|UCF Knights Football|
|Athletic director||Todd Stansbury|
|Head coach||George O'Leary|
|Home stadium||Bright House Networks Stadium|
|Location||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Postseason bowl record||1–3|
|Colors||Black and Old Gold|
|Fight song||UCF Fight Song|
|Marching band||Marching Knights|
The University of Central Florida Knights football program, commonly referred to as the UCF Knights, represents the University of Central Florida in the NCAA's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The Knights are a member of Conference USA but will join the Big East Conference on July 1, 2013. Their current head coach is George O'Leary, who has led the team since 2004. The Knights play their home games at Bright House Networks Stadium, which is located on the main campus of UCF in Orlando, Florida.
The University of Central Florida first fielded a varsity football team in the fall of 1979 as a Division III program, and subsequently completed their ascension to Division I-A, now known as the Division I Football Subdivision (FBS), in 1996. As a Division I-AA program, the Knights made the 1990 and 1993 playoffs, and were picked as the preseason #1 to start the 1994 season. The Knights were the 2005, 2007 and 2010 C-USA Eastern Division Champions, the 2007 and 2010 Conference USA Champions, and have appeared in four bowl games, in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Coaches
- 4 Stadium
- 5 Rivalries
- 6 Championships
- 7 Bowl games
- 8 Honored players
- 9 Notable alumni and attendees
- 10 Schedule
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The University of Central Florida is one of the twelve members of Conference USA, and the UCF Knights football team competes in the C-USA Eastern Division. The Knights play an eight-game C-USA football schedule. Five of these contests pit the Knights against the other members of the C-USA Eastern Division: East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss and UAB. The conference schedule is filled out with three games against foes from the C-USA Western Division on a rotating basis. These games operate on a two-year cycle, as a home-and-home series.
Jonas era: 1979–1981
The UCF football program can be traced back to a speech given by the university's second president, Dr. Trevor Colbourn, in January 1979. Colbourn believed that a successful athletics program would bring the university greater renown, and tasked Dr. Jack O'Leary with the job of creating a new football program at the school. In addition, Colbourn changed the name of the school to the University of Central Florida, to express the university's expanded academic scope.
Beginning at the Division III level, when the school was still widely known as Florida Technological University, O'Leary, then the university's athletic director, held a meeting of prospective players in March 1979. This would be the first football tryouts for prospective players, and would serve as the first that many students would hear about the new athletic program. O'Leary had previously served as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama under Paul "Bear" Bryant. He would spear head the effort to raise more than $40,000 to start the program, and would complete a deal for the team to play in the Tangerine Bowl. Without a budget to hire a staff, O'Leary reached out to six UCF graduate students as volunteer assistants. From there, O'Leary was able to lure Don Jonas, a former NFL quarterback and Orlando dignitary, to become UCF's first head football coach on a voluntary basis.
One day during a practice, O'Leary pulled the team aside and unveiled the template for uniforms of "The Fighting Knights". He would reveal a template that would follow the team into the 21st century: black jerseys, gold pants and gold helmets. Less than one year after Colbourn had envisioned a football program for the university, UCF hosted its first game on September 22, 1979 against St. Leo University. The Knights would prove victorious with a 21–0 shutout, and less than a week later, the Knights would win their first home game by defeating Ft. Benning, 7–6. Jonas led the Knights to a 6–2 inaugural season, behind an average attendance of 11,240, including a Division III record crowd of 14,138. Following the season, in March 1980, Jonas was offered the Knights head coaching as a full-time position. After leading the team to a 4–4–1 and 4–6 record in 1980 and 1981 respectively, Jonas would leave the Knights following the 1981 season. During the 1980 season, the Knights earned the only tie in program history, an 11–all game against Miles, and Tim Kiggins became the first Knight to sign a professional contract. After his departure, Jonas remained involved in the program, including doing radio broadcasts of UCF football games and a radio sports talk show. Jonas led the Knights to a 14–12–1 (.518) record in three seasons.
