Athletics Director Danny White was given one mandate in his entry to UCF football in the midst of a winless season: find a new head coach.
By Tuesday morning, he had found one. Oregon's offensive coordinator Scott Frost will be UCF's new head coach, UCF Athletics confirmed in a release. UCFsports.com was first to report the news. The announcement comes days after rumors swirled that UCF would hire Bowling Green's Dino Babers, who quickly shut down the rumors.
Frost, a football aficionado formerly employed as Oregon’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach since 2013, also served as the Ducks' wide receivers coach from 2009-12. He will begin his long offseason Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at a news conference alongside White and university President John C. Hitt.
“Scott’s success on the field and his ability to earn the trust and respect of his fellow coaches, players and recruits make him the ideal coach to lead our football program into the future,” Hitt said in a release. “UCF has a tradition of student-athlete academic success, and Scott has impressed me with his dedication to ensuring his student-athletes succeed in the classroom and on the field.”
Frost has worked under and beside Oregon coaching successes such as Mark Helfrich and Chip Kelly, and other greats such as Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Bill Walsh, Tom Osborne and Jon Gruden.
He also has his fair share of player success stories, including current NFL quarterback for the Tennessee Titans Marcus Mariota.
During Frost’s first season as the offensive coordinator for Oregon, the Ducks set a school record for total offensive yards with 7,345, and finished the season with a top-10 ranking and a record of 11-2.
And in one area where UCF struggled, Frost seems to be an expert: putting points on the board. The Ducks put up at least 42 points nine times throughout the 2013 season and did the same another 12 times over the course of the 2014 season. For the 2015 season, taking into account the fact that Mariota was no longer with Oregon, the Ducks still managed to find ways to strike 38 points nine times this season.
“Scott is a winner and innovator who has directed one of college football’s most exciting offenses at the University of Oregon,” White said in a release. “His attitude and experience are exactly what we need to ensure the Knights compete, and win, at the highest levels. I couldn’t be more excited to bring Scott and his fiancé, Ashley, to the UCF family.”
In addition to the raw offensive power Frost brings with his playbook, he also brings two appearances in the national championship and four championship titles from the PAC-10 and PAC-12.
Aside from coaching, Frost has done much on the field, playing as a quarterback for Stanford and Nebraska before being drafted by the New York Jets in 1998. During his college days, he led the Nebraska Cornhuskers to a 24-3 overall record, as well as an undefeated season and national championship title in 1997.
Once in the NFL, Frost served as a special teams player and defensive back/safety, becoming a breakout player for teams such as the Jets, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“UCF is an excellent opportunity for me because our student-athletes can succeed immediately, both competitively and academically,” Frost said in a release. “We’ve had great recent success — I vividly remember watching the Fiesta Bowl victory. With our student-athletes, football staff, facilities, fans and supporters, I know we will bring exciting and winning football back to Orlando.”
The nationwide search came after former head coach George O'Leary retired midseason following 12 years leading the Knights. Quarterbacks coach Danny Barrett has served as the interim coach since UCF's 59-10 loss to then No. 21 Houston on Homecoming night. The Knights went 0-12 this season.
UCF also had an athletics director vacancy for most of its season, which it filled last week with University at Buffalo's Danny White. White said he hoped to name a new head coach before Jan. 1.
Evan Abramson is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future. Caroline Glenn contributed to this report.