UCF Knights hire Oregon OC Scott Frost as coach

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Central Florida went west to find its next football coach.

The school announced Tuesday that it had hired Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost to take over a program that just finished a winless season.

"Scott is a winner and innovator who has directed one of college football's most exciting offenses at the University of Oregon," UCF athletic director Danny White said in a statement.

Frost, 40, will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday.

The former Nebraska quarterback has been an assistant with the Ducks since 2009 and offensive coordinator since 2013. This will be his first time as a head coach.

He takes over a team coming off the worst season in program history. The Knights went 0-12, and during the season, longtime coach George O'Leary retired.

It was an abrupt fall for a program that just two years ago beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl to finish 12-1. The Knights were coming off back-to-back American Athletic Conference titles entering this season.

UCF is now hoping Frost, who coached Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, will be the person to get the Knights back on track.

"UCF is an excellent opportunity for me because our student-athletes can succeed immediately, both competitively and academically," Frost said in a statement. "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 head coach Mark Helfrich, in a prepared statement, wished Frost success in his new position.

"We wish Scott all the best with his new opportunity at UCF," Helfrich said. "Oregon's proven track record of success and unique situation have led to many high-quality candidates expressing their interest [in the Oregon vacancy].

"We will continue to recruit, prepare for our upcoming bowl game and support our student-athletes through finals as we move forward."

The hiring ends a short search led by White, who was introduced as UCF's new athletic director Nov. 19. Established offensive credentials were a key sticking point to O'Leary in identifying potential successors.

The Knights finished the regular season last in FBS in total offense, with 268.4 yards per game. In scoring offense, UCF ranked 125th out of 127 teams and averaged 13.9 points.

During Frost's first season as Oregon's offensive coordinator, the Ducks went 11-2 and set a school record for total offense, with 7,345 yards.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.