Nobody covers the Knights like UCFAthletics.com. Log on to the oﬃcial website of UCF Athletics to read all about the next game, breaking news, feature stories and more! You want to find out what’s really going on at UCF, read John Denton’s Knights’ Insider daily. Don’t forget to visit our oﬃcial UCF Athletics team pages on Twitter and Facebook, get social with the Knights!
Special Edition 2010
14 18 22 27
Table of Contents......................................................... 1 From the AD’s Desk: Keith Tribble ............................2-3 New Vision for UCF Athletics ....................................4-5 NIKE: Just Do It ............................................................ 5 Academic Excellence ................................................6-7 UCF Stands for Opportunity .....................................8-9 UCF Campus Life ...................................................10-11 Welcome to Orlando ............................................12-13 A Championship Athletics Program Emerges ............ 14 UCF Athletics Success ................................................ 15 UCF Football: A Program on the Rise ........................ 16 Have Fans, Will Travel/Packing the House ................. 17 Donnie Jones Making Quick Moves at UCF ............... 18 Big-Time Host ............................................................ 19 Knights in the News ................................................... 20 Media Spotlight ......................................................... 21 Facilities of Tomorrow ..........................................22-23 First-Class Facilities ...............................................24-25 Part of UCF’s History: Prominent Alumni................... 26 UCF is Attracting the Best .......................................... 27 Golden Knights Club .................................................. 28
An exciting fall season is just ahead at UCF, with football, volleyball and soccer campaigns ready to kickoﬀ. There is no better football gameday experience than at Bright House Networks Stadium. Over the past three years, UCF has redefined gameday excitement with new traditions that will last generations. The season starts Sept. 4 with South Dakota, and is quickly followed by NC State on Sept. 11. Conference USA rivals East Carolina, Southern Miss, UAB and Rice also travel to Orlando in 2010. Don’t miss a match as UCF volleyball takes to the Venue at UCF Sept. 10 for its season opening Radisson/UCF Classic. The soccer programs are also in store for big seasons ahead, with the women’s team hosting the Florida Gators on Aug. 22, while the men’s schedule features three NCAA tournament teams from a year ago.
CREDITS EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Hornstein
Knights Insider is published at least six times a year by ISP Sports in conjunction with the University of Central Florida Athletics Association. The price of an annual subscription is $14.95. Please send a check or money order. No credit cards will be accepted.
MANAGING EDITORS Doug Richards Brian Ormiston
TO PURCHASE A SUBSCRIPTION:
LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Tarasewicz Summit Athletic Media
KNIGHTS INSIDER c/o ISP Sports, Inc. Dept. 905ISP PO Box 667715 Charlotte, NC 28266-7715
KNIGHTS INSIDER c/o ISP Sports, Inc. 520 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101
CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER Todd Drexler (UCFPhotos.com)
Knights Insider is a product of UCF Athletics and ISP Sports
ISP Sports serves as UCF’s exclusive multimedia/advertising rights holder. To learn more about partnering with ISP Sports and UCF Athletics, call (407) 823-4595.
INSIDE UCF ATHLETICS
From the AD’s Desk fans we took with us to St. Petersburg. Through our large fan base, we sold out four separate allotments of game tickets. Some may recall that in 2007 we sold out our AutoZone Liberty Bowl ticket allotment as well and helped establish that bowl’s all-time attendance mark.
sons ago, we’ve gone from a program in transition to winning nine team titles and accumulating 20 NCAA postseason invitations. The future is bright at UCF, and we will continue to do everything in our power to help this University reach new heights.
Our program also claimed a few more Conference USA championships this past year, including women’s soccer, men’s golf and women’s outdoor track and field, the latter two on our home turf. Coach Amanda Cromwell has made winning a constant with her soccer program, and with a brand new soccer stadium to be completed in 2010-11, she will get a chance to host this year’s league championship and hopefully raise the trophy in front of our hometown fans. In his first season, men’s golf coach Bryce Wallor and his team claimed our second consecutive C-USA title at the prestigious RedTail Allow me to introduce one of our newest com- Golf Club in nearby Sorrento. The spring argumunication tools, Knights Insider, for which you ably ended with one of the greatest highlights will be able to read numerous times during the of them all as Caryl Smith Gilbert directed her academic year, as well as view online at UC- young women’s track program to the C-USA outFAthletics.com. With the nation’s third-largest door championship in just her third season. The enrollment and arguably the largest growing three-day meet, held at UCF, came down to the alumni base in the country, it is critical that we final race on the final day, with UCF out-dueling continue discovering new and exciting ways to usual-champion UTEP for the overall points fincommunicate to our massive University of Cen- ish. tral Florida community. In May, we announced an aggressive fundraisThe Knights Insider brand was created when ing campaign to commit an additional $70 milprominent local sports journalist John Denton lion into further athletics facility construction, joined our staﬀ as our lead writer and edito- expansion and renovation. When finished, we rial director of our oﬃcial athletics web site. WILL be the envy of south. You can read more Through his daily online coverage we have been about our latest construction news a little furable to successfully tap into a traditional news ther in the magazine.
In closing, let me share with you my thoughts on our new marketing campaign, “UKnight”, which you will see, hear and read about all summer. The one constant that has defined the University of Central Florida since its opening is growth.
