clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UCF Wins By Keeping Cindy Ball-Malone Through 2027

UCF extends Cindy Ball-Malone through 2027

Image Courtesy: UCF Athletics

UCF Knights softball head coach Cindy Ball-Malone has signed a contract extension to keep her leading the Knights through the 2027 season.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Jason Beede reported on Wednesday that Ball-Malone will now be paid $200,000 annually through 2027 with $10,000 added each year she is at UCF through 2026. This is a $50,000+ increase from the extension she signed last year that kept her through the 2026 season and paid her $147,000 per year.

Ball-Malone led UCF to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances highlighted by this season’s historic season where the Knights finished the season with a record of 49-14, hosting and winning the program’s first regional finishing the season ranked No. 14 in the USA Today/NFCA, and their highest finish at the end of a season topping the No. 16 ranking achieved by the 2015 squad.

Ball-Malone was named the National Coach of the Year by Extra Innings Softball, becoming the fourth UCF Head Coach to win a national head coaching award. She joins UCF Football’s Gene McDowell (1990 Eddie Robinson Award), George O’Leary (2005 CBS, Sports award) and Scott Frost (2017 Eddie Robinson, Home Depot Award).

Ball-Malone and her coaching staff were also named the American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year and the NFCA Mideast Region Coaching Staff of the Year.

Cindy Ball-Malone and her staff were honored in 2022 winning AAC Coaching Staff of Year Award
Derek Warden

Ball-Malone is regarded as a young rising star, which UCF has had before in other sports, but would always seem to lose to Power 5 programs, like Frost in football going to Nebraska and Coach Abe in Women Hoops leaving for Georgia earlier this year. Even UCF Softball’s original head coach, Renee Luers-Gillispie, who started the program in 2002, left after the 2018 season to go back home to be the Iowa Head Coach in the Big Ten.

Some fans wondered if we would see this trend continue when Arizona State’s job opened up and Ball-Malone was speculated as a candidate with her ties to west coast and the Pac-12. However, Ball-Malone broke the trend.

“We love Knight Nation and we’re here to stay,” Ball-Malone said in a UCF press release.

Knight Nation has been waiting for a coach to say that. Finally! UCF got the rising star coach to stay.

“We believe ‘Bear’ is one of the elite softball coaches in the country, and our intent is to hire individuals of that caliber and keep them here at UCF,” athletic director Terry Mohajir said in a UCF press release. “This latest addition to her contract demonstrates both our commitment to her as well as her intent to continue the high level of success she has enjoyed here with the Knights for years to come.”

This is a win for the fans and for UCF. With the pending move to the Big 12, Terry Mohajir made a commitment to Cindy Ball-Malone and to UCF Softball. This is another historic moment in a year of historical moments for the program.