEC quarterback in the past two seasons, and his 43 touchdowns set an SEC single-season record.

On the ground, Missouri ranked near the top quarter nationally at just a hair below 200 yards per game while placing 19th nationally at 5.30 yards per carry.

Rounding up by four tenths of a rushing yard per game — Missouri ran for 199.58 yards per game — the Tigers were one of just five teams to average 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards per game, joining Oklahoma, Central Florida, Memphis and Louisville. That balance helped the Tigers rip off 511.5 yards per game and 7.24 yards per play. No other SEC team averaged above 470 yards per game or 6.95 a play. The Tigers led the nation with 22 plays of 50-plus yards and placed eighth in third down conversions at 47.17 percent.

All of that down-to-down brilliance allowed Mizzou to rank 10th nationally in scoring at 39.3 points per game, a number that once again led the SEC. Missouri scored more points per game in its seven wins than any team in the country with a similar number of wins, ripping off 54.3 points per game in winning efforts. After a 1-5 start, the Tigers roared to a 6-0 finish, averaging 51.3 points a game over the streak. Additionally, Missouri ranked in the top 20 nationally in plays of 10-plus yards (22).

Lock was named the First Team All-SEC quarterback by the league’s coaches and media, while wide receiver J’Mon Moore and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam were named to the Second Team.

Heupel led Oklahoma to the 2000 national championship as a quarterback and, after a brief NFL career, began coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater. After a year as tight ends coach at Arizona, he quickly rose the ranks on Bob Stoops’s staff, spending five seasons as quarterbacks coach and four as co-offensive coordinator and play-caller. Heupel spent the 2015 season as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Utah State before joining Barry Odom’s staff in Columbia ahead of the 2016 season.

He was named the head coach at Central Florida on Dec. 5.

“He’s no stranger to success, winning a national championship as a quarterback and leading a number of extremely high-powered offensive teams. Coach Heupel is in coaching for the right reasons. He cares about his student-athletes and that’s one of the most important attributes I look for in a coach,” UCF AD Danny White said of Heupel.

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Chip Long [Notre Dame], Joe Moorhead [Penn State], Warren Ruggiero [Wake Forest], Kevin Wilson [Ohio State] and Mike Yurcich [Oklahoma State]) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

Heupel will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January. This is the second time Heupel has won a FootballScoop Coach of the Year honor; he won the Quarterbacks Coach of the Year honor at Oklahoma in 2008.

Previous winners of the Offensive Coordinator of the Year award are Kevin Wilson (Oklahoma, 2008), Bryan Harsin (Boise State, 2009), Gus Malzahn (Auburn, 2010), Kliff Kingsbury (Houston, 2011 and Texas A&M, 2012), Philip Montgomery (Baylor, 2013), Tom Herman (Ohio State, 2014), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma, 2015) and Lane Kiffin (Alabama, 2016).

keystats

6th Nationally – Yards Per Play           1st Nationally – Plays of 50+ Yards
10th Nationally – Scoring           8th Nationally – Third Down Conversions

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National columnist – Zach joined the staff in 2012…and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott’s writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.