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Big 12 Introduction Series: What to Know About UCF as Knights Exit AAC for Big 12

A broad look at the Knights.



A sleeping giant in the middle of Florida will officially awaken to the Power Five world this weekend.

UCF’s move from the American Athletic Conference to the Big 12 will go in effect July 1 (as will the moves of Houston, BYU and Cincinnati). In order to get a baseline understanding of the Big 12’s newcomers, we’re taking a look at all four schools by answering some basic questions. Here is what to know about UCF.

So where is UCF?

UCF is in the City Beautiful — Orlando, Florida. Orlando is the home of Disney World, Universal Studios, and perhaps the best-named hockey team ever: the Orlando Solar Bears.

How far is that from Stillwater, America?

Google Maps puts the drive between Stillwater and Orlando at 1,292.2 miles (about 19 hours of straight driving).

What are UCF’s football facilities like?

The Knights play at FBC Mortgage Stadium — also known as The Bounce House. The on-campus stadium opened in 2007 after UCF spent 28 years playing at Camping World Stadium, where the Cowboys have recently played in the Cheez-It Bowl and Camping World Bowl.

How many people does the stadium seat?

It opened with a 48,000 capacity in 2007, but it is designed for a planned expansion to 65,000 seats.

Who is their coach?

Guz Malzahn will start his third season as the Knights’ coach in 2023. Before UCF, Malzahn spent eight seasons at Auburn. He won a national championship with the Tigers in 2010 as an offensive coordinator. Malzahn is 95-47 in his 11 seasons as a head coach, including an 18-9 record at UCF.

What about their basketball arena? How many does it seat and in what shape is it in?

The Knights play basketball at Addition Financial Arena. It seats 10,000 and has been the Knights’ home since the 2007-08 season.

Who is their coach on the hardwood?

Former Duke great Johnny Dawkins coaches the Knights’ basketball team and has since 2016. Dawkins is 131-87 at UCF after spending eight seasons at Stanford, where he was 156-115. He has led UCF to one NCAA Tournament.

Dawkins was a first round NBA Draft pick in 1986 after being named the Naismith National Player of the Year in his final season at Duke. In his nine-year NBA career, Dawkins averaged 11.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game.

Have they been competitive in football and basketball of late?

The UCF football team hasn’t had a losing record since the 2016 season, having gone 59-17 in the past six seasons. That includes a perfect 13-0 record in 2017 where the Knights won the Peach Bowl against Auburn. The Knights have made a bowl game the past seven years.

Basketball is a bit of a different story, as the Knights have been average for much of the past decade with only two 20-win seasons. UCF last made the NCAA Tournament in 2019. Before that, the Knights hadn’t gone dancing since 2005.

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