circle that was once reserved just for those that covered our schools, not the school itself. John writes it as he sees it and finds the stories that historically didn’t get covered. The theme of our inaugural edition of Knights Insider is everything that is great about the University of Central Florida. In these pages you will see just how far our program has risen since joining Conference USA in 2005, from record scholastic achievement to nationally competitive results. The 2009-10 year was another successful step in our program’s quest for excellence. In the fall, the football program turned in a promising campaign, taking the conference title race down to the final weekend, and appearing in another bowl game. As impressive as the team’s win streak down the stretch were the 20,000-plus
With the addition of Bright House Networks Stadium and the UCF Arena in 2007, we turned a lot of heads nationally with our impressive construction feats. Then we continued with the opening of the renovated Venue at UCF, the dual basketball practice facilities for the men’s and women’s programs, the UCF Intercollegiate Rowing Center at Lake Pickett and the UCF Golf Practice Facility at Twin Rivers. Our commitment to the success of UCF Athletics, from President Dr. John C. Hitt to our board of directors to our student-athletes has been monumental. Our goals at UCF are simple: graduate studentathletes and win championships. UCF Athletics is the leading public institution in C-USA academically, and placed 221 student-athletes on its commissioner’s academic honor roll this past season. Since joining the league five short sea-
We cannott move m ve forward and continue to grow mo withoutt you. yo Now Now is the time our alumni, students and supporters su upp pporteers must must “UKNIGHT” behind UCF’s We UCF’ UC F s student-athletes. student-atth hlletes. l W are past the point of cliché, cli clilich c é, é and a with rapidly raapi p dly achieving achi ac h eving such outstan st standing andi ding ngg size sizze and a d staturee as a University; we an must call upon you you o to bolster bollsterr our attendance and an d join the ranks of of thosee that att already support UCF Your UC CF Athletics. You ur purchase purch hase of season tickets will not only help wi p UCF UCF Athleti Ath th hleti ticccss grow along with the pace, will th he University’s iimpressive mpresssive pace p pa ace,, it wil w illl cement ceme ce ment nt on iin n the eyes of tthe he natio n that the UCF Knights have arrived. Keith R.. Tribble Ke Keit ith hR Tri Tribb bble bb le
Director Dire ecto or of Athletics / EExecuti xecutive Vice President
By John Denton
Keith Tribble Discusses New Vision for UCF Athletics UCF graduates student-athletes and competes for championships
he sign hanging outside the oﬃce door is crudely made, using only a black marker and a sheet of copier paper. But it is a message to all who enter the oﬃce of just how UCF director of athletics and executive vice president Keith Tribble operates. “Just Get it Done, No Excuses,” reads the note strategically placed on the wall. Several have wondered through the years why the message hasn’t been redone in professional stencil and framed for a more dramatic eﬀect. But the note hanging on the wall is a Tribble original, penned by the AD himself. And there are no plans to make changes – with the sign or the message to all who can see it.
“Just Get it Done, No Excuses.” UCF has certainly gotten it done in Tribble’s time on the UCF campus since June of 2006. Tribble has overseen $150 million in new construction and improvements on UCF sports facilities and another $70 million in upgrades were recently announced to take place over the next 10 years. And on the field of play, the Knights have had more success than ever under Tribble’s direction. In the past four years, UCF has won nine Conference USA team titles (football 2007, women’s basketball 2008-09, softball 2008, women’s soccer 2007-09, men’s golf 2009-10 and track and field 2010). But Tribble’s time these days is consumed less with what the Knights have accomplished in his four years at UCF and what could very well be next for the athletics program. He’s working daily to push and prod the program toward greatness, refusing to accept anything less than UCF becoming the best it can be.
He has made it clear that the two primary goals are to graduate student-athletes and to win championships. Again, it goes back to the message scrawled on the paper just outside of his oﬃce: “Just Get it Done, No Excuses.” “I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. When you look at putting together an athletics program that is going to be competitive at the highest level, you need first and foremost the people,” Tribble said. “You look at the coaches and athletes. You also need great facilities and great fans and you put it all together it starts building the program.
soccer and track and field, tennis and an academic support center. Tribble said the planned improvements to the facilities demonstrate UCF’s willingness to put its athletes and fanbase in positions to truly strive for greatness.
leadership from our coaches,’’ Tribble said. “As I talked to the coaches that we had here and the ones we brought in, the common denominators were that they be great recruiters and great communicators. If you can do those two things in college athletics you can be highly successful.
“We know in order to get to where we want to go and maintain that excellence, we have to have great hunger and more hard work.” - Keith Tribble
“We had to take a look at where we want to be in 10 years. If we’re continuing to get great coaches and student-athletes in here and having our fanbase be supportive, we knew that the facilities had to continue to be first class,” he said. “We identified $70 million worth of either new or expansion of existing facilities. Those upgrades would put us in a position to compete for As the nation’s third largest university and posi- championships on a national level in all sports. tioned in the heart of talent-rich Central Florida, The next phase is increasing our endowment UCF is often thought of an athletics program on for scholarships. The plan is something that’s the verge of greatness. Clearly, there is loads of always evolving and we’ll work on it every day.” potential for the school, but Tribble said that promise is meaningless without the school striv- As important as the facility upgrades, if not ing for more and insisting on not settling. Tribble more so, has been Tribble’s ability to enhance wants the best of everything for UCF, and he the caliber of coaches at UCF. George O’Leary wants it now. has turned the Knights football program into a consistent winner and is poised for a 2010 sea“It’s time to get out of that ‘Sleeping Giant’ and son that could very well result in UCF winning `Diamond in the Rough’ stuﬀ and all of those another C-USA title. And Tribble has retained phrases that have been used to describe UCF,” highly successful coaches Amanda Cromwell he said. “We’re an institution that has devel- (three C-USA titles in women’s soccer) and Reoped an outstanding academic reputation and nee Luers-Gillispie (one C-USA title in softball). we’re developing an outstanding athletic reputation. We want to be known as an institution And he added other proven winners to the UCF that graduates its athletes and competes at the staﬀ in track and field coach Caryl Smith Gilbert highest levels for championships. The more that (2010 C-USA champion), men’s golf coach Bryce we can prove that on the field and in the class- Wallor (2010 C-USA champ) and women’s basroom, we’ll be mentioned in the same name ketball coach Joi Williams (2009 C-USA tourney with the schools who have made the journey champs). And most recently, Tribble garnered and are at the place now where we want to be.” national praise when he lured Donnie Jones, one of the country’s most dynamic young UCF’s recent journey has already seen the ad- coaches and recruiters, to lead the men’s basditions of Bright House Networks Stadium and ketball team. the UCF Arena. And up next is $70 million of overhauls to the facilities for football, baseball, “I felt in order to be great we had to have great
“What we’ve accomplished so far has been great, but I look at it as knowing that we still have a lot of work to do,” Tribble continued. “We know in order to get to where we want to go and maintain that excellence, we have to have great hunger and more hard work.”
NIKE: Just Do It W
hen the UCF Knights suit up to play in 2010-11, they will be wearing one of the world’s most prestigious sports logos - the NIKE “Swoosh.”