Turbulent times: 1982–1984
Following the departure of Jonas, Sam Weir, who was the head coach at Lake Howell High School, became UCF's new head coach and led the Knights in their move up to Division II in 1982. Another change to the university's athletic programs in 1982 was the departure of O'Leary as athletic director, and the hiring of Bill Peterson, who was the Florida State Seminoles head coach from 1960–70. In their first season playing Division II ball, the Knights went 0–10, and Weir decided not to return for the 1983 season. One bright spot of the season was that Mike Carter became the first Knight to sign with an NFL team, the Denver Broncos.
Lou Saban replaced Weir as the Knights head coach in 1983. Saban had previously coached at Miami, Army, Northwestern, and in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and Boston Patriots, to name just a few. In UCF's first Black and Gold Spring game held in 1983, the defense won 14–6. The Knights finished the 1983 season 5–6, including the team's first win over a Division I-AA opponent. Starting the 1984 season filled with optimism, the Knights were shaken by a 1–6 start. Following the disappointing beginning to the season, Saban stepped away from the program, and was replaced by assistant coach Jerry Anderson. Saban had a 6–12 (.333) record during his tenure as the Knights head coach. Anderson finished out the year with the team in an interim position, with a 1–3 (.250) record. UCF finished the season with a 2–9 mark.
In the course of the three seasons following Jonas' departure, the Knights went through three head coaches, and amassed a 7–25 record.
McDowell era: 1985–1997
Reeling after a disappointing string of seasons, there were discussions within the community about the possibility of dismantling the program, and Peterson announced his retirement as the university's athletic director. In addition, due to financial troubles, the team had to postpone plans to move up to Division I-AA. Without a head coach or athletic director, President Colbourn hired Florida State assistant coach Gene McDowell to fill both positions. McDowell took the helm in 1985, and hired his eventual successor and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mike Kruczek as his offensive coordinator. The Knights would finish with a 4–7 mark in McDowell's first year, including a 21–42 loss to UCF's first-ever Division I-A opponent, Louisville. Due to financial hardships, McDowell waived half of his annual salary, and FSU head coach Bobby Bowden donated uniforms and cleats to the program.
McDowell would the lead the Knights to their first winning season since 1979, with a 6–5 record in 1986. Also that year, Ted Wilson became the first UCF player to be selected in the NFL draft, being picked by the Washington Redskins in the 10th round. Following an 8–3 regular season record in 1987, the Knights earned their first trip to the Division II playoffs, where they earned a 1–1 record. After starting the 1988 season with five straight wins, UCF would be ranked #2 in Division II. During a game against the defending D-II national champions Troy at the Citrus Bowl, UCF fans were so loud at one point that the Trojans quarterback Bob Godsey couldn't call plays. Godsey complained to the referee about the crowd noise, but instead of helping Troy, the referee called a delay of game penalty on the Trojans. The "noise penalty" is infamous at UCF, and the win over Troy thrust the Knights into the position as the #1 ranked team in D-II. Between 1986 and 1990 under the leadership of McDowell, the Knights held a 24–6 record at the Citrus Bowl.
During McDowell's tenure, the program moved up to Division I-AA in 1990. In their first year in the division, the Knights earned a 10–4 record, a program best, and a trip to the I-AA playoffs. UCF would make it to the semifinals, and became the first school in history to qualify for the I-AA playoffs in its first season of eligibility. The Knights would finish the 1991 and 1992 with winning seasons as well. In 1992, Dr. John Hitt, UCF's fourth president, announced that the program would make the move to Division I-A in 1996, and he hired Steve Sloan as the university's new athletic director. Earning their eighth winning season in 1993, the Knights would again make the playoffs. During the season, the team won their first game over a Division I-A team, a 38–16 victory at Louisiana Tech. After another impressive season, UCF was selected as the preseason #1 to start the 1994 season. The 1994 season would prove disappointing however, as the Knights would finish the season ranked #20 with a 7–4 record. During the teams final season in Division I-AA, the Knights were reinvigorated by freshman sensation Daunte Culpepper. The quarterback would lead the Knights to a 6–5 record, and their tenth straight winning season in 1995.
On September 1, 1996, UCF officially made its foray into Division I-A. At that time, the Knights became the first football program to play in four different NCAA divisions (III, II, I-AA and I-A). In their first two seasons in Division I-A, the Knights posted identical 5–6 records behind Culpepper. In 1997, assistant coach Alan Gooch was named the national assistant coach of the year, due to his work with deaf tailback Dwight Collins. In the wake of a federal fraud scandal revolving around improper cellular phone benefits and use, McDowell resigned as head coach on January 20, 1998. Over his 13–year tenure at UCF, McDowell earned a 87–61 (.587) record.
