Getting to Know New UCF Coach Scott Frost

UCF Hires Frost

Scott Frost
Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost arrives to the practice field. The Oregon Ducks practice for the Alamo Bowl at Alamo Heights High School on Dec. 26, 2013. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)

Scott Frost is the new head football coach at UCF – something almost nobody saw coming up until this morning.

Frost was previously the offensive coordinator at Oregon, which speaks for itself. He’s also known for his time as Nebraska’s quarterback the last time the Huskers won a national championship, and then moved to safety to play in the NFL.

Let’s take a more detailed look at him:

The Scott Frost File

Age: 40

Hometown: Wood River, Nebraska

  • His father Larry played RB at Nebraska from 1967-69.
  • His mother Carol competed at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
  • She was the women’s track and field coach at Nebraska from 1977-80.
  • She was the wide receiver coach at Wood River High when Scott played QB. Larry was the head coach.

Playing Career

College

1993-1994 – Attended Stanford, played for Bill Walsh. Backed up Steve Stenstrom at QB. Started two games at QB. Started five games at safety while also serving as the backup QB.

1995 – Transferred to Nebraska. Sat out the year. Nebraska won the National Championship that year. Actually beat the Red Team in the Spring Game, which was quarterbacked by both Tommie Frazier and Brook Berringer.

1996 – Took over as starting QB after Frazier graduated and Berringer died in a plane crash. Won Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year Award. Threw for 1,440 yards and 13 touchdowns, and ran for 438 yards and nine touchdowns.

Nebraska finished 11-2, 8-0 in the Big 12. Lost to Texas, 37-27, in the inaugural Big 12 Championship Game in St. Louis. Won Orange Bowl vs. Virginia Tech, 41-21. Finished #6 in AP Rankings.

1997 – Ran for 1,096 yards and 19 TD, and passed for 1,237 yards and five TDs. Beat Daunte Culpepper and UCF in Lincoln after the Knights led at the half.

Nebraska dominated just about everyone en route to a 13-0 season and a share of the National Championship (with Michigan) in Tom Osborne’s final season as head coach. Won Big 12 Championship over Texas A&M and then beat Peyton Manning’s Tennessee team in the Orange Bowl, 42-17 to clinch #1 in the Coaches’ Poll.

Nebraska’s offense that year averaged 47.1 points and 513.7 yards per game – 392.6 on the ground.

Frost is perhaps best known in Nebraska lore for this touchdown pass to Shevin Wiggins Matt Davison against Mizzou that saved the Huskers’ season:

NFL

Frost elected to move to safety (where he had previous experience) after no one showed interest in him as a QB. He was drafted by Bill Parcells and the New York Jets in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft (67th overall).

Here are Frost’s career numbers in the NFL, where he played for the Jets, Browns, Packers and Buccaneers from 1998-2003. For the record, Frost recorded one interception, one fumble recovery, one sack and 33 tackles in 59 career games.

Coaching Career

Starting out

Frost dove into coaching before he stopped playing. He initially was a graduate assistant at Nebraska in 2002 before coming back to the NFL for one more go in 2003.

After officially retiring from the NFL, Frost latched on at Kansas State as a grad assistant yet again under Bill Snyder in 2006.

Northern Iowa

Then he went to Northern Iowa from 2007 and 2008, coaching on the defensive side of the ball (linebackers in ’07, then co-defensive coordinator and linebackers in ’08).

In both years under head coach Mark Farley, UNI won their conference and advanced deep into the FCS Playoffs. In 2007, the Panthers were undefeated and #1 in FCS until they lost to Delaware in the Regional Championship round.

In 2008, UNI reached the National Semifinals before losing to eventual champion Richmond. Frost’s defense was 9th in scoring, 23rd in total defense and 4th in turnover margin.

Oregon

Frost then joined Chip Kelly’s staff at Oregon as wide receivers coach in 2009, under then-offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. Frost coached Jeffrey Maehl to a 1,000-yard season in 2010, ad his receivers were instrumental in Kelly’s offense becoming a dominant force in college football.

The Ducks won three conference titles, plus a Rose Bowl, and came up short in the National Championship Game against Cam Newton and Auburn in 2010.

When Chip Kelly left Oregon for the NFL, Mark Helfrich was promoted to head coach, and so was Frost – to offensive coordinator.

In three years as Oregon’s offensive coordinator, Frost’s offense did the following (national rankings in parentheses):

2013: 565 yards/game (2nd), 273.5 rush yards/game (9th), 291.5 pass yards/game (21st), 45.5 points/game (4th)

2014: 547.0 yards/game (3rd), 234.5 rush yards/game (20th), 321.5 pass yards/game (10th), 45.4 points/game (4th)

2015 (as of December 1): 548.2 yards/game (6th), 287.8 rush yards/game (5th), 260.4 pass yards/game (35th), 43.2 points/game (6th)

Frost’s crowning achievement was developing Marcus Mariota into a Heisman Trophy winner in 2014.

Analysis

So Scott Frost is a young but experienced coach with NFL ties who has led one of the most explosive offenses in college football history to record-setting performances. He also has a rare combination of having coached on both sides of the ball.

In many ways, he’s the anti-George O’Leary: Young, smart and progressive, with an emphasis on a modern offensive scheme.

How he does with recruiting is still something that requires more analysis (although he has been instrumental in bringing a few Florida players to Oregon, and has contacts with quite a few high school coaches in the Sunshine State). But his offense is the shiny object that will be very attractive to Florida’s high-octane skill position recruits, not to mention UCF fans, who have not seen an offense this innovative since Mike Kruczek and Ryan Schneider were in town.

Early returns: It’s a home run on paper.

UPDATE: This article previously said Frost backed up Brooks Bollinger at Nebraska. This was incorrect. The Nebraska QB was Brook Berringer. Brooks Bollinger played at Wisconsin. The error has been corrected. My bad.

About Jeff Sharon 184 Articles

Jeff Sharon is the Managing Editor, Publisher, and boss around here. He graduated from UCF in 2005 and worked in the Knights’ athletic department full-time from 2008-2010. He still works for UCF as a public address announcer at several sporting events and also thinks the Atlantic Sun Conference days were more fun than you realized. Follow him on Twitter at @Jeff_Sharon.