Scott Frost is returning to UCF to coach against Auburn in the 2017 Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day. He also has to make sure Nebraska, his new program, can get its best possible recruiting class, with the new early signing period next week throwing another wrinkle into an already complicated situation.
Frost said last week he wasn’t sure if he’d coach in the bowl game. But he is, and now that he and his staff are in Orlando, Fla., he acknowledged it’s “not ideal circumstances” but brushed off any concerns in a news conference Tuesday.
“We’re not gonna talk about that stuff because it doesn’t have to do with the game,” he said. “Our coaching staff is 100 percent committed, and our players are 100 percent committed.”
While it’s unusual, Frost said his staff will operate the way any other coaching staff does during a bowl game.
“Like I said, these aren’t ideal circumstances, but we’re dialed in and committed. In any other bowl game, the same operating procedures would be there,” he said.
Frost didn’t get too specific, but mentioned he’ll prepare the team, then he and his staff will spend time recruiting before returning to coach the Knights in Atlanta in the bowl. The difference is that when Frost’s coaching staff heads out to recruit, it’ll be with the goal of signing players to a school other than the one they will coach in the bowl game.
Here at the end of practice, Danny White has been in a long conversation with Scott Frost. There are three TV stations filming so I'm not the only one stalking. 😁 pic.twitter.com/JdcYiKTSii
— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) December 12, 2017
Frost reportedly wrestled with the decision to leave UCF for Nebraska. Now that he’s back in Orlando for one last run, Frost echoed some comments he made in his press conference after the Knights’ win in the AAC Championship Game on Dec. 2.
“As long as I live, UCF and Orlando will feel like home to me, and it felt like coming home to these guys,” Frost said. “I’m grateful we have the chance to give them the best possible show in Atlanta and hopefully win a football game.”
UCF has three people who all hold some sort of head coaching title: Frost is UCF’s “game day coach,” his former offensive coordinator Troy Walters is UCF’s interim head coach, and new hire Josh Heupel focuses on recruiting and preparing the team for next season.
“Our whole staff, our No. 1 priority has to be the players we’re coaching,” Frost said. “It’s not ideal circumstances, but our coaches felt it was important to be 100 percent dialed in to help these players.”
UCF athletic director Danny White said Frost would return to coach the Knights for their bowl game in a somewhat surprising announcement after Frost left for Nebraska. He reaffirmed his support for the coach again on Tuesday.
“He was always committed, regardless of what bowl,” White said. “There was never an unwavering from him as far as seeing this team and this season out. I’ve always known all along how important it was to see this season through with this group.
“Our team wants consistency. We’ve played 12 games this season and changing things up on the 13th one doesn’t make more sense.”