LINCOLN — Nebraska head coach Scott Frost landed in Orlando late Monday night nine days after leaving to accept his dream job.
At 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Frost changed into a UCF polo and ran Central Florida’s first practice in prep for the Peach Bowl. He chatted with UCF Athletic Director Danny White for 15 minutes shortly after practice. Praised Central Florida’s program in a brief media session as the school accepted the Peach Bowl invitation.
Then, when the morning was over, Frost resumed his day helping recruit players to Nebraska.
It is unorthodox. It is unusual, but this will be Frost’s life for the next few weeks, working two jobs, as he confirmed Tuesday he will coach UCF in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day.
“Our No. 1 priority has been and always will be the players we’re coaching,” Frost said. “The whole staff knows it’s not ideal circumstances but our staff feels like we need to be 100 percent dialed in and committed.”
All ten of Frost’s assistants from UCF recently accepted jobs at Nebraska, meaning Frost will not be alone handling two jobs this week.
Frost, sitting behind a place card that said ‘Game Day Head Coach,’ declined to go into specifics on what he’ll be doing in his two roles as Nebraska and UCF’s head coach in the coming weeks. He did say, however, he anticipates his day to day role as the UCF head coach to “be the same” as it was during the season.
Meanwhile, Central Florida’s new head coach, former Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, will not be in Orlando this week. He’s on the recruiting trail for UCF.
Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters was originally named UCF’s interim head coach, but was not the coach who spoke on Tuesday, raising questions about what, if at all, the interim head coach tag means for Walters. White said later should Frost have scheduling conflicts, Walters will be the coach who speaks to the media.
White said Frost has been committed to coach in any bowl game for UCF. But the past week it’s been up in the air on what Frost’s role would be, White said. After figuring out logistics between the two schools, White is glad Frost will be back with UCF for one more game.
“Definitely excited to have him back here today,” White said.
Regardless of it all, the message from Frost on Tuesday was clear: as convoluted and confusing as the merry-go-round of coaches in Orlando may be, everyone is trying to make sure the bowl preparation seems somewhat normal for the 12-0 UCF Knights as they prepare for No. 7 Auburn.
“There’s some unusual circumstances but we’re gonna handle this as we would any bowl game of this type,” Frost said. “Our staff is completely committed and we’re going to do everything we can for this football team.”
Frost met with the team before the practice and said it was “time to get back to work.” UCF had about a week off, which Frost said they deserved after playing 11-straight weeks.
“It’s an honor to be invited to this game. These players have poured their hearts out to accomplish a lot this year,” Frost said. “There’s been a lot of circumstances swirling around this season and that’s been tough to navigate but they’ve been great with that. I’m grateful we have a chance to give them their best possible chance to put on the best show in Atlanta and win a football game.”
Frost said it will be “an honor” to run out onto the field with UCF one more time.