“It is no surprise really that coach Smith in track ended up leading our student-athletes to a conference championship title in her third year here. And coach Williams took the women’s basketball team to a championship in her second year,” he continued. “And we have repeat conference champions in our men’s golf program and women’s soccer program. Our goal is to graduate student-athletes and win championships. So when we identify coaches, that is what is important to me and I think we’re making great progress toward those goals each and every day.” These days, progress for UCF is Tribble’s top goal. Tribble, his staﬀ, coaches and student-athletes are working hard to make sure that UCF is in prime position to secure its future. The group is ready, he stressed, for UCF to shed its potential and reach its full destiny. Nothing else, he said, will do for UCF. Again, “Just Get It Done, No Excuses.” “The hardest step sometimes is that next step. Trying to climb, improve and get better, improve the programs, improving the facilities and growing our fan base, it is something that we’re working at each and every day,” Tribble said. “We are looking at what we can do every day for our programs – whether it’s more resources, improved facilities and assisting the coaches in recruiting great talent to come to our University. It is an ongoing process and work can never stop because the goals and the visions here are to be the best that we can be.”
student-athletes will be thrilled to wear the NIKE brand. We look forward to a long relationship with NIKE.”
The new long-term agreement will outfit each of the Knights’ 16 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 450 student-athletes in NIKE footwear, uniforms, practice gear and equipment.
NIKE director of sports marketing Kit Morris said, “NIKE is excited to become the oﬃcial supplier of athletic footwear, apparel and equipment for the Knights, and we especially look forward to outfitting all of UCF’s “We are very excited about our new partnership with NIKE,” UCF direc- student-athletes and coaches from its 16 sports programs.” tor of athletics Keith Tribble said in spring 2010. “Most importantly, our
THE STORY BEHIND THE STATS
UCF Athletics Edition
The Knights prove that they are excelling both on and off of the playing field.
CF student-athletes are not only excelling in competition, the Knights are also enjoying great success in the classroom. For threeconsecutive years (2007-09), UCF led Conference USA with the most commissionerâ€™s academic honor roll selections. In 2008-09, the Knights established a league record with 224 honorees. During the 2009-10 campaign, UCF placed 221 student-athletes on the honor roll.
UCF APR By Sport Sport 2006 Baseball 925 Basketball-M 932 Football 901 Golf-M 972 Soccer-M 897 Tennis-M 972 Basketball-W 975 Cross Country 962 Golf-W 981 Rowing 969 Soccer-W 947 Softball 993 Tennis-W 969 Track-Indoor 938 Track-Outdoor 937 Volleyball 981 Average 953 6
2007 915 916 928 963 903 955 978 976 988 968 955 975 980 959 959 969 955
2008 930 931 937 980 906 958 967 973 959 972 949 980 969 964 967 976 957
2009 950 928 960 982 925 948 978 960 969 983 959 981 984 959 962 966 962
2010 965 931 972 978 926 952 969 976 958 993 959 967 992 979 981 974 967
CF student-athletes are supported by a nine-person professional staďŹ€ of advisors and program coordinators from the OďŹƒce of Academic Services for Student-Athletes. ASSA advisors coordinate tutoring, mentoring, study sessions and priority class registration for all current student-athletes and assist new Knights through the recruitment process. UCF student-athletes receive study skills and time management instruction year round.
2010 NCAA FBS Football Top-10 APR Public, Non-Military Schools Rutgers
975 Boise St.
UCF football ranks seventh in the nation with a 972 APR amongst public schools, exempting service academies.
UCF STANDS FOR OPPORTUNITY
University of Central Florida
Dynamic Quality Fuels UCF’s Growth
sk a few UCF students about the growth of the university and you are sure to get a variety of responses. They will talk about UCF’s rising academic reputation, the new College of Medicine, its first-class on-campus residences, the recent success of its athletics programs or the abundance of new facility projects on campus that continue to turn heads in amazement.
awarded its 200,000th degree. Hitt has awarded more than 148,000 of those degrees since he became the president in 1992. Since his arrival, UCF’s enrollment has more than doubled, the number of doctorates awarded each year has quadrupled and annual giving has risen tenfold.
But UCF’s objective is not to simply grow for the sake of growing. “Although our size and national ranking are remarkable, our goal is not to be the largest university in the country. Rather, our goal is to
From its humble beginnings in the 1960s, UCF has developed into one of the most vibrant universities in the country. According to UCF President Dr. John C. Hitt, its stunning growth has allowed UCF to serve as a destination for students from across the nation and the world. “Growth is a part of who we are at the University of Central Florida,” Hitt said. “Growth, and the change that comes with it, is woven into our university’s DNA.” In the fall of 2009, UCF’s enrollment increased to 53,644 students, the most in the university’s history. With the increase, UCF became the third-largest university in the nation behind Arizona State and Ohio State. This past spring UCF 8
UCF College of Medicine The UCF College of Medicine enrolled an initial class of 41 students in August 2009 and will soon produce 120 medical graduates each year. The college is a forward-looking medical school with a culture based on partnerships and collaboration.
A Big-Time University
UCF’s enrollment of 53,644 students makes it the third-largest university in the nation. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Arizona State Ohio State UCF Minnesota Texas Florida Texas A&M Michigan State USF Penn State
55,552 55,014 53,644 51,659 51,032 50,691 48,885 47,100 46,612 43,998
provide high-quality students access to a worldclass UCF education,” Hitt said. UCF is doing just that. Oﬀering 214 degree programs, the university is an academic and research leader in numerous fields, such as optics, modeling and simulation, engineering and computer science, business administration, education, the sciences including biomedical sciences, hospitality management and digital media.
And with so many options available, UCF is attracting some exceptional students, as the incoming freshman class for 2009-10 held an average grade-point average of 3.8 with an SAT score of 1225 and an ACT mark of 27. The University’s national reputation has also expanded. U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide named UCF a top-five university to watch in the entire country. National media outlets such as NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today and The Chronicle of Higher Education have highlighted UCF’s academics and research. “All of these recognitions, and many more, are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of UCF’s talented students and our equally remarkable staﬀ and faculty members,” Hitt said. “Fueled by our commitment to access and growth with quality, I am confident UCF has the opportunity to reach new heights of achievement.”
UCF Facts • One of Florida’s 11 public universities • Opened its doors to students in 1968 • Named a “Best Value” university by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and a “School to Watch” by U.S. News and World Report • Attracts exceptional academic achievers (incoming freshmen have an SAT average of 1225, an average ACT of 27 and an average GPA of 3.8) • Made U.S. medical school history by giving the College of Medicine’s charter class full four-year scholarships • Graduates Rhodes, Truman, Melon, Goldwater and National Merit scholars
UCF Campus Life
n the UCF campus, there is always something to do. The school oﬀers amenities that cannot be found at any other university in the country. One of the most popular locations on campus is the 181,000-gallon outdoor recreational pool, which is packed with students nearly every day of the year thanks to Orlando’s pleasant climate. The campus has no shortage of fun dining options, from the restaurants at the Towers at Knights Plaza to the
new Knightro’s cafeteria, which is located inside the UCF Arena. Retail stores are easy to find on campus and range from Barnes & Noble books to the UCF Computer shop. The state-of-the-art Student Union located at the center of campus is a popular meeting spot and features meeting rooms, a food court and retail stores. The UCF campus also includes 600 acres of natural lakes and woodlands, concerts at the UCF Arena and a wide range of cultural events.
