Josh Heupel earned top marks as CBS Sports’ sophomore football coaches

Josh Hubbell To Tennessee he was one of the most recent hires on the coaching circuit after the 2020 season, but two years later he’s proven to be one of the better hires. In an era of college football where coaches are expected to win quickly regardless of circumstances when in charge of a program, Heupel has had great success with the Vols, leading them to 18 wins in two seasons — including 11 in 2022 — despite taking over On the heels of a three-win season and the midst of an NCAA investigation and huge roster turnover. His work in Tennessee earned him One of the highest scoring among CBS Sports sophomore head coaches.

College football analyst Tom Fornelli He evaluated all 17 post-2020 designations two years later earlier this week, and Heupel was one of four coaches to earn an A along with Brett Bielema (Illinois), Lance Leipold (Kansas) and Ken Womack (South Alabama).

After going 7-6 in 2021, Tennessee pulled off Huebel’s second season. Boasting the #1 offense in college football, the Vols produced the SEC Offensive Player of the Year (quarterback Hendon Hooker) and Biletnikoff Award winner (wide receiver Galen Hyatt) and went into November undefeated and finished first in the first Football League playoff. The season, which included wins against Alabama, LSU, Pittsburgh, Florida, and Kentucky, ended with a victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

was here Fornelli’s assessment of Hubbellnamed by the Associated Press as the best coach in the SEC:

(Photo: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports)

When Tennessee hired Heupel, it was a logical move to me, but I didn’t think it would be anything special. The program was under threat of NCAA sanctions and not only was it disappointing on the field, it was boring to watch. If nothing. Else, Heupel’s offense is going to keep things interesting on the Rocky Top. Things have certainly been interesting, but I didn’t expect 2022 to be coming in. The Vols have gone 11-2 this season, knocking out Alabama for what feels like the first time since the late 1800s. , and ended the season with an Orange Bowl win over Clemson. Losses to Georgia and South Carolina, plus an injury to Hendon Hooker, kept them from being a pure fairy tale, but this was the most fun any Vols fan has seen in watching their football team in a long time.”

Tennessee waited nearly a month after its 3-7 season in 2020 to move on from it Jeremy Pruitt, who was fired for some reason after a joint internal NCAA interview revealed significant recruiting violations committed by several coaches and other members of his program — the Vols hope to reach a final resolution on the issue in the coming weeks. The athletic director had to be changed as well, and Tennessee brought back UCF member Danny White to replace him Philip Follmer. White moved quickly in his search before tabbing Heupel, who he worked with in Orlando and went 28-8 in three seasons at UCF.

Heupel was hired on January 27 – the only other move that cycle was UCF replacing Heupel with the fired Auburn coach Joss Malzan In mid-February, Kansas selected Buffalo Leybold to replace her Les Miles At the end of April the Bulls replaced him with Michigan’s co-defensive coordinator Morris is a linguist.

Among sophomore coaches, only Malzahn has won as many wins (18) as Hobel. (Fornelli gave it a B.) As for the other A’s, Wommack took South Alabama to a 10-win season in 2022, Bielema had Illinois 7-1 and finished 15th this season and Leipold – hired at Buffalo by White By the way – Kansas got its first bowl game since 2008.

Other Notable Sophomore Coaching Degrees…

  • South Carolina Shane Beamerages 15-11, got a B+.
  • Brian Harrison He didn’t even go through his second season at Auburn before he was fired with a 9-12 record – an F.
  • Vanderbilt Clark Lea He earned a B on the heels of a 5-7 season when the Commodores snapped a 26-game losing streak with wins over Kentucky and Florida.
  • Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones Got a D for going 5-19 (and 2-14 in the Sun Belt) at Arkansas State.
  • C was for Steve Sarkisianwho is between the ages of 13 and 12 in Texas.

Hebel and Tennessee capitalized on an 11-win season — the first for the Vols, who finish with a No. 6 national ranking — since 2001.

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