Skip to main content

Sources: Josh Heupel, Tennessee adding rising young coaching star

Josh Heupel's impressive work compiling his initial Tennessee staff, both on and off the field, continues to unfold on Rocky Top.

Sources tell FootballScoop that Matt Merritt, a well-regarded young coach viewed as an up-and-coming “name to know” in college football ranks, is joining the Volunteers' staff as an offensive analyst.

It's a bit of a full-circle moment for Merritt, who had just been hired by Heupel at the University of Central Florida mere weeks before Heupel rejoined his former boss, Danny White, at Tennessee.

White was hired on Rocky Top January 20; he tabbed Heupel to replace the fired Jeremy Pruitt one week later.

Heupel had secured Merritt from FCS powerhouse James Madison the first week of January; now seven weeks later, Merritt is again at a Power-5 program.

Earlier in Merritt's career, he had been a graduate assistant with Urban Meyer at Ohio State, where he was an offensive assistant on the Buckeyes' 2014.

Merritt played for Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he helped the program advance into the playoffs.

After he left Ohio State, Merritt landed at Ohio Dominican, an NCAA Division II program, and then soon vaulted to Elon to work under Curt Cignetti.

He had been at the FCS level the previous four seasons before he made the leap to the Football Bowls Subdivision, and now Merritt has positioned himself to be a senior offensive analyst in Heupel's rebuild on Rocky Top.