Kruczek era: 1998–2003
After the abrupt departure of McDowell, Mike Kruczek was named UCF's new head coach on an interim basis. He would receive the position permanently later in 1998. Daunte Culpepper led UCF to its best season ever with a 9-2 record in 1998 (with losses only coming to Purdue and Auburn). Culpepper finished 6th in the Heisman Trophy voting and set the NCAA record for completion percentage that year (73.4%). Following the season, Culpepper was drafted with the 11th pick in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings, marking the highest ever draft pick of a UCF player.
The Knights proved to be a scary team on the road, with close losses including a 6–10 loss at Auburn in 1998, a 23–24 loss at Georgia in 1999, and a 17–21 loss at Georgia Tech in 2000. Kruczek's biggest victory would come in 2000 against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, when the Knights won 40–38 on a last-second field goal by Javier Beorlegui. After finishing 9–2 in 1998, UCF received a tentative verbal agreement to play in the Oahu Bowl. However, the arrangement fell through in the final week of the season, when Miami upset undefeated UCLA. The unexpected result stole UCF's hopes for their first bowl appearance.
Kruczek guided the team as a Division I-A independent until 2001. After six difficult years as an independent, UCF played its much-anticipated first season as a member of the Mid-American Conference in 2002. They finished runner-up in the East division with a 6–2 record. They finished the season 7–5 overall, completing their 14th winning season in the past 17 years. The excitement however, would be short-lived. After signing a three-year contract extension to begin the 2003 season, Kruczek was fired following a 3–7 start. Kruczek was replaced on an interim basis by Assistant coach and former player Alan Gooch who finished out the dismal 3-9 season with losses to Mid-American Conference rivals Marshall and Miami (OH). The Marshall game marked UCF's first nationally televised home football game as it was aired on ESPN2. Kruczek ended his 6–year stewardship of UCF with a 36–30 (.545) record.
An increasing travel burden, and lack of natural rivals within the midwest-based MAC saw UCF begin to explore the possibility of a different conference affiliation after just a couple years in the conference. In 2003, UCF was invited as an all-sports member to Conference USA for the 2005 season.
O'Leary era: 2004–present
Following the disappointing 2003 season, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George O'Leary was named UCF's new head coach in 2004. This was a controversial hire on several fronts because O'Leary had previously been named head coach at Notre Dame, but was relieved of his duties five days into his tenure after inconsistencies were found on his resume. The difficult coaching transition for 2004, the Knight's final year in the Mid-American Conference, saw the team hit rock bottom, going 0–11.
In 2005, UCF started their first season as a member of Conference USA. Not expected to improve much over 2004, they surprisingly won their first conference game against Marshall, 23–13, ending the school's 17 game losing steak, then the nations longest streak. UCF fans celebrated by storming the field and tearing down the goal posts. Students came back to the campus and celebrated further by jumping into UCF's Reflection Pond (a practice normally reserved for Spirit Splash). UCF then went on to win eight out of the remaining nine games on their schedule, finishing 7–1 in C-USA games, winning the East Division and hosting the first ever C-USA Championship game, which they lost, 27–44, to Tulsa. Shortly thereafter, UCF was invited to play in their first ever bowl game, the Hawaii Bowl, losing to Nevada 49–48 in overtime due to a missed PAT that would have tied the game. In 2005 O'Leary was chosen by SportsIllustrated.com for the coach of the year award and received votes for the larger Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year award. In May 2006, UCF extended O'Leary's contract for 10 years and increased his pay to $1 million plus incentives per year after he engineered the fourth-best turnaround in college football history.
