The B.O.A.T. and the Tay Train are making history once again.
Former UCF Knights football legends Blake Bortles and Latavius Murray combined for a half-million dollar donation that’s going toward the sports medicine center at Wayne Densch, UCF Athletics announced Friday.
The sports medicine center, the hub for student-athlete medical care, will be named the Bortles and Murray Athletic Training Room thanks to their contribution, UCF Athletics said.
Bortles said UCF was integral in making him the person he is today, evident in the memories and relationships he was able to make.
“I am excited about the direction the program is headed and I’m honored to have played a small part in making this an elite college football program for our current and future student-athletes,” the Oviedo quarterback said.
Murray mirrored his sentiment.
“My time at UCF made me the man and athlete I am today. My hope is that this gift will help leave an impact on the next generation of UCF Knights. I came to UCF to be a part of history, and it’s an honor to be able to continue that history,” Murray said.
Even though Bortles and Murray are off in Green Bay and New Orleans, respectively, climbing the ranks in the NFL, they found a way to come home to Orlando — and meet the Knights’ new head coach Gus Malzahn, who has made it a priority to welcome past UCF greats to campus since his hiring in February.
“Latavius and Blake obviously are UCF legends — and after meeting both it’s clear they also are exceptional young men,” Malzahn said. “Their combined gift shows how important this program and this university is to them … They are great guys for our players to look up to.”
UCF athletic director Terry Mohajir praised Bortles and Murray’s dedication to the future of student-athletes at UCF.
“I believe this gift commitment has illustrated their desires to see more student-athletes who benefited from their time here follow their direction by giving back to our school,” Mohajir said. “We sincerely appreciate their heartfelt support to continue building our athletics program!
The $500,000-news caps off a pretty good week for the Knights. UCF celebrated its 58th birthday on Thursday, the College Football Playoff is one step closer to expanding to a 12-team format and freshman Rayniah Jones advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field championship.
Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.