UCF Knights baseball
The UCF Knights baseball team represents The University of Central Florida in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I. The Knights compete in the American Athletic Conference (The American). The Knights play their home games on UCF's main campus in Orlando, Florida at John Euliano Park, and are currently coached by head coach Greg Lovelady.
|UCF Knights Baseball|
|2021 UCF Knights baseball team|
|University||University of Central Florida|
|Head coach||Greg Lovelady (5th season)|
|Home stadium||John Euliano Park |
|Colors||Black and Gold|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2011, 2012, 2017|
|Conference tournament champions|
|1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002|
|2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2017|
Early history (1973–1983)Edit
Though UCF baseball first took the field in 1973, its history dates back to 1970 with UCF's club baseball team, the FTU Goldsox. The Goldsox played in the Amateur Baseball League of Central Florida and were managed by Jack Pantelias, who led them from 1970 to midway through the 1972 season. When Pantelias resigned, he was replaced by Doug Holmquist, who would lead the team through the end of the season on an interim basis before being named head coach before the 1973 season.
The team has been nationally ranked at times during the course of 11 seasons, including the highest ranking of No. 7 during both the 2001 and 2012 seasons.
Bergman era (1983–2008)Edit
Jay Bergman took over the program in 1983 after serving as the head coach at Seminole Community College. The Knights first season in Division I was in 1985 under Bergman. The Knights earned a 52–34–1 record in their first D–I season. Bergman was forced to retire during the 2008 season after allegations surfaced of him harassing an equipment manager.
Bergman had a large amount of success in this position, leading UCF to Atlantic Sun Championships in 93, 95, 96, 97, 00, 01, 02, 04 and NCAA Regional Appearances in 89, 93, 95, 96, 97, 00, 01, 02, 04, and brought UCF to a national ranking of No. 7 in 2001. In honor of his long term success with the Knights, on February 3, 2001, UCF opened and dedicated Jay Bergman Field.
Rooney era (2009–2016)Edit
Terry Rooney became head coach in 2008 after serving as an assistant coach at LSU, Notre Dame, Stetson, Old Dominion, James Madison, and George Washington. In his second season, Rooney led the Knights to a 33–22 (10–14) record, 11 more wins than the prior season and the best conference record since the team started in Conference USA in 2006. On June 21, 2010, Rooney signed a four-year contract extension with the university, making him the Knights head baseball coach through 2014.
Following a 38–21 season, Rooney led the Knights to their first NCAA Tournament under his leadership in 2011. The year was a high for the Knights, defeating the No 4. ranked Florida Gators in Gainesville and the then-ranked No. 5 Gators in Orlando. The Knights also defeated the No. 6 ranked Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee during the 2011 campaign. In 2012, Rooney led the Knights to a No. 7 ranking during week ten, and an appearance in the Coral Gables Regional.
From 2013-2016, the Knights were 121-114 under Rooney's leadership. UCF did not appear in another NCAA tournament despite a 36-23 record in 2014 where Rooney won American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. In 2015, the Knights were 22-7 and ranked No. 6 in the nation through their first 30 games but eventually ended the season 31-27. After going 26-33 in 2016 despite a 6-0 start, Rooney departed from UCF and eventually joined the Alabama staff as an assistant coach.
Lovelady era (2017–Present)Edit
On August 22, 2016, Jay Bergman Field was renamed John Euliano Park.
Greg Lovelady was hired as Rooney's replacement in July 2016 after serving as Head Coach at Wright State. Lovelady brought immediate success back to the UCF Baseball program, leading the Knights to a 40-22 record in 2017. The Knights were crowned American Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions but went 2-2 in the conference tournament, being eliminated by East Carolina in the semifinals. The Knights received a 2 seed in the Tallahassee Regional of the NCAA Tournament but were eliminated by Florida State after losing their first game to Auburn.