After an anemic 2006 which saw the Golden Knights go a mere 4–8, the team rebranded in 2007 in preparation for its move to its new on-campus venue, Bright House Networks Stadium. They dropped the "Golden" from their name, becoming the "UCF Knights". Fortunes seemed to have changed as the Knights moved into new facilities. After defeating a BCS school for just the second time ever, the NC State Wolfpack, they inaugurated their new stadium by hosting and losing to the No. 6 ranked Texas Longhorns 32–35. The Knights lost to regional rival South Florida 64–12 in Tampa, but went on to have a 5–1 regular season at home and won the C-USA East again, hosting the Championship game against Tulsa once more. UCF defeated Tulsa in a near-reversal of the 2005 Conference USA Championship Game 44-25, thereby gaining UCF's first ever Conference Championship title and a berth in the 2007 Liberty Bowl. Following UCF's victory, the Knights received 35 votes in the AP Poll, but did not reach the top 25, ranking 27th. The Knights lost the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN; 3–10 to Mississippi State. The Knights went on to finish the year with its first 10 win season in the FBS. In 2007, Kevin Smith rushed for 2,567 yards, placing him 2nd on the NCAA's all-time single season rushing list behind Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders. Despite this, he was not selected even as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy or the Doak Walker Award. He also was the only running back in the 2007 season to rush for more than 100 yards against the Texas Longhorns. He was a fan favorite, especially with student section at Brighthouse Networks Stadium. Smith originally stated that he would return for his senior season at UCF, however, he later changed his mind, announcing on January 6, 2008 that he would declare for the NFL Draft. He went with the first pick in the third round, to the Detroit Lions.
After a lackluster 4-8 season in 2008, UCF bounced back with an 8-4 record in 2009, including winning their last six straight C-USA games. Among those wins was their first victory over a nationally-ranked team, beating then #12 Houston on November 14, 37–32 at Bright House Networks Stadium. UCF finished the 2009 season 8–5, with a 45–24 loss to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the St. Petersburg Bowl, their third bowl appearance in five years.
Death of Ereck Plancher
On March 18, 2008, running back Ereck Plancher collapsed shortly after a conditioning drill and was immediately attended to by UCF athletic trainers. He was then transported to a nearby hospital where he died approximately one hour later. According to four UCF football players interviewed by the Orlando Sentinel, Coach O'Leary verbally abused Plancher throughout the workout, and continued to push the young man to perform despite what they reported to be obvious physical signs that Plancher was in no shape to continue. ESPN's "Outside The Lines" program on November 2, 2008 interviewed players who were at the training session at which Plancher became ill, and which after he died, and stated that the session was longer and far more rigorous than O'Leary and other UCF Athletics officials have admitted to publicly. They also alleged that O'Leary and other coaches had initially warned players off from providing assistance to Plancher when he became visibly distressed. UCF medical records appear to indicate that UCF coaches and trainers knew that Plancher had sickle-cell trait which could lead to problems, and even death, during high-intensity workouts.
After a 14–day trial in 2011, a jury found the UCF Athletics Association guilty of negligence in the death of Plancher. The jury awarded each of his parents $5 million.
Entering the 2010 season, with the recruitment of Jeffrey Godfrey and return of key seniors, including Bruce Miller, there were high hopes for the Knights. After winning 5 straight games, and posting an 11-game conference winning streak, the Knights were ranked for the first time in school history following their nationally televised 40–33 victory over the Houston Cougars on the road. For the polls released on November 7, 2010, UCF was ranked in all three major college polls. The Knights were ranked 25 in the AP Poll, 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 25 in the Harris Poll. In their first game as a nationally ranked squad, the Knights fell 21–31 to Southern Miss in Orlando. UCF would bounce back and defeat Tulane 61–14 and Memphis 37–17. With the wins, the Knights secured the Eastern Division championship and reentered the polls.
The Knights would go on to win the 2010 Conference USA championship game, defeating SMU 17–7. Following the win, UCF entered the BCS Standings for the first time in program history, ranking #25. The Knights ended the 2010 season with a 10–6 victory over Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, marking the teams first-ever bowl victory. UCF would end the season ranked 20th in the final coaches poll and 21st in the final AP rankings.
2011 proved to be a disappointing season as UCF finished with a losing record, and were not bowl eligible for the first time since 2008. The season included out-of-conference losses to FIU and BYU, as well as conference losses to then-winless UAB, a 1–point loss to then-ranked #23 Southern Miss and the continuation of the Knights woes at quarterback, as Jeff Godfrey and Blake Bortles battled for playing time.
