Legendary UCF QB McKenzie Milton Joins Tennessee Coaching Staff for 2023

Legendary UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton will begin his college football coaching career in the SEC, joining the Tennessee coaching staff for 2023.

Legendary UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, who finished his college football playing career at FSU, will join the Tennessee Volunteers coaching staff for the 2023 season.

McKenzie Milton To Begin Coaching Career at Tennessee

Milton reunites with former head coach Josh Heupel as an offensive analyst for the Vols, bringing experienced leadership to a talented Tennessee quarterback room. Heupel was at UCF when Milton was at his most dangerous and jumped at the opportunity to bring the standout college passer to Rocky Top for the 2023 college football season.

“McKenzie represents everything that is great about college football,” Heupel said via a Tennessee press release.

“His perseverance, determination and leadership are attributes that made him successful as a player and will no doubt translate to him being an outstanding future coach. He’s always been a student of the game and understands the why behind what we do.”

At the height of his game, Milton was one of the most exciting and productive quarterbacks in college football. The Hawaiian native led UCF into college football folklore with his performances during the Knights’ undefeated 2017 season, throwing for over 4,000 yards while averaging over 10 yards per pass attempt.

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While he put up eye-popping numbers with his arm, Milton’s ability to create outside of structure with impressive mobility became the hallmark of his game, adding 1,065 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns to his college football résumé during his three seasons as the starter at UCF.

Talented and productive with both his arm and legs, Milton added football intelligence, combative toughness, and mental and physical leadership to become one of the most talented and well-liked quarterbacks in college football, finishing in the top 10 Heisman Trophy voting twice and leading UCF to the AAC Championship in consecutive seasons.

Milton would have to lean on every ounce of that toughness and mental resilience in 2018. During the Knights’ season finale against USF, the electric quarterback suffered a potentially career-ending knee injury that required reconstructive surgery. For most people, it would have signaled the end of their playing career.

But Milton wasn’t most people.

His well-documented recovery process captured the attention and hearts of the entire college football community, uniting coaches, players, analysts, and media across traditional sporting barricades. In December 2020, he announced that he would return to the field but not with UCF, entering the transfer portal.

Milton’s unlikely comeback was complete with a transfer to FSU, where he threw for 775 yards and three touchdowns while appearing in six games. While he would never return to the game-changing starting QB caliber he’d exhibited prior to his injury, there were still flashes of spark that breathed new life into the Seminoles during games where they looked lifeless.

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With his playing career complete, Milton makes a natural transition into college football coaching. The attributes that made him such a game-changing player and leader at UCF merge seamlessly into his new role. He completed an educational leadership degree in 2022 — another feather in the cap that ensures he makes a successful switch to the sideline.

While his title at Tennessee is offensive analyst, the presumption is that Milton will work with the Vols’ stable of quarterbacks. He provides a stable leadership element to a room in flux. Joe Milton is set to take over from Hendon Hooker following his selection in the 2023 NFL Draft while leading quarterback recruit Nico Iamaleava presents as the future of the program.

While Heupel spoke enthusiastically and eloquently about what Milton brings to the Tennessee program in his new role for the 2023 college football season, his former quarterback is equally excited for an opportunity to impact college football at the highest level.

“I couldn’t be more excited about starting my coaching career at Tennessee and reuniting with Coach Heupel,” Milton said via the same press release. “I am grateful to Coach Heupel and Director of Athletics Danny White for giving me this opportunity. Their leadership makes a difference. I look forward to helping the program in any way I can.”