In 2015, I had this idea: A new UCF sports site that provided something different for the fans and did the kinds of things I wanted to see done, but no one was doing. I always felt there were under-covered stories at UCF, and I figured I may as well be the person to tell them. After all, that's what I did at UCF for two years in the video department. Black & Gold Banneret was born.
Since then, we've grown steadily, added two amazing reporters in Brian Murphy and Eric Lopez, a top-notch photographer in Derek Warden, a podcast, and a host of new ideas. We've introduced UCF fans to those untold stories and thought about new ways of telling them. We covered UCF's vault from 2015's 0-12 disaster to a National Championship. We've brought you the stories of UCF coaches, players, and alumni from all sports. And I'm really proud of the niche we've carved for ourselves in Knight Nation.
Now comes the most exciting announcement in the history of this site.
SB Nation is one of the premier online sports content networks in the world with more than 300 different team and sport-related sites under its auspices. We're tremendously excited to become an integral part of that community and to bring our hard work to its enormous audience. We're also very happy to join with our fellow American Athletic Conference school sites, the UConn Blog, Down the Drive, and yes, even The Daily Stampede.
It feels great to have our hard work recognized by one of the biggest sports media outlets on the planet.
Over the coming weeks, there will be some major changes as we move our operations over to SB Nation's platform. Things might be a bit rocky, so bear with us. It's new for us too.
But a lot of what we have been doing will remain the same, just better. Brian, Eric, and Derek will still be here doing what they do best, for as long as they want to. For one thing, we'll be publishing more - a LOT more. We also will bring in some new faces to help build Black & Gold Banneret into the kind of place that we always envisioned.
Our podcast will also continue as it has, although you can expect some more new guests as we move under the SB Nation umbrella.
I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people who made this possible:
First, thanks to all of UCF's coaches and players for giving us their time and attention when they really don't have to. They are what make covering UCF athletics so fun and interesting. Without their hard work and sacrifice, none of this exists.
Big thanks to the athletics communications staff, especially Andy Seeley, Dan Forcella, Megan Herboth, Ian McDougall, Kelly Cartner, and former members of the staff including Bill Morrison, Bridgette Gale, Brian Ormiston and many others who took us seriously from the beginning. They are unquestionably the best in the business and without their generosity and hard work, this could not have happened.
Thanks to our compatriots in UCF sports media, including Brandon Helwig, Andrew Phegley, Trace Trylko, Iliana Limon, Jason Beede, Ryan Bass, Juan Toribio, Erik Kuselias, Jerry O'Neill, Mike Tuck, Marc Daniels, David Baumann, and many others across many platforms near and far. They also took us seriously and gave us great support, from having us on as guests on their shows and coming on our show as well. It's always a privilege to work alongside each of them.
Many thanks to our new friends at SB Nation, especially Matt Brown, who saw this thing through to this moment and believed in what we have been doing. Give him a follow at @MattSBN.
Matt and I discuss all of this on our podcast here:
I owe a lot of thanks to Sam Unger, our first sponsor for our podcast. Sam has not only provided indispensable support for us through his sponsorship but has been a great friend in helping promote everything we have done.
Huge thanks to everyone who took the time to read our content, listen to our podcast, and follow us on social media. You are who your audience is, and you have been great to us. We hope you will enjoy what we do even more in this next phase.
And most especially, I want to thank Brian, Eric, and Derek for deciding to jump on board this ship, not knowing to where it was sailing, because they thought it was a good idea and that I was halfway competent. They have poured their hearts and souls (and a significant chunk of their own time and cash) into this project because they thought it would be great. And they have done and continue to do amazing work. And now look what it's done. I'm humbled beyond words and I cannot thank them enough.
It has long been an ambition of mine to create a media outlet that can be the UCF fans' go-to place for interesting news and smart analysis of all UCF sports. We just took a major step toward fulfilling that ambition with this announcement.
So if you haven't yet, give us a follow on Twitter at @UCF_Banneret, and make sure you follow @SBNation, @SBNationCFB and @SBNationCBB while you're at it. And don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, SoundCloud, Stitcher and TuneIn.
OK. Ready? Here we go.