UCF extends Johnny Dawkins through 2023

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 22: UCF Knights head coach Johnny Dawkins talks with his team during the 2017 NIT Championship quarterfinal game between the Illinois Fighting Illini and UCF Knights on March 22, 2017, at the CFE Arena in Orlando, FL.(Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire)
Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire

UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins received a one-year contract extension Thursday, per a school release, running his deal with the Knights through 2023.

Dawkins led the team to a 24-12 record (11-7 American Athletic Conference) in his first season as UCF’s head coach, leading them to the NIT semifinals. The team had won just 12 games the previous season. He served as head coach for eight seasons at Stanford, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance, before being fired in 2016.

“I’m very thankful to [Athletics Director] Dr. Daniel J. White, [Deputy AD] Dr. Eric A. Wood and President John C. Hitt for their continued support of me and my staff,” Dawkins said in the release. “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.”

Dawkins also helped guide UCF to its first-ever appearance in the semifinals of the AAC Tournament. The No. 4 seed they entered the conference tournament with was also the highest in school history for the AAC Tournament. He was named a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year and the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Awards.

“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.”

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