A record-breaking first year for University of Central Florida men’s basketball head coach Johnny Dawkins has earned him a contract extension that will go through 2023.
The Knights earned one of their best seasons ever in Division I at 24-12 under Dawkins while earning their highest seed in the American Athletic Conference, along with a trip to the NIT Quarterfinals in Madison Square Garden.
All-time records broken by Matt Williams and Tacko Fall helped write the 2016-17 team into UCF’s record books. Dawkins would soon become a finalist for national coach of the year.
“I’m very thankful to Dr. Daniel J. White, (Deputy Athletic Director) Dr. Eric A. Wood, and President John C. Hitt for their continued support of me and my staff,” Dawkins said.
“It’s a great feeling to know that they believe in what we’re doing as a program and our standard of representing UCF and the surrounding community at the highest level.”
UCF defeated then No. 15 Cincinnati to tally their fourth-ever win against a ranked opponent. Dawkins led the Knights to defeat American Athletic Conference opponent Memphis for the second time in their history.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have Johnny Dawkins leading our men’s basketball program,” White said.
“The young men on our basketball team are incredibly fortunate to learn from his experience and develop under his tutelage. Johnny is a great coach and an even better man. We’re all extremely proud of last season’s success and look forward to continued growth in our young program.”
In perhaps one of the greatest pair of men’s basketball games to have been played at CFE Arena, UCF defeated Illinois State and Illinois, respectively, in the first and second rounds of the National Invitation tournament – selling out CFE Arena for the first time in program history. In both games, the student section stormed the court after the buzzer to cheer on the advancing home team.
UCF will face Missouri and play at Alabama this 2017-18 season. The Black and Gold have also been invited to play in the AdvoCare Invitational at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.
Photo: UCF Athletics Communications.