The 2015-16 year amounted to several rebuilding seasons across University of Central Florida Athletics.
Six of the new head coaches brought on to UCF Football, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Basketball, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis, and Baseball all skipped the uphill climb to victory with strong coaching debuts.
UCF Football head coach Scott Frost opened 38-0 versus SC State with a team that previously went 0-12 in the 2015-16 season. Frost brought the Knights to the AutoNation Cure Bowl after finishing the regular season 6-6. The Black and Gold let only a few games slip from their grasp due to second half play – games that would’ve put the Knights several wins above the line.
Men’s Basketball had coach Johhny Dawkins took over for Donny Jones and presented a team that went 8-1 to start the season, losing only by 10 points to last years NCAA Champion – Villanova – in the run. Tacko Fall will break the UCF D1 single season record in rebounds under Johnny Dawkins, and, for the second time ever, UCF beat Memphis 72-57 on the court.
The Women’s Basketball team has improved to 17-9 thus far, a marked gain in performance from last year’s 7-23 finish and the previous year’s 9-21 close. The Knights currently hold opponents to just 56.0 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the nation. The Black and Gold continue to lead the league and rank 15th in the country with an average of 11.4 steals per contest.
UCF Men’s (6-1) and Women’s (8-1) Tennis opened the season with a 4-3 win against No. 23 Texas Tech and 5-2 victory against Flagler, respectively.
Head coach Greg Lovelady of the UCF Baseball team slammed Sienna with a 17-6 series opener, a 3-0 shut out the following game, and 7-2 victory to put the Knights at 3-0.
“The pitching staff was phenomenal all weekend,” Lovelady said on the series sweep. “Our strikeout to walk ratio was really impressive. When you pitch, you have a chance, and our guys did a great job of giving us a chance to win three games.”
The addition of UCF Director of Athletics Danny White has come with sweeping changes across all programs. Tailgating for basketball games now takes place, festivals ahead of football games, and a $25 million fundraising program intended to improve all sporting facilities is now taking place.
Stay tuned for more news on the improvement of the student section in football games.