ORLANDO, Fla. – A new era in UCF football will begin in 2016 as the Knights have announced Tuesday the hiring of Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost as the 10th head coach in program history.
A former national-champion quarterback at Nebraska, Frost has been with Oregon since 2009, and took over as its offensive coordinator in 2013.
“Scott is a winner and innovator who has directed one of college football’s most exciting offenses at the University of Oregon," said Danny White, UCF vice president and director of athletics. "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.”
Since Frost’s arrival to Eugene, Oregon has remained one of the top offenses in the country. In 2009, the Ducks ranked 33rd in total offense and eighth in scoring. One year later, they climbed to first in the FBS in both categories, and have never dropped below sixth with Frost on staff.
Oregon won at least 10 games each year from 2009-14 and currently sits at 9-3 in 2015. In all, it has a 79-11 record during Frost’s tenure. The Ducks have appeared in the national title game in 2010 and 2014 along with the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Alamo Bowl.
Frost was the offensive coordinator as Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy following a 2014 campaign where he threw for 4,454 yards and 42 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Mariota completed 66.8 percent of his passes with 105 passing touchdowns and 14 picks as a Duck, as well as rushing for 2,237 yards and 29 touchdowns from 2012-14.
“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," said UCF president John C. Hitt. "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 originally kicked off his career on the sidelines as a graduate assistant at Nebraska in 2002, then held the same role with Kansas State in 2006. His first full-time position came as the linebackers coach for Northern Iowa in 2007 and then as co-defensive coordinator in 2008. Both of those seasons the Panthers appeared in the FCS Playoffs.
A native of Wood River, Nebraska, Frost traveled to Stanford to begin his college career under legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh. Frost played at both quarterback and free safety for the Cardinal. He then returned home to suit up for Nebraska and head coach College Football Hall of Famer Tom Osborne. After sitting out the 1995 campaign where the program went 12-0 en route to the national title, he took over for Tommie Frazier in 1996 as the Cornhuskers’ starting signal-caller. That season, he was selected as the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year thanks to throwing for 1,440 yards with 13 touchdowns and just three picks. He also rushed for 438 yards and nine touchdowns.
As a senior in 1997, Frost was a Johnny Unitas Award finalist, a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist and a CoSIDA Academic All-America selection. He was voted on to the All-Big 12 Second Team, throwing for 1,237 yards and rushing for 1,096 along with 19 touchdowns on the ground.
During 1997, the Cornhuskers faced off with UCF in Lincoln, where the Knights, who were in just their second year in the FBS, surprised the home team with a 17-14 halftime lead. No. 6 Nebraska bounced back with 17 points in the third quarter for a 38-24 win, and the Cornhuskers eventually were a perfect 13-0 to claim yet another national championship.
Frost would later be tagged in the NFL Draft’s third round by the New York Jets, and played in regular season games on defense for the Jets, Browns and Buccaneers.
“UCF is an excellent opportunity for me because our student-athletes can succeed immediately, both competitively and academically," Frost said. "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.”