The UCF Knights will begin their 2021 baseball season tonight, but head coach Greg Lovelady won’t be in the dugout.
The program announced Friday via Twitter that Lovelady has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be with the team for any part of its three-game series versus the Florida Atlantic Owls this weekend. Assistant coach Ted Tom will be the acting head coach while Lovelady is out.
Coach Lovelady has tested positive with COVID-19 and will not be with the team this weekend. Assistant Coach Ted Tom will serve as acting head coach during his absence. #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/F05CaUqzP8— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) February 19, 2021
Lovelady spoke earlier this week on his excitement for not only the new season, but to also see his players pick up where they left off in 2020 as the Knights registered a 15-3 record and a top-15 national ranking prior to the shutdown in mid-March.
“I really feel like [the players] feel like there was just unfinished business. Things that they thought they were on the path to do and they wanted to see it through, and they didn’t get a chance to do that,” Lovelady said during UCF baseball’s media day on Tuesday. “I feel like it has kind of permeated through the club. Guys are just excited to get back out and compete, continue where they finished. But I feel like they feel like there’s something that they want to accomplish and something that they want to prove.”
⚔️⚾️ 2021 @UCF_Baseball Preview Podcast ⚾️⚔️@Jeff_Sharon, @Spokes_Murphy & @EricLopezELO talk with @CoachLovelady23 about his team, and break down the staff, hitters, schedule and more!#UCF #ChargeOn https://t.co/X8UMkiYPol— Black & Gold Banneret (@UCF_Banneret) February 19, 2021
Lovelady is entering his fifth season as UCF’s head coach. He has compiled a 126-68 record during his tenure, which includes one AAC regular-season title and one NCAA Tournament appearance.
Tom has been with the Knights for four seasons and has served as their hitting coach and recruiting coordinator since Aug. 2019.
First pitch between the Knights and the Owls is set for 6 p.m. at John Euliano Park. Redshirt sophomore left-hander Colton Gordon is scheduled as UCF’s opening-day starter for the second straight season.