OKLAHOMA CITY – The quarterback who led the University of Oklahoma football team to the 2000 national championship has been fired by his former coach.
Bob Stoops announced the decision to release Josh Heupel from his duties as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Tuesday.
“The bottom line is, I feel moving forward, we need to go in a different direction,” said Stoops.
Heupel spent two years as a quarterback at OU, leading the team to a perfect 13-0 season in 2000.
The undefeated season ended with a national title against Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
The star quarterback was also the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy that season.
Heupel confirmed the move on his Twitter account Tuesday morning.
. @OU_CoachStoops will conduct his season wrap-up press conference at 11 am on Tues.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) January 6, 2015
Heupel, 36, held the position of offensive coordinator since 2011.
Earlier this week, Jay Norvell, another Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator, was also let go.
The decision to fire Heupel comes just eight days after OU was blown out by Clemson 40-6 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
However, Stoops refused to pinpoint the reason for firing the former quarterback.
“I’m not going to, it’s just, moving forward I think this is, you know, it will be best for us,” Stoops said.
OU’s offense ranked in the top 20 in scoring for three of Heupel’s four seasons as the play caller.
He was praised for developing Heisman trophy winner Sam Bradford, as well as Landry Jones.
Not everyone on the OU campus agreed with Stoops’ decision.
“I think it’s a little bit unreasonable to fire him,” one fan said. “But I guess people want some change if things don’t work out in the season.”
Other fans agreed that some type of change was needed.
“It was a disappointing year,” an OU student said. “I’m more excited to see who the replacement is, what direction they’re looking to go in, but I don’t think [Heupel’s firing] is a negative.”
“It’s just, every year is different and I just felt it was the right thing moving forward,” Stoops said.
Stoops did not give a timetable for hiring Heupel’s replacement.