Only two years after arriving in Orlando as UCF’s new football coach, Scott Frost announced that he will be leaving to take the vacant job at his alma mater of Nebraska.
“This place has more potential I think than any athletic department in the country,” Athletic Director Danny White said Saturday evening in a press conference following UCF’s win over Memphis. “I want to thank Scott and his wife Ashley for their contributions to the program.”
“I don’t think anybody expected the turnaround to happen in just two years and obviously the opportunity and the pull to go back home, and I understand the connection with one’s alma mater so I understand his decision and now it’s my job to prepare as I have been, like any good athletic director is proactive and prepared and I can tell you I’ve been proactive and I’m prepared.”
Offensive coordinator Troy Walters was named the interim coach for the team’s bowl game, but White indicated that Frost will still have some involvement in terms of the coaching for the game.
“We gotta figure out exactly how that plays out, but his mind is very focused on preparing this team and this whole staff is preparing our team to compete in the bowl and they’re gonna coach them in the bowl,” White said. “There’s nobody else that can do it, you can’t bring in new coaches and expect us to be as competitive as we want to be.”
In his two seasons with the Knights, Frost compiled a record of 18-7. He took them from 0-12 in 2015 to 6-7 in 2016 before a 12-0 season this year. In 2017, he had the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation and brought UCF to its highest ranking ever. Earlier this week, he was named the unanimous American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
The news of his departure comes just a week after he reportedly turned down the job at Florida and just a couple of hours after the Knights beat Memphis 62-55 in the AAC Championship game. On Sunday afternoon, the team will learn its bowl destination.
UCF athletic director Danny White said that the official search for a new coach will begin immediately, but a preliminary search has already been going on since early October.
“We have a young roster with a ton of talent and obviously the number one scoring offense in the country, with most of those student athletes returning for next year, and this is just a very desirable place to be,” White said. “This football job was extremely attractive, there was a ton of demand two years ago coming off 0-12, and now coming off of 12-0, I already know that there’s even more interest and more demand. I’m gonna conduct a national search, and I’m gonna meet with our team here shortly.”
White said he’ll meet with representatives that the team elects to figure out what they want in their next coach, as well as to discuss the future of the team. He made sure to point out that he has gotten interest from Power 5 coaches.