Former University of Central Florida and Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton is joining Josh Heupel and the Tennessee coaching staff as an offensive analyst, the program announced Thursday.
Milton, who shined under Heupel in Orlando, had long said he wanted to coach following his playing career.
In addition to his connection with Heupel, who coached at UCF 2018-20, Milton is more than familiar with Tennessee athletics director Danny White, who held the same role for the Knights.
“I couldn’t be more excited about starting my coaching career at Tennessee and reuniting with Coach Heupel,” Milton said in a 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.”
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Milton led the Knights to a 27-6 record as a starter, including an undefeated 2017 season, and two American Athletic Conference championships. The Hawaiian high school star suffered a catastrophic knee injury during the regular-season finale in 2018 which forced him to miss the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
After graduating from UCF and completing a long road to recovery, Milton transferred to Florida State to close out college. Appearing in six games for the Seminoles, he threw for 775 yards and three touchdowns to go along with six interceptions. He made four starts.
Milton was named one of three winners of the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award, sharing the honor with Michigan defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson and Kentucky linebacker J.J. Weaver.
He retired from football in June 2022 but remained around the sport through name, image and likeness. Milton, who was at the forefront of NIL when it became legal in Florida, took charge of a UCF-focused collective Mission Control. Earlier this year that group merged with UCF’s primary NIL collective, Kingdom NIL, which is run by former UCF director of operations SJ Tuohy.
Milton also spent time in the radio booth with the UCF football broadcast crew last season. He and his wife, Jany, have an 11-month-old son, Madden.
Milton previously told the Orlando Sentinel he could see coaching in his future.
“Football is a special game, and I want to be part of it as long as I live,” Milton told the Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi.
Now, Milton will begin his coaching career with familiar surroundings.
“McKenzie represents everything that is great about college football,” Heupel said in a 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. We are thrilled to welcome McKenzie, Jany and Madden to Rocky Top.”