Jeff Godfrey planned on transferring following the end of the 2011 season, and both Godfrey's father and his "uncle" Luke began publicly attacking Coach O'Leary. Godfrey decided to rescind his transfer request and stated that he had nothing to do with the claims made against O'Leary. While O'Leary said that Godfrey should have come out against the claims made, as he (Godfrey) knew they were false, O'Leary welcomed Jeff back, with a stipulation that he apologize to his team mates. Godfrey will return to the Knights for the 2012 season as a wide-receiver, and may handle some wild knight duties. While he will still be listed on the quarterback depth chart, he is returning knowing that Blake Bortles is becoming the new starter for UCF.
Until 2007, the Knights had played all of their home games at the Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando. While UCF was the primary leasing tenant for the facility, they received minimal revenue from football games, and the stadium's 70,000 seat capacity was seen as too large for UCF. With an average attendance of 30,000–40,000 people per game, the stadium was left with the appearance of being largely empty. In addition, the stadium was also located more than 10 miles (16 km) from UCF's main campus.
In 2005, the university proposed building a stadium on campus for the first time. Bright House Networks Stadium was originally planned to open in time for the 2006 football season, but neighborhood opposition delayed the time frame over a year. Stadium construction began in 2006 and was finished in time for the first 2007 UCF Knights football team home game on September 15, 2007 against the Texas Longhorns. The seating capacity of the stadium is 45,301 with plans for an expansion to 65,000 seats in the coming years. Although the Knights lost their first on-campus home game, they finished the remainder of the stadium's inaugural season undefeated, including the Conference USA home opener against Memphis. They hosted and won the 2007 C-USA Championship, defeating Tulsa.
UCF, being a relatively young Bowl Subdivision team, has yet to establish any major long-term rivals. South Florida had a rivalry with UCF from 2005–2008, called The War on I-4. UCF hopes to continue a rivalry within the state seeking short-term contracts with the Miami Hurricanes and the FIU Golden Panthers.
UCF played the South Florida Bulls in a four year home-and-home series, from 2005 to 2008. UCF was defeated in each game, including two home heart breakers in which UCF tied the game late in the fourth quarter only to watch South Florida secure the win. USF declined to continue the series, however, fans of the series look to the Bowl Season to see a future match up between the two schools (The St. Petersburg Bowl has both Big East and C-USA as tie-ins).
|September 17, 2005||USF||31||UCF||14||Raymond James Stadium|
|September 16, 2006||USF||24||UCF||17||Citrus Bowl|
|October 13, 2007||USF||64||UCF||12||Raymond James Stadium|
|September 6, 2008||USF||31||UCF||24||Bright House Networks Stadium|
The Marshall Thundering Herd has been considered UCF's main rival due to the number of meetings and the comparable size of the programs. Both teams joined the FBS a year apart and made the switch to C-USA from the MAC in 2005. The similarities and histories between the two programs fuel the fire in this rivalry. UCF's first football victory over Marshall in 2005, ended the then Golden Knights' 17-game losing streak. In 2008, UCF played spoiler to Marshall, beating them to allow East Carolina to jump the Herd for the C-USA Eastern Division lead. Further aggravating the rivalry in 2009, not only did UCF win its game against the Herd in Orlando with 23 seconds on the clock, but in the summer of 2010 the Knights hired then Marshall head basketball coach Donnie Jones.
Since 2002 the two teams have faced off 10 times and UCF currently leads the series 7–3. UCF has not lost to Marshall as C-USA opponents, with the Knights winning the last seven meetings.
|Mid-American Conference from 2002–2004|
|September 20, 2002||Marshall||26||UCF||21||Joan C. Edwards Stadium|
|November 19, 2003||Marshall||21||UCF||7||Citrus Bowl|
|October 30, 2004||Marshall||20||UCF||3||Joan C. Edwards Stadium|
|Both teams join Conference USA East Division in 2005|
|September 24, 2005||Marshall||13||UCF||23||Citrus Bowl|
|October 4, 2006||Marshall||22||UCF||23||Joan C. Edwards Stadium|
|November 3, 2007||Marshall||13||UCF||47||Bright House Networks Stadium|
|November 15, 2008||Marshall||14||UCF||30||Joan C. Edwards Stadium|
|November 1, 2009||Marshall||20||UCF||21||Bright House Networks Stadium|
|October 13, 2010||Marshall||14||UCF||35||Joan C. Edwards Stadium|
|October 8, 2011||Marshall||6||UCF||16||Bright House Networks Stadium|
The Knights and Tulsa Golden Hurricane's played each other twice in Conference USA title games and split, in 2005 and 2007. Tulsa leads the series 3–2, with the Golden Hurricane winning twice in the regular season and once in the conference championship game.