Welcome to Orlando Home of the UCF Knights
CF students have easy access to one of the world’s most vibrant cities in Orlando. Whether it is theme parks, tourist attractions, museums, world-class shopping, great restaurants, golf courses, jogging trails or nature preserves, welcomed visitors can find it all in Orlando. America’s 19th-largest television market, Orlando is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. As recently as 2009, approximately 50 million visitors traveled to the region. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando and Sea World, amongst others, are just a short drive away from the UCF campus. The Kennedy Space Center, state parks and sandy beaches are all within an hour of campus.
With top-notch musical and theatrical events occurring year-round, Orlando is a premier destination for sports fans, too. The region is home to professional franchises, college football bowl games, world famous auto races, several professional golf tournaments and much more. The Orlando Magic brought the excitement of NBA showtime to the city with its impressive playoﬀ runs in 2009 and 2010. The future is even brighter for the Magic, with its state-of-the-art downtown arena opening before the 2010-11 season. UCF will face Florida at the Amway Center to help open the new facility on Dec. 1, 2010.
Another promient race, the Pepsi 400, is held each July in Daytona. With countless world-class golf courses, several professional tournaments are held in the region annually, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill, the Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Magnolia Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista and the Tavistock Cup, rotated annually between the prestigious Isleworth and Lake Nona private courses.
The region’s sports calendar is busy with Grapefruit League baseball each spring as the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts the Atlanta Braves. The Houston Astros train in nearby Kissimmee and the Washington Nationals are just a short trip east in Viera. In 2006, the World Baseball Classic held part of its inaugural event in Lake Buena Vista.
Orlando is a frequent destination for today’s top musical groups and performances, who visit popular venues like Hard Rock Live at Universal’s CityWalk and the House of Blues, which is located in Downtown Disney. The city’s worldrenowned theme parks have added a variety of new entertainment experiences, including The Florida Citrus Bowl hosts a pair of premier Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba” at Disney and Uni- college bowl games each winter – the Champs versal’s resident Blue Man Group shows. Sports Bowl and the Capital One Bowl. The stadium has also been the site of the World Cup Beyond the theme parks, downtown Orlando and Olympic soccer contests, World Wrestling features an ever-changing skyline, fine dining Entertainment’s Wrestlemania, amongst many options and a newly-developed arts district. other major sporting events. Cultural destinations in the city include the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orange County Re- The region also features the most prominent gional History Center and Lake Eola Park. NASCAR race of the year, its “Super Bowl” event, the Daytona 500, held at the Daytona International Speedway to help start the racing season.
INSIDE UCF ATHLETICS
A Championship Athletics Program Emerges
UCF ATHLETICS SUCCESS
2009-10 ATHLETIC YEAR
Championships and Postseason Appearances Since 2005 Football
1 Conference Championship 2 Division Championships 3 Bowl Games
3 Conference Championships 3 NCAA Appearances
2 Conference Championships 4 NCAA Appearances 1 NCAA Individual Appearance
1 NCAA Appearance
1 Conference Championship 1 NCAA Appearance
Track and Field
2 NCAA Appearances 1 NCAA Individual Appearance
1 Conference Championship 43 NCAA Individual Appearances
1 Conference Championship 2 NCAA Appearances
By the Numbers 77
(since joining Division I in 1984-85)
The Knights have won a total of 77 conference championships since 1984.
76 UCF student-athletes have earned a combined 76 All-America honors.
A Year to Remember By Doug Richards
he 2009-10 campaign at UCF was filled with memorable moments. From Conference USA titles to postseason appearances, the Knights had plenty of success during the year. The accomplishments began on the gridiron where the Knights won eight games, including six of eight in Conference USA play, and earned a spot in the St. Petersburg Bowl. The bowl game was the third in five years for the Knights, who concluded the regular season by winning five of their last six contests. The women’s soccer program had yet another successful campaign as the Knights won 17 matches and made their third-consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship. The squad opened the postseason with a 3-0 triumph over UW-Milwaukee. UCF spent the entire season in the national rankings, moving to as high as No. 8 in the country. In the spring, the UCF men’s golf team claimed its second-straight C-USA Championship title. The Knights participated in the NCAA Regionals for the fourth-consecutive year, placing sixth out of 13 squads in Santee, Calif. For the first time, UCF hosted the C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on campus. The Knights took advantage of competing at home as UCF won the first C-USA title in program history. UCF’s softball team defeated several nationallyranked opponents during the regular reg season and went to the NCAA N Championship for the first time in school history as a an at-large selection. The Knights, who won 36 games game in 2010, particip cipated in the Gainesville Regional, where tthey recorded a 7-1 victory over Florida International.
The Knights have also had 75 student-athletes earn conference player of the year honors.
Since moving into the Division I ranks, UCF has made 75 post-season appearances, which included four in 2009-10.
UCF student-athletes have been honored 721 times as all-conference selections.
A Program on the Rise Conference championships. Bowl appearances. Top-notch facilities. Growing fan support. Experienced coaches. NFL Draft picks. Big-time competition. Academic excellence. National media coverage. The best in strength and conditioning and sports medicine.
THIS IS UCF FOOTBALL.
BY THE NUMBERS 2,567 3 The Knights have participated in three bowl games since 2005.
17 In the last five years, 17 Knights have garnered All-Conference USA First Team honors.
In 2007, Kevin Smith rushed for 2,567 yards, which ranked second in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history behind Barry Sanders.
Big-Time Games Some of the nationâ€™s top programs have traveled raveled to Orlando to face UCF at Bright House Networks works Stadium. UCF opened the facility in 2007 with a contest against Texas. A year ago, Miami headed north th to face the Knights. In 2010, UCF will host NC State.
31 The Knights have appeared on national television 31 times since 2005.
7 Since George Oâ€™Leary took over the program in 2004, UCF has produced seven NFL Draft picks.
2 UCF has hosted a pair of Conference USA Championship Games since joining the 12-team league in 2005.
A Youthful Program Despite the fact that the program is still relatively young, UCF has enjoyed great success. The football program at UCF first took the field in 1979, and the Knights did not move to the Football Bowl Subdivision ranks until 1996.
