The UCF Football team didn't lose a game 2017. But they have now lost their entire coaching staff from this season.
Offensive coordinator Troy Walters and tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Sean Beckton were the two coaches who remained with the Knights following Scott Frost's departure to Nebraska. On Thursday, new UCF head coach Josh Heupel said both Walters and Beckton will also join Frost.
Josh Heupel to Scott Anez (@ESPNOrlando) on Troy Walters, Sean Beckton going to Nebraska:"I think those guys probably will be heading to Lincoln. I tried to reach out to those guys, tried to keep them. I think they're tied to Scott a little bit. I obviously wanted them here."— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) December 7, 2017
Walters posted this on Twitter about 90 minutes later:
The Walters family will always cherish being a part of the KNIGHT family. UCF will always hold a big place in our heart. @UCF_Football is in great hands w/ Coach Heupel and @UCFDannyWhite. I look forward to ending this special 2017 season 13-0. pic.twitter.com/gc9RzWOPPp— Troy Walters® (@CoachWalters1) December 8, 2017
Walters was UCF's offensive coordinator for two seasons and was named interim head coach after Frost resigned Saturday. According to Shannon Green of the Orlando Sentinel, Walters will remain in that role as the Knights prepare to face the Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1. Walters interviewed for the head coaching vacancy but lost out to Heupel.
It's my understanding Troy Walters will continue his role as interim HC throughout the bowl game as the face of the team. Scott Frost could play a role in bowl game prep leading up to the Peach Bowl but that's yet TBA.— osknights (@osknights) December 8, 2017
We have everything in place to get 13. The preparation and focus will be just like the other 12. https://t.co/WHzi3dtSXv— Troy Walters® (@CoachWalters1) December 8, 2017
UCFSports' Brandon Helwig reports that Heupel offered Beckton a substantial raise -- from $240,000 to $350,000. But Beckton, a UCF Athletics Hall of Famer and a Knights coach for 19 seasons, decided to take the $400,000 offered by Frost and, more importantly, the comfort of familiarity.
Hearing Josh Heupel/UCF made Beckton a very competitive offer to remain at UCF, but he chose to join Frost at Nebraska. Money wasn't the deciding factor though. The Frost staff had become very tight knit and there was a level of comfort there. https://t.co/bQWmWDndMM— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) December 7, 2017
Among UCF asst fb coach Sean Beckton's many stellar recruits...Adrian Killins Jr., Otis Anderson and Gabe Davis.— osknights (@osknights) December 7, 2017
The recruiting impact of today's news has yet to be felt, but there have been some responses from current UCF players.
Freshman running back Otis Anderson offered up the Twitter equivalent of a "no comment":
...— (@Gumby_football) December 7, 2017
Freshman wide receiver Marlon Williams expressed his gratitude:
Gonna miss @CoachWalters1 @CoachBeckton thank yall for everything ❗️— Marlon Williams (@TheReall__6) December 8, 2017
Freshman linebacker Dedrion Bacote:
Sophomore wide receiver Dredrick Snelson seemingly hinted at transferring at first as he tweeted out, "I pray they understand that it’s nothing personal and that I’m just doing what’s best for me."
That statement was then deleted. Snelson reaffirmed his commitment to UCF a couple of hours later:
UCF is where I started & this is where I’m gonna finish. We’re a family! Us players built this not the coaches.— Dredrick Snelson Jr. (@D_Snelson5) December 8, 2017
The plan remains for Frost and all of the now ex-UCF coaches to return and coach the team during the bowl game. However, that is only the plan right now; it hasn't been confirmed. Athletics Director Danny White said Tuesday, "We'll make a final determination later this week."
Frost also commented on the Peach Bowl situation today before being named the Home Depot Coach of the Year:
"If I can make it work, I owe it to those guys to do everything I can to give them the best chance to win that football game and we’re trying to work that out now. It’d be great to see them one more time."— osknights (@osknights) December 7, 2017
- Scott Frost on coaching UCF to Jim Rome
#ChargeOn and congrats, Coach ✊ pic.twitter.com/t7UrIVFtc6— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 8, 2017
As for what the Knights do for the future beyond Jan. 1, expect some more coaching news very soon.
Josh Heupel also told Scott Anez (@ESPNOrlando) that he'd have new coach hire announcements in the next 24-48 hours.— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) December 7, 2017