|December 3, 2005||Tulsa||44||UCF||27||Citrus Bowl|
|October 20, 2007||Tulsa||23||UCF||44||Bright House Networks Stadium|
|December 1, 2007||Tulsa||25||UCF||44||Bright House Networks Stadium|
|October 26, 2008||Tulsa||49||UCF||19||H.A. Chapman Stadium|
|November 3, 2011||Tulsa||24||UCF||17||Bright House Networks Stadium|
Another possible rivalry lies with a division rival, the East Carolina Pirates. In several of the recent years, the match between UCF and ECU has determined the winner of the Eastern Division. In 2007, UCF's only conference loss came at the hands of the Pirates. UCF won the division anyway, and ultimately took the conference title.
In 2008, UCF was looking like they were going to ruin East Carolina's dreams of the Eastern Division title like they did to Marshall, but with a late rally, the Pirates won in overtime making the Pirates the first C-USA team to beat UCF in Bright House Networks Stadium. A loss at ECU also determined them as the Eastern Division champions in 2009, while a UCF win at home was the difference in 2010.
|Date Played||East Carolina||UCF||Location|
|October 29, 2005||East Carolina||20||UCF||30||Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium|
|November 4, 2006||East Carolina||23||UCF||10||Citrus Bowl|
|October 6, 2007||East Carolina||52||UCF||38||Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium|
|November 2, 2008||East Carolina||13||UCF||10||Bright House Networks Stadium|
|September 26, 2009||East Carolina||19||UCF||14||Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium|
|October 30, 2010||East Carolina||35||UCF||49||Bright House Networks Stadium|
|November 19, 2011||East Carolina||38||UCF||31||Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium|
Conference championship games
UCF has appeared in the Conference USA Championship Game as the winner of the East three times, two of them playing Tulsa of the Western Division.
UCF has played in 4 bowl games in its history and owns a 1–3 record in those games. UCF has been bowl eligible for 4 of the past 7 seasons (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010).
|December 24, 2005||Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl||L||Nevada||48||49|
|December 29, 2007||AutoZone Liberty Bowl||L||Mississippi State||3||10|
|December 19, 2009||St. Petersburg Bowl||L||Rutgers||24||45|
|December 31, 2010||AutoZone Liberty Bowl||W||Georgia||10||6|
|Total||4 bowl games||1–3||85||110|
UCF retires a student-athlete's jersey but does not retire the respective jersey numbers. The Knights coaching staff can choose to reissue a given number, as the retirement of the jersey does not require that the number not be worn again.