THE KNIGHTS GO BOWLING
Have Fans,Will Travel
ur fans will travel. In 2009, UCF sold through four ticket allotments for the football team’s appearance in the St. Petersburg Bowl. It was estimated that UCF had over 20,000 in attendance, helping establish an attendance record for the sold-out game. Two years earlier, in 2007, UCF also helped the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis establish an attendance record by selling its entire school ticket allotment. UCF processed and allo allocated 15,402 tickets for the St. Petersburg Bowl, encompa encompassing a total of four separate blocks of the school. The announced attendance tickets given to th was a capcity crowd cro of29,763. At the AutoZone Liberty 2007, UCF also sold its full allotment of Bowl in 20 10,000 tickets, and the game’s attendance of 63,816 was a record. d The UCF Pregame TTailgate Party staged by the UCF Alumni Association and UCF Athletics in St. PetersAsso burg was also a sold-out event with 1,000 distributed. tickets d
PACKING THE HOUSE Gameday Excitement at Bright House Networks Stadium • In the three years since the venue opened, 812,248 fans have attended UCF home games at Bright House Networks Stadium. • This upcoming season, UCF will surpass the one-million fan mark at the stadium. • A stadium record 48,453 spectators watched the Knights host Miami in October 2009. Attendance on the Rise at the UCF Arena • The UCF men’s basketball team averaged a school-record 5,411 fans in 2009-10. • The Knights ranked third in the state in attendance behind Florida and Florida State, and posted better marks than USF and Miami. Big Crowds All Around • UCF’s baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and volleyball programs all experienced increased attendance in 2009-10. In total, over 450,000 spectators watched the Knights play at home during the campaign.
By Marc Daniels
Jones Making Quick Moves at UCF
onnie Jones likes his teams to play fast. The new UCF men’s basketball head coach expects his teams to take advantage of fastbreak opportunities oﬀensively, and to pressure teams the length of the floor on defense. Jones himself has been moving pretty quickly since taking the helm of the UCF program in March. He has assembled his coaching staﬀ, gotten to know his current players and made some big moves in recruiting. Recognized as one of the top recruiters in the country, Jones came to UCF after three years at Conference USA rival Marshall. He turned around the Thundering Herd program, and guided his team to an impressive 24-10 record in 2009-10, one of the best marks in school history. To accomplish the turnaround, he convinced several top recruits to go to Huntington, W.Va., including big man Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside led the country in blocks this past season as a freshman, and was selected in the 2010 NBA Draft. Jones is no stranger to state. He spent 11 years as an assistant coach at Florida under Billy Donovan, and helped the program win national titles in 2006 and 2007. Jones developed into an ace recruiter while in Gainesville and helped Florida sign 11 McDonald’s All-America selections during his time there.
Jones added more size when Tom Herzog, a fifth-year senior who will be eligible immediately, transferred from Michigan State. A big seven-footer, Herzog was a member of two Final Four teams with the Spartans. Jones’ biggest coup on the recruiting front was Isaiah Sykes, a talented perimeter player from Detroit. Sykes selected UCF over programs like Arkansas and Michigan. He was one of the top unsigned players in the country. Add Jones’ talented recruiting class with a large group of returning players like Keith Clanton, Marcus Jordan, A.J. Rompza, Isaac Sosa and A.J. Tyler, and the Knights have a good-looking roster for 201011. The majority of the team has been on campus this summer, working on making improvements in the weight room and getting adapted to Jones’ up-tempo style of play. Another item on Jones’ agenda is reaching out to UCF supporters. Jones knows first-hand what the atmosphere can be like during games at the UCF Arena. Jones was on hand in January when UCF hosted Marshall and was part of an incredible environment for college basketball. The UCF Arena was packed as 9,460 fans were in attendance. The UCF student section was out in full force. The arena was loud and the energy was high.
Jones has already made his mark at UCF with his recruiting abilities. Just days after accepting the UCF job, he got a commitment from speedy point guard Jarvis Davis, who attended Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia this past year. Despite never visiting the campus, Davis picked the Knights over programs like Nebraska and Texas Tech. Next Jones secured the services of bruising junior college power forward Dwight McCombs. A Chicago native, McCombs had scholarship oﬀers from Arizona State and With the quick moves that Jones has alIndiana, but felt comfortable with the staﬀ and players at UCF. Anytime a ready made at UCF, fans shouldn’t miss the basketball prospect turns down Indiana, you know you are doing some- Knights on the court in 2010-11. thing right. 18
Big-Time Host S
ince 2005, UCF Athletics has been host for 18 major tournaments or championships including the 2007 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship at LPGA International, two Conference USA Football Championship Games and the 2008 C-USA Women’s Basketball Championship. In 2010-11, UCF is scheduled to host the league’s women’s soccer and women’s tennis championships. Capitalizing on Orlando’s status as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, UCF has become a destination for several prominent events over the past five years. Football 2005 C-USA Championship Game (inaugural) 2007 C-USA Championship Game Men’s Golf 2006 NCAA Regional 2009 C-USA Championship 2009 NCAA Regional 2010 C-USA Championship Men’s Soccer Exhibition matches vs. MLS opponents (annual) Men’s Tennis 2007 C-USA Shootout 2009 C-USA Championship Women’s Basketball 2008 C-USA Championship Women’s Cross Country 2005 C-USA Championships Women’s Golf 2006 NCAA Preview 2007 NCAA Division I National Championship UCF Challenge (annual) Women’s Soccer 2010 C-USA Championship Softball 2007 C-USA Championship Women’s Tennis 2011 C-USA Championship Women’s Track and Field 2010 C-USA Championships Women’s Volleyball 2009 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship (Pool G qualification)
Knights in the News
he continued growth of UCF Athletics has kept the Knights consistently in the media spotlight. UCF is located within the 19th-largest media market in the country. The area includes Orlando, Daytona Beach and Melbourne and features three daily newspapers and five television stations with daily newscasts.
The Nationâ€™s Largest Media Markets 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
New York, N.Y. Los Angeles, Calif. Chicago, Ill. Philadelphia, Pa. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. Boston, Mass. Atlanta, Ga. Washington, D.C. Houston, Texas Detroit, Mich. Phoenix, Ariz. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. Denver, Colo. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Cleveland-Akron, Ohio Orlando, Fla. Sacramento, Calif.
