The 2019 UCF Knights Athletics Hall of Fame class will go down as the greatest class ever.
Here is a breakdown on each individual, with their speech, and where they rank all-time on UCF’s list.
Butera is to date, the most successful UCF Baseball player in the majors, as he has been in Major League Baseball for a decade and has won a World Series. He is the 7th UCF Baseball player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Drew’s father Sal, a long-time major leaguer himself, delivered his induction speech, since Drew is currently playing for the Colorado Rockies:
Where does Butera ranked among other UCf Baseballers in the hall? Here’s what I have:
- Tim Barker (‘84-’85) - inducted in 1999
- Jason Arnold (‘98-’01) - inducted in 2006
- Justin Pope (‘99-’01) - inducted in 2013
- Chad Mottola (‘90-’92) - inducted in 2008
- Drew Butera
Shane Brown, Chris Duffy, Clay Timpner. I predict Chris Duffy.
Kime became second UCF Softball player to be inducted into the UCF Hall of Fame.
Kime is greatest two way player in program history, as she could hit and pitch, and has a strong case to be regarded as greatest player in program history, as she took UCF to within one win of a Super Regional.
Jania Shinhoster, Natalie Land, and Breanne Javier are all eligible for 2020. It will be interesting to see if Shinhoster, Land and or Javier can get in before 2022 when Mackenzie Audas and Kahley Novak become eligible and Shelby Turnier becomes eligible in 2023. Audas, Novak and Turnier should be locks once they are eligible.
Reis is the fifth UCF Women’s Soccer player to be inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame.
You can make the argument that Reis is greatest goalie in program history, having led UCF to the Elite 8 in 2011. Reis will be participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup for Brazil this summer. She would be on a UCF Women’s Soccer Mount Rushmore as possibly the second-most recognizable UCF soccer player behind Michelle Akers.
Former head coach Amanda Cromwell reportedly received a lot of support from the committee and nearly made it into 2019 class. Look for Cromwell to be one of favorites for the next hall of fame class.
No UCF Football player has had as much success in the NFL as Brandon Marshall, and you can make the argument he has been the face of UCF in the NFL for the last decade.
Josh Sitton, who just retired from the NFL and is a former Pro Bowler, could be next great NFL star to be inducted.
Smith is in the conversation for the greatest UCF Football player of all time. The debate is between Smith, Culpepper, and perhaps McKenzie Milton. Smith stands above everyone else at running back position.
O’Leary led UCF to its first conference championship, first ever bowl game appearance, and first bowl win in program history during his time at UCF.
There will be other great classes in the future but it will be hard for future classes to top this one, as this class has arguably the greatest football player, softball player and women’s soccer goalie in school history, along with most successful UCF baseball and football players in pro careers, along with the figure that helped built UCF Football’s success.