Conference tournament championshipsEdit
|Atlantic Sun Conference||1993|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||1995|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||1996|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||1997|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||2001|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||2002|
|Total Conference Titles||6|
Conference season championshipsEdit
|Atlantic Sun Conference||2000|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||2001|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||2002|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||2004|
|American Athletic Conference||2017|
|Total Conference Titles||5|
|1989||Jay Bergman||2–2||.500||Eliminated by Villanova in the East Regional|
|1993||Jay Bergman||1–2||.333||Eliminated by Notre Dame in the East Regional|
|1995||Jay Bergman||1–2||.333||Eliminated by Ole Miss in the Atlantic Regional|
|1996||Jay Bergman||1–2||.333||Eliminated by UMass in the East Regional|
|1997||Jay Bergman||0–2||.000||Eliminated by Florida State in the East Regional|
|2000||Jay Bergman||2–2||.500||Eliminated by Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional|
|2001||Jay Bergman||2–2||.500||Eliminated by South Carolina in the Columbia Regional|
|2002||Jay Bergman||1–2||.333||Eliminated by USF in the Tallahassee Regional|
|2004||Jay Bergman||3–2||.600||Eliminated by Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional|
|2011||Terry Rooney||1–2||.333||Eliminated by Alabama in the Tallahassee Regional|
|2012||Terry Rooney||2–2||.500||Eliminated by Stony Brook in the Coral Gables Regional|
|2017||Greg Lovelady||0–2||.000||Eliminated by Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional|
|The format of the tournament has changed through the years.|
John Euliano Park is located on UCF's main campus in Orlando, Florida. It was originally built in 2001 as a state-of-the-art facility, and features an indoor training facility with three batting cages and two pitching mounds. The facility was originally named after the Knights' former head coach, Jay Bergman. It retained the name until 2016, when it was named after alumnus and donor John Euliano.
Within the last few years, John Euliano Park has been expanded from 1,980 seats to 2,230. The stadium can also accommodate another 1,000 fans on grass berms along the first and third base lines. In the next few years seating will be further expanded to a total capacity at 4,180. In addition, a new digital scoreboard and beautification has taken place as part of the renovation.
|Totals||7 coaches||48 seasons||1,618–1072–10||.601|
|† Denotes interim coach|
UCF and MLBEdit
- Cody Allen – Pitcher, Cleveland Indians
- Drew Butera – Catcher, Kansas City Royals
- Matt Fox – Former Pitcher, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, and Seattle Mariners
- Ben Lively – Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies
- Mike Maroth – Former Pitcher, Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals
- Chad Mottola – Former Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins, and Baltimore Orioles
- Rob Radlosky – Former Pitcher, Minnesota Twins
- Eric Skoglund – Pitcher, Kansas City Royals
- Esix Snead – Former Outfielder, New York Mets
- Darnell Sweeney – Infielder, Philadelphia Phillies
- Clay Timpner – Former Outfielder, San Francisco Giants
- Daniel Winkler – Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
- UCF OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE - Facilities
- "Colors | University of Central Florida Brand Guide". Retrieved August 4, 2018.
- McMurphy, Brett. "Old Big East now American Athletic". ESPN. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- From 1963 to 1978 the University of Central Florida (UCF) was known as Florida Technological University (FTU).
- 2010 UCF Knights Baseball Yearbook
- Out-of-step Jay Bergman had to go Archived 2008-07-19 at the Wayback Machine. Orlando Sentinel, 2008-05-03.
- Bergman reaches settlement with UCF paving way for retirement party Archived 2012-10-20 at the Wayback Machine. Orlando Sentinel, 2009-09-15
- UCF baseball coach Terry Rooney inks new contract through 2014 Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine. Central Florida Future, 2010-06-21]
- UCF baseball coach Terry Rooney gets contract extension through 2014, likely putting him out of contention for Notre Dame job. Orlando Sentinel, 2010-06-21]
- UCF Receives NCAA At-Large Spot - Will Travel to Tallahassee
- 2011 UCF Baseball Schedule
- UCF planning expansion of Jay Bergman Field Archived 2012-07-18 at Archive.today
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