NORMAN â€” Josh Heupel believes he's well prepared for the pressure that comes with being the offensive coordinator at the University of Oklahoma.
After all, he spent two years at the most pressure-packed position in the entire program.
â€œThere's pressure, but there's great opportunity, too. That's the way I look at it,â€ said Heupel, who spoke Wednesday for the first time since being named the team's co-offensive coordinator and primary play-caller by Bob Stoops earlier this week
â€œYou know, I've sat in the quarterback chair in this program, and I'm not sure there's any less pressure on that individual as well.â€
In 2000, Heupel delivered several clutch performances under pressure while quarterbacking the Sooners to their seventh national championship.
Next season, with what should be a championship-caliber offense, Heupel will be under pressure again.
He will share the co-offensive coordinator title with wide receivers coach Jay Norvell, but Heupel will carry the onus of calling plays.
â€œIt's a change, but it's a change I'm really excited about,â€ said Heupel, who's been OU's quarterbacks coach since 2006. â€œObviously you've got to dive into the game plan a little bit further, into the prep work and make sure you're sound and ready to go on game day.â€
Heupel said the OU offense won't be much different from under his predecessor, Kevin Wilson, hired last week to be the head coach at Indiana. Heupel said he plans to keep the up-tempo, no-huddle attack that Wilson installed two years ago.
â€œI don't think fundamentally we're going to change,â€ said Heupel, who noted he wasn't sure if he'll be operating from the press box or the sideline. â€œI think that's why Coach Stoops made the decision he made. A lot of the principles of who we are and what we are will remain the same.â€
Sooner fans will get a glimpse of the future in the Fiesta Bowl, which won't be a curtain call for Wilson. Instead, Heupel will get his first crack at calling plays, while Wilson will coach the fullbacks and tight ends.
â€œI'm excited about the opportunity,â€ Heupel said. â€œThis is really something when you get into the profession you think about, dream about, so I'm really excited about doing it in the bowl game and in the future.â€