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Top 40 UCF Knights Head Coaches Of All-Time: #30-21

UCF’s first and most recent football coaches make an appearance

Photo: Derek Warden

Let’s carry on with our Top 40 UCF Knights head coaches of all time, with #30-21:

T-#30 - Dennis Kamrad (Rowing)

Generations of rowers, past and present, gathered to pay homage to Coach Kamrad. with a new Vespoli 8+ was christened.

Dennis Kamrad was UCF’s first women’s rowing coach, staying until his retirement in 2003 and guiding the program for its first 30 seasons. He began his coaching career at UCF in 1973 and oversaw the sport during its club years and then during its elevation to NCAA varsity status in 1996.

Kamrad won the 1997 Dad Vail Regatta Coach of the Year. Both the lightweight 8+ trophies at the Dad Vail and at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships care named after him.

Kamrad coached the Lightweight 8+ to the gold medal at the Dad Vail in 1994 and 1995. He has 15 total Dad Vail victories, and won seven consecutive FIRA State Championships from 1997-2003. He has 13 total race victories at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships, including a gold medal in the Lightweight 8+ in 2001 and 2003.

He also served two terms on the board of US Rowing. Kamrad was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

T-#30 - Leeanne Crain (Rowing)

Leeanne Crain led UCF Rowing to first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007.
Oklahoma Athletics

Leeanne Crain took over for Kamrad and took the UCF Rowing program to new heights during her four seasons (2003-2007), leading UCF to the school’s first NCAA Championships berth in 2007. In Crain’s last season, the Knights claimed the overall trophy at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships and earned UCF’s highest all-time national ranking (9th) in the US Rowing/CRCA Coaches Poll.

In 2005-06