Central Florida hires Oregon Ducks OC Scott Frost as head coach – OregonLive.com
Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator Scott Frost has been hired by Central Florida to become the Knights’ next football coach, the school announced Tuesday morning, leaving a void on UO’s staff and the potential for more as Frost begins to assemble his own coaching staff.
This is the first head coaching job for Frost, 40, who has called plays for the Ducks since 2013 and has been on staff since 2009, when he was hired to be receivers coach.
“UCF is an excellent opportunity for me because our student-athletes can succeed immediately, both competitively and academically,” Frost said in a news 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.”
Oregon has yet to comment on Frost’s departure but redshirt freshman quarterback Travis Jonsen, who’d become close to Frost during his recruitment in 2014, tweeted congratulations and thanks Tuesday morning.
“So grateful for all the things he taught me and helped me with to become a better quarterback and even better person,” Jonsen wrote. “Gonna miss you coach!”
Senior quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who owns the second-highest passer rating in the country this season in his only season as a Duck, wrote on social media his thanks to Frost “on taking a chance on me and believing in me to come in and compete. UCF fans, yall are getting a great coach.”
Frost will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday. Terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed. Frost made $750,000 per year under an agreement signed in February that made him the highest-paid UO assistant.
Frost’s hiring comes six weeks after the resignation of UCF coach George O’Leary, who stepped down after the eighth loss in what became an 0-12 season. O’Leary was 81-68 in 12 seasons and took the program from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference, as well as a berth in the Fiesta Bowl in 2013.
UCF athletic director Danny White called Frost “a winner and innovator who has directed one of college football’s most exciting offenses at the University of Oregon.”
Frost’s desire to become a head coach was well-known, and colleagues and players regarded his future hiring at an FBS program as a matter of when, not if. In 2013, he interviewed with Boise State. In 2014, he reportedly turned down Colorado State’s offer, and also interviewed at Tulsa.
“So much of that is situation-oriented, individual-oriented on both where it is and what it is,” UO coach Mark Helfrich said last week, following the Ducks’ victory in the Civil War against Oregon State that marked UO’s sixth straight win.
That interest began over the weekend as Syracuse contacted Frost. Orange athletic director Mark Coyle had interviewed Frost in 2013 for Boise State’s head coaching job, too, but the interest cooled Monday and Frost looked south for other opportunities.
Frost is best-known for tutoring 2014 Heisman Trophy quarterback Marcus Mariota, the eventual No. 2 pick in last spring’s NFL draft but his appeal increased this season as he tailored the UO offense this season to fit the skill set of Adams, a transfer from Eastern Washington, and produced little drop off in yards and points despite losing the school’s first-ever Heisman winner. Though Adams missed chunks of four games while hurt, Oregon finished with 43.2 points per game and 548.2 yards per game, each of which were the sixth-highest averages in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Recruiting site 247Sports named Frost UO’s best recruiter in 2014 and fifth-best among Pac-12 coaches, and he’s found success mining Florida for talent before, after recruiting two-way sophomore star Charles Nelson from Daytona Beach, Florida.
Ryan Kelley, an Arizona quarterback and the No. 35 player in the 2017 class who committed to Oregon in November, told Scout on Tuesday that Frost’s exit will not change his commitment to the Ducks.
Frost’s departure leaves UO searching for a new offensive coordinator. One popular candidate is already on staff: passing game coordinator Matt Lubick. Lubick has repeatedly been mentioned as a successor to Frost, as he has become more hands-on in shaping UO’s offensive game plans the past two seasons. He arrived at Oregon as receivers coach prior to the 2013 season.
The Ducks are 50th in red-zone offense and 58th in converting on third down but after an inconsistent start this season — largely due to a broken finger for Adams — UO has scored at least 38 points in each of its last five victories.
This post will be updated.
— Andrew Greif