* According to Nielson Media Research, Inc.
3,690,119 According to the latest Census estimates, the Orlando-Daytona BeachMelbourne area has a total population of 3,690,119.
UCF BROADCAST VEHICLES
Media Spotlight UCF on TV The UCF Athletics program is highly visible across the country as a record 40 athletics contests were televised in 2009-10 through conference and local television partners, a 122-percent increase since 2006-07. Fifteen of UCF’s 40 televised games were national broadcasts. UCF Athletics also sustains its own broadcast services department, which produces three additional weekly shows that air across the academic calendar. UCF’s feature magazine show, UCF SportsKnight, airs nationally through the FOX Sports TV umbrella.
UCFAthletics.com UCF’s oﬃcial athletics web site is the top destination for UCF news on the Internet. The web site includes stories on all of the Knights’ programs, plus popular features like John Denton’s “UCF Knights Insider” and Marc Daniels’ “From the Pressbox.” The site welcomed a record 1.2 million unique visitors in 2009-10.
UCF Knights Insider UCF Knights Insider is published six times per year as part of UCF’s partnership with ISP Sports. The full-color publication is full of feature stories on UCF student-athletes and coaches and also includes contributions from John Denton and Marc Daniels.
UCF SportsKnight During the academic year, UCF SportsKnight, a 30-minute magazine-style television program dedicated to UCF Athletics, airs a number of times each week both statewide and nationally. The show includes an all-access look at the Knights.
UCF Sports Today UCF Sports Today airs throughout the year in two diﬀerent installments. In the fall, the weekly show takes a look at the UCF football program with head coach George O’Leary. During the winter, UCF Sports Today moves to men’s basketball and head coach Donnie Jones. The show airs statewide.
UCF-ISP Sports Radio Network UCF football games can be heard throughout the Sunshine State on the UCF-ISP Sports Radio Network. The network reaches several markets, including Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach and of course, Orlando. UCF baseball and men’s and women’s basketball contests also air locally. UCF also has weekly football and men’s basketball coaches’ shows that are broadcast throughout the year.
UCF Social Media Outlets UCF Athletics is active on both Facebook and Twitter. UCF boasts dedicated Twitter pages for each sport, and has thousands of fans on Facebook.
Facilities of Tomorrow
UCF ATHLETICS UPDATES
By John Denton
UCF wants athletics facilities to place the university amongst the elite schools in the country.
egardless of when the landscape of college athletics ultimately changes, UCF's long-term vision, from President Dr. John C. Hitt to director of athletics Keith Tribble, is to field a nationally-prominent athletics program.
“I think when the geography changes I think we're on the lips of a lot of people,” O'Leary said. “And we should be size-wise and TV-market-wise.”
That's a major reason why fundraising has already begun on a new athletic facility development plan with seven construction projects worth $70 million. The major overhaul in the facilities for football, baseball, soccer, tennis and the academics support center will be completed over the next 10 years across UCF's massive campus.
The largest addition to the facilities will be a 50,000-square-foot academics/athletics center, which will be constructed on the vacant site between the new Wayne Densch Sports Center and the residential tower four. The academic support center will provide computer labs, tutoring and mentoring rooms as well as oﬃces for counselors and staﬀ.
Tribble wants to expand upon the current facilities and not only show that the school is prepared for steady growth, but also hungry to fulfill its enormous potential. Tribble wants others to share his vision that UCF can ultimately have the finest facilities in the country and the best sports team to match.
“The completion of the academics center is critical to fulfilling our vision of developing a premier academic support program for the student-athletes at UCF,” said Mark Gumble, the director of UCF's Academic Services for Student-Athletes. “The center will allow us to take the (academic advising, mentoring and tutorial) services we are conducting in four buildings on campus and bring them all under one roof, in close proximity to “From an athletics venue perspective, it is vital for us to have our vision where our student-athletes are living and training. This building has the and planning firmly in place as we continue to grow the University of Cen- potential to transform our program into one where our time, energy, and tral Florida image nationally,” Tribble said. “When we received approval resources are focused squarely on each student's success.” from our board, it was a critical moment for UCF Athletics in taking the first step forward.” UCF also has plans in the works to dramatically alter the look and feel of “Within the last four years, several of our programs have enjoyed moving into new facilities and we've seen success quickly follow,” Tribble continued. “It is our goal and promise to our student-athletes to continue striving for record achievement throughout our entire program.” UCF football coach George O'Leary stressed that it's important for UCF to continue to grow its facilities and athletics programs in order to demonstrate its massive potential.
its baseball complex. Three phases of expansion will bring an additional 3,380 seats to the current 800 seats at the complex. The first phase will include the addition of 1,200 bleacher seats (600 beyond each dugout). The second phase will include an elevated press box, eight luxury suites and club seating. The final phase will add 2,000 seats on the present concourse, along with new restrooms and concession space. In keeping with head coach Terry Rooney's vision to turn UCF's baseball team into a national powerhouse, there will also be a major expansion of
the team clubhouse, converting the bleachers into chair-back seating and adding a canopy for shading from the weather.
SOCCER AND TRACK & FIELD
By John Denton
First in Line
“I just want people to understand what this baseball program can do here,” Rooney said. “This is a sport that can give our school national exposure. Part of it is with the nature of baseball and part of it is with what we're doing in recruiting and with our facilities. Expanding our stadium will put us in a position to have a great, great program.” The UCF Tennis Complex will include 12 championship-caliber courts four of which could be covered - and a 1,000-seat grandstand. It will also include a clubhouse for the Knights' men's and women's programs. “The plan for the tennis complex is an exciting development for our program,” UCF men's tennis coach Bobby Cashman said. “The facility will help us attract some of the top junior players in the United States. This helps show recruits that UCF is planning to give them the resources to succeed at the highest level of college tennis.”