- 1 Wayne Densch
- 8 Daunte Culpepper - Quarterback, 1995–1998
- 19 Joe Burnett - Cornerback, 2005–2008
- 24 Kevin Smith - Running Back, 2005–2007
Notable alumni and attendees
Knights in the NFL
- Kamar Aiken - Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills
- Atari Bigby - Safety, Green Bay Packers
- Joe Burnett - Cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Paul Carrington - Defensive End, Denver Broncos
- Daunte Culpepper - Quarterback, Detroit Lions
- Leger Douzable - Defensive Tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Steve Edwards - Offensive Tackle, New York Giants
- Travis Fisher - Cornerback, Seattle Seahawks
- Ryan Flinn - Punter, Miami Dolphins
- Doug Gabriel - Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
- Michael Gaines - Tight End, Detroit Lions
- Michael Greco - Safety, Green Bay Packers
- Cornell Green - Offensive Tackle, Buffalo Bills
- Alex Haynes - Running Back, Carolina Panthers
- Darcy Johnson - Tight End, New York Giants
- Brandon Marshall - Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears
- Mike Merritt - Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs
- Bruce Miller - Fullback, San Francisco 49ers
- Jamar Newsome - Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Elton Patterson - Defensive End, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Matt Prater - Placekicker, Denver Broncos
- Jah Reid - Offensive Tackle, Baltimore Ravens
- Asante Samuel - Cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles
- Mike Sims-Walker - Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Josh Sitton - Offensive Guard, Green Bay Packers
- Kevin Smith - Running Back, Detroit Lions
- Torrell Troup - Defensive Tackle, Buffalo Bills
Knights in the Pro Bowl
- Daunte Culpepper - Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings: 2001, 2004, 2005
- Asante Samuel - Cornerback, New England Patriots/Philadelphia Eagles: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
- Brandon Marshall - Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos/Miami Dolphins: 2009, 2010
Knights in the Super Bowl
- Atari Bigby - Safety, Green Bay Packers - XLV
- Michael Greco - Safety, Green Bay Packers - XLV
- Cornell Green - Offensive Tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - XXXVII
- Mike Gruttadauria- Center, St. Louis Rams - XXXIV
- Shawn Jefferson - Wide Receiver, San Diego Chargers - XXIX & New England Patriots - XXXI
- Darcy Johnson - Tight End, New York Giants - XLII
- Charles Lee - Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - XXXVII
- Asante Samuel - Cornerback, New England Patriots - XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII
- Josh Sitton - Offensive Guard, Green Bay Packers - XLV
On September 4, 2010, UCF announced that it had finalized its non-conference football schedule through 2013, and had games scheduled through 2017.
Among the games scheduled are home-and-away series with BYU (2011 away, 2014 home), Akron (2012 away, 2013 home), South Carolina (2013 home, 2015 away) and UConn (2014 away, 2015 home). They also have a home game against Missouri (2012), and away games against Ohio State (2012) and Texas (2017). Of note is that all of UCF's non-conference games in 2012 will be against FBS opponents.
The Knights will also participate in a 4-game series with FIU from 2011–2014, which started with a 2011 away game at FIU Stadium in Miami. The profile of this series was increased when FIU won the Sun Belt Conference championship in 2010.
Future Non-Conference Opponents
|at Akron||vs Akron||vs Florida International||vs Connecticut*||at Texas|
|at Ohio State||at Florida International||vs BYU||at South Carolina|
|vs Florida International||vs Bethune-Cookman||at Connecticut*|
|vs Missouri||vs South Carolina||vs Jacksonville State|
- Connecticut will become a conference opponent in 2013 when UCF joins the Big East Conference.
- Marching Knights
- University of Central Florida
- University of Central Florida Alumni
- List of UCF Knights football seasons
- University of Central Florida Faculty and Administrators
- Holic, Nathan, and the UCF Alumni Association. University of Central Florida: The Campus History Series (2009), ISBN 978-0-7385-6768-6
- MacCambridge, Michael. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia: The Complete history of the Game (2005), ISBN 1-4013-3703-1
- "UCF reaches shoe and apparel agreement with Nike covering all sports". Orlando Sentinel. 2010-03-19. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_ucf/2010/03/shoegate-ends-ucf-reaches-shoe-and-apparel-agreement-with-nike-covering-all-sports.html. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
- "It's Official! UCF Joins BIG EAST Conference". University of Central Florida. 2011-12-07. http://today.ucf.edu/its-official-ucf-to-join-big-east-conference/. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
- "Division I-AA Football Comes to Orlando". University of Central Florida Athletic Association. http://ucfathletics.cstv.com/genrel/071807aaa.html. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "The Birth of Saturday Knights Live: Part 1 of 8 - The History of UCF Football". University of Central Florida Athletics Association. 2007-06-16. http://ucfathletics.cstv.com/genrel/061607aad.html. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
- "Facts About UCF". UCF Office of Institutional Research. http://www.iroffice.ucf.edu/character/current.html. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
- "Finally, Gametime Arrives: Part 2 of 8 - The History of UCF Football". University of Central Florida Athletics Association. 2007-06-22. http://ucfathletics.cstv.com/genrel/062207aaa.html. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
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- "UCF Develops Winning Ways: Part 4 of 8 - The History of UCF Football". University of Central Florida Athletics Association. 2007-07-10. http://ucfathletics.cstv.com/genrel/071007aab.html. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
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