UCF men’s basketball head coach Johnny Dawkins has solidified his future with the Knights, securing a contract extension through the 2026-27 season, as announced by Vice President and Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir.

“I want to thank our President Alexander N. Cartwright and Vice President and Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir for their confidence in me to continue leading this program. We had some success in our first season in the Big 12, and I’m excited to continue building on that for the future. This is a special place for my family, and I’ve loved coaching UCF from day one. I’m always going to pour my whole heart into this University.” – Johnny Dawkins, UCF Men’s Basketball Head Coach

In its first season in the Big 12 Conference, the nation’s toughest basketball league, UCF earned eight victories against conference opponents, including seven during the regular season and another in the first round of the Big 12 Championship. Each victory was against a legacy Big 12 member.

The Knights earned three wins against ranked opponents, the most in a single season in program history after defeating No. 3 Kansas, No. 23 Oklahoma and No. 23 Texas Tech. UCF had only accomplished multiple wins over top-25 foes in the same season once before, which was also under Dawkins’ leadership during the 2018-19 season that ended in an NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance.

During his tenure in Orlando, Dawkins has guided UCF to eight of the program’s 10 wins against ranked opponents.

“If you were one of the record-setting number of people who attended our home games this season, you saw first-hand how we competed under Johnny’s leadership in our first season in the nation’s toughest basketball conference. Johnny has done a great job leading this program and we’re excited he will continue to be our head coach. As part of Mission XII, we have and will continue to fundraise and invest in basketball in all four tracks (personnel, operating, recruiting and facilities) to increase our budget into the top half of the league for sustained success.” – Terry Mohajir, UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics

The Knights recorded wins against five teams that were selected to compete in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, including No. 4 seed Kansas, No. 6 seed Texas Tech, No. 7 seed Texas, No. 9 seed TCU and No. 15 seed South Dakota State.

Dawkins has led UCF to four postseason berths over his eight-year tenure, including the Knights’ first NCAA Tournament at-large berth and victory, beating VCU 73-58 in 2019.

The Knights have won over 70% of their home games under Dawkins. He owns the second-highest winning percentage in program history and ranks No. 1 during the Division I era. The Knights have finished over .500 in every season except one under Dawkins while recording two 24-win seasons and five seasons with 18 or more victories.

Below are additional highlights from Dawkins’ tenure as head coach at UCF:

  • Highest winning percentage of any UCF head coach in the Division I era (.590)
  • Responsible for four of UCF’s nine postseason appearances (NCAA or NIT)
  • Earned seven wins in UCF’s inaugural regular season in the Big 12 Conference with each victory against a legacy Big 12 member and also earned a first-round win in the Big 12 Conference Championship.
  • Defeated a school-record three ranked opponents during the 2023-24 season
  • Responsible for eight of the program’s 10 ranked wins in program history
  • Set 2023-24 UCF basketball ticket and attendance records

Source: UCF, UCF Knights, UCFKnights.com
Photo by Conor Kvatek