he first project expansion to begin will be the improvements to the UCF Soccer and Track Complex. The facility will be turned into a redAs for O'Leary's football program, there will be a 12,000-square-foot brick and stucco stadium feel with 1,500 seats. A press box and restrooms addition onto the Wayne Densch Sports Center that will include a big- will also be added to the facility. Once completed, the facility will seat ger locker room, the addition of a student-athlete lounge, more room more than 2,000 and will give UCF the ability to host major track and field for equipment storage and expansions to the weight room and meeting meets and NCAA Championship soccer matches. room space. “A stadium and clubhouse at the UCF Soccer and Track complex would mean so much for all three programs,” women's soccer coach Amanda Cromwell said. “Once we have a stadium, we feel that is the last piece of the recruiting puzzle and we know that will enable us to bring in the best student-athletes in the country. We put a great product on the field, we play against the best competition in the country and we want to play at a venue that we can claim is one of the best in the country.” Added women's track and field coach Caryl Smith Gilbert: “The planned renovations and additions to our facility are extremely beneficial to our program as we continue to grow and strive to compete for championships both on the conference and national levels. UCF's commitment to these facilities and to our track and field program will aid us in recruiting elite student-athletes and also hosting high-level meets on our beautiful campus.” Expansion to Bright House Networks Stadium will also be considered. A first phase would include an addition to the Roth Tower to provide more suites, club seating and operational space. A second phase would be the addition of 10,000 more seats onto the east side of the facility. Such improvements would bring the capacity to 56,000 and might include more club seats along the east side. O'Leary spoke recently about UCF's exploding alumni base in the Central and South Florida areas and the need to reach out even more to those groups to support the football team. O'Leary has already seen many benefits of having an on-campus football stadium, and he feels the best way to grow the fan base in the future is to make sure the current student body attends games now. If that's the case, O'Leary said, the group is more likely to return to campus through the years and continue to support the program as alumni. “Bright House Networks Stadium is the most visible building on campus in terms of exposure so any future improvements to the stadium will only enhance the image of the entire university,” O'Leary said. “Making so many improvements to all sports like this shows the strong commitment that the University and UCF Athletics have to their student-athletes.”
FACILITIES OF TODAY
First-Class Facilities F
rom Bright House Networks Stadium to the UCF Arena, UCF student-athletes play and train in top-notch venues. The school’s always growing and improving athletics complex is part of UCF’s commitment to provide its student-athletes with exceptional and modern facilities. In the past few years, this commitment has assured that the UCF athletics facilities are not only among the best in Conference USA, but among the finest in the country.
Bright House Networks Stadium The crown jewel of UCF’s athletics village, Bright House Networks Stadium sprawls over 25 acres and has room for 45,301 fans. The stadium opened in 2007, giving the Knights a first-class home on campus.
Wayne Densch Sports Center
The only indoor practice facility belonging to any of Florida’s football programs, Nicholson Fieldhouse was completed in 2005. The facility features a 120-yard regulation FieldTurf playing surface, allowing the Knights to practice regardless of the weather conditions outside.
Opened in 2003, the Wayne Densch Sports Center serves as the home of the UCF football program, as well as UCF’s main sports medicine facility and strength and conditioning center. The 44,000-square-foot facility includes the football team’s locker room, theatre-style meeting auditorium and coaches’ oﬃces.
UCF Baseball Complex
UCF Softball Complex
One of the nation’s most-intimate college baseball stadiums, the complex opened in 2001 and now accomodates 2,230 fans. With wide open concourses and palm trees lining the concession area, fans have an ideal opportunity to get close to the action in one of the best settings in college baseball.
The UCF Softball Complex opened in 2006, giving the Knights a top-notch facility to call their own. In addition to 600 seats, the complex contains coaches’ oﬃces, a training room, player’s lounge and locker room and a conference room.
UCF Basketball Practice Facility
The Venue at UCF
UCF’s men’s and women’s basketball programs both utilize their own practice courts inside the practice facility, which was built in 2008 inside the renovated old UCF Arena. The facility also includes locker rooms, player lounges, coaches’ oﬃces, plus training, weight and equipment rooms.
One of the elite volleyball-only facilities in the nation, The Venue at UCF seats 2,000 fans for matches. The facility is located inside the old UCF Arena, which was completely renovated and re-opened in 2008 as an 87,000-square-foot multi-purpose venue.
UCF Arena The state-of-the-art UCF Arena, the home to UCF’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, also opened in 2007. The arena’s unique design, which includes 16 luxury boxes and suites, provides an intimate atmosphere for fans, while creating a formidable environment for opponents.
UCF Tennis Complex
UCF Intercollegiate Rowing Center
The UCF Tennis Complex, which was renovated in 2005, includes nine wind-screened hardcourts. The centerpiece of the complex is the championship court, which has 80 permanent seats for spectators.
Opened in 2009, the UCF Intercollegiate Rowing Center sits on the south shoreline of Lake Pickett, just east of the UCF campus. The facility consists of a traditional boathouse along with the program’s very own clubhouse, erg training center and locker room.
UCF Golf Practice Facility
UCF Soccer and Track Complex
Located at the Twin Rivers Golf Club, the UCF Golf Practice Facility provides the men’s and women’s golf programs with a 2,800-square-foot teaching building, which features hitting bays and a state-of-the-art video system to analyze each golfer’s swing. The practice facility also includes a six-acre short-game area and a driving range.
Built in 1991, the UCF Soccer and Track Complex is located in the middle of the athletics village. A 1,500-seat stadium located on the west side of the complex is projected to be the first project to begin as part of UCF’s facility development plan.
Part of UCF’s History F
or the past three decades, UCF Athletics has seen dozens of its former student-athudent-athletes achieve athletic greatness following graduation. Starting with one of the most famous women’s soccer players of all-time, Michelle Akers, the acclaim has shift hifted to the football program’s current status as one of the top NFL pipelines outsidee of the six automatic qualifying conferences. When the 2009 NFL season began, 15 former Knights were listed on opening ing day rosters, the most among all Conference USA programs.
