NORMAN, Okla. Josh Heupel, who quarterbacked Oklahoma to the national championship in 2000, is returning to the Sooner football program as quarterbacks coach. OU head coach Bob Stoops made the announcement Thursday.
Heupel comes back to his alma mater after spending one season as the tight ends coach at Arizona. Before going to UA, Heupel spent two season as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma. His hiring fills the vacancy that was created when Chuck Long became the head coach at San Diego State.
“I’m extremely excited about being back here and being a part of this football program and university," said Heupel. "It was a great opportunity for me to come back and coach quarterbacks. That’s something I definitely want to get back to in my career as a coach, and there’s not a better place to do that than right here.”
Kevin Wilson will take over Long’s duties as offensive coordinator, but will remain with the offensive line. Heupel will take over the duties Long vacated as quarterbacks coach.
“Josh is a great fit,” said OU head coach Bob Stoops. “He has been here for five of the seven years I have coached at Oklahoma. He knows our program and much of our personnel.
“I appreciate his leadership skill, his knowledge of the game and his feel for coaching. Not only is he gifted in teaching and scheming, but he also has demonstrated organizational and recruiting skills that will be great for our program.”
Heupel, the 2000 Heisman Trophy runner up, helped coach the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship and the 2004 BCS title game in the Orange Bowl against Southern California. As a senior quarterback he led OU to a national championship victory over Florida State in the 2000 Orange Bowl. Heupel became OU’s first consensus All-America quarterback and the first Sooner QB to earn All-America honors since Jack Mildren in 1971.
Heupel was named Associated Press Player of the Year, Walter Camp Player of the Year, The Sporting News Player of the Year, CBS Sports Player of the Year, Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2000. The first-team all-conference selection guided OU to a school-record 13 wins and its seventh national championship.
Heupel holds or shares 13 school records despite the fact that he played just two seasons in Norman. He still holds career marks for completions (654), completion percentage (.638) and attempts (1,025). His 7,456 career passing yards are second only to Jason White.
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 and part of another with the Green Bay Packers.