Highlighting UCF’s prominent student-athlete alumni are: Name Michelle Akers Atari Bigby Joe Burnett Drew Butera Daunte Culpepper Robert Damron Michael Gaines Cornell Green Mike Gruttadauria Rashad Jeanty Shawn Jeﬀerson Darcy Johnson Mike Maroth Brandon Marshall
Matt Prater Asante Samuel (right)
Mike Sims-Walker Josh Sitton Kevin Smith Jermaine Taylor (left) Torell Troup Tyra Turner
Significant Accomplishment • FIFA's Women’s Player of the Century (2002) • Starting cornerback with the Green Bay Packers • First-team All-American • Cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers • Catcher for the Minnesota Twins • NFL first round draft pick • Three-time Pro Bowl selection • PGA Tour professional • Tight end for the Houston Texans • Super Bowl champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers • 12-year NFL veteran • Super Bowl champion with the St. Louis Rams • Outside linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals • Longtime NFL receiver • Two-time Super Bowl participant • Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants • Longtime MLB pitcher • Currently with the Minnesota Twins • Two-time NFL Pro Bowl selection • The highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history • Currently with the Miami Dolphins • Starting kicker for the Denver Broncos • Three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection • Two-time Super Bowl champion • Currently with the Philadelphia Eagles • Starting Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver • Starting guard for the Green Bay Packers • Consensus first-team All-American • Tailback for the Detroit Lions • Guard for the Houston Rockets • 2010 second round draft pick by the Buﬀalo Bills • AVP Pro Volleyball Tour player
By Joe Hornstein
UCF is Attracting the Best W
hen UCF Athletics made the shift to Conference USA in 2005, many believed there would need to be some sort of period of transition before the on-field successes would come. Well, that transition didn’t take too long. UCF’s teams wasted little time before winning league titles in football, women’s basketball, softball, women’s soccer, men’s golf and, most recently, women’s track and field. What changed? What happened? The commitment to athletics at UCF became outstanding. There was the dual construction of the on-campus Bright House Networks Stadium and UCF Arena in 2007, the first time any school had built two new flagship venues at the very same time. There was the opening of The Venue at UCF, which the volleyball program now calls home and where renovation occurred to give both the men’s and women’s basketball programs their own exclusive state-of-the-art practice facilities. Additional construction projects have continually been on the docket the past few years at UCF, from the new boathouse at Lake Pickett, to the golf practice facility at Twin Rivers. A $70 million construction fundraising campaign has just begun, which when completed will touch the remaining athletics programs and give each team a new venue to call home.
made with basketball, baseball, track, soccer and so on. Football head coach George O’Leary has notably overseen a solid pipeline into the talent-rich South Florida football grounds. In 2008, the pipeline brought in 2009 freshman All-American Josh Robinson from Plantation High School. This past National Signing Day, heralded quarterback Jeﬀrey Godfrey (right) and wide receiver Joshua Reese, both from Miami Central, chose to play for the Knights. Robinson, who chose the Knights over several top programs, said at the time of his decision, “I had the opportunity to go to Michigan, Auburn, Clemson and all these diﬀerent schools, but I felt my best place would be UCF…Even when I went up to Michigan, I had a feeling in my side and I came to realize it was a pain and not a feeling. That's what I was looking for. It came down to UCF being the place for me. It felt like home.”
A year later Godfrey had similar things to say to Rivals.com after choosing UCF. “Joshua Reese, Jamal McClain and I have been talking about UCF with our coaches. That's where we decided we want to go. We want to come in and make an impact. We also want to get our education and get our degree. We see that we can come What has such an unrivaled commitment done in and help to change the program around and for UCF Athletics? The school colors may as well help the players that are already there. We want be Black and Gold…and Blue, to come in and do a great job, all three of us. as in blue chip. Recruiting We want to do great things at the University of has taken oﬀ, unlike ever Central Florida.” before or ever imagined. Like in football, other UCF sports are seeing The football program, blue-chip recruits pick their programs over othwhich has been sending er prominent schools, not only in the state but several players a year across the country. to the NFL the past decade, isn’t The men’s basketball program inked local star just uncovering Keith Clanton (left) to join the Knights in 2008. diamonds in He was listed as the 68th-best player in the the rough any country by Rivals.com in 2008-09. An impreslonger. UCF is sive group of programs were recruiting Clanton, now receiving including USF, South Carolina, Miami, Florida shiny new di- State, Virginia, Auburn, Butler, Marquette and amonds from Providence. However, Clanton knew it was his the start start. hometown school that had his heart. That same statement It took even less time to convince heralded Chicould be cago basketball player Marcus Jordan to choose be a Knight. He commited within days of visiting the east Orlando campus.
picking UCF over Arizona State and Indiana, McCombs said he had fallen in love with the school. “I visited other places and I was comfortable, but at the end of the day I felt the best about UCF. I visited Arizona State and I liked Arizona State. I liked Middle Tennessee. But when I visited UCF, that's a place I loved. When you're talking about love, it's a no-brainer.” Over on the baseball field, head coach Terry Rooney’s first recruiting class at UCF was ranked as the fourth-best in the entire country. And it lived up to the hype as Windermere’s Chris Taladay was the 2010 C-USA Freshman of the Year and he also was one of three players who were named Freshman All-Americans. Track and field coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, this year’s C-USA Coach of the Year after her team raced past UTEP for the league trophy in May, lured big-time national prep All-American Jackie Coward from Knoxville, Tenn., wto UCF in 2008. Coward had picked up-and-coming UCF over hometown Tennessee, and has since earned NCAA Indoor and Outdoor All-America honors, along with three individual C-USA championships. The stories where the new signees boast about UCF are endless. Names such as men’s tennis player Matthew Zachary (66th-rated player in the U.S.), men’s golfer Reid Martin (the nation’s 47th best player), men’s soccer player Andrew Quintana (EA Sports All-American) and women’s soccer players Bianca Joswiak (U-20 German National Team) and Aline Reis (Brazil National Team) are just a handful of new Knights that represent the next level of UCF Athletics success.
As the commitments and praise of these numerous examples indicate, as UCF’s commitment New men’s basketball coach Donnie Jones’ tal- to high-level athletics continues to rise, so too ented first recruiting class includes highly-tout- does the number of blue-chip recruits choosing ed junior college player Dwight McCombs. After to spend their careers wearing Black & Gold.
INSIDE THE GKC
Golden Knights Club Scholarship Support T
he Golden Knights Club is the oﬃcial fundraising arm of UCF Athletics and provides a way for individuals and organizations to help talented young people receive a quality education and competitive experience. To provide such important opportunities requires an incredible commitment from a generous group of supporters.
Members of the Golden Knights Club have an immediate impact on the lives of UCF studentathletes. Annual gifts to the Golden Knights Club provide the immediately expendable funds necessary for UCF Athletics to continue developing a nationally competitive athletics program.
Knights in the Community
ach year, UCF student-athletes are active in the community, donating their time to worthy causes throughout central Florida. This past year, some of those activities included visits to children at local hospitals, mentoring partnerships with area elementary schools and volunteering at food banks. UCF’s philanthropic activities are coordinated by the Knights Pride life skills oﬃce. The goal of Knights Pride is to prepare student-athletes to make responsible decisions, graduate and lead productive lives through:
Preparation Responsibility Involvement Degree Completion Excellence
UCF Alumni 142,000 According to the UCF Alumni Association, 142,000 UCF alums live in Florida.
100,000 Over 100,000 of those alums reside in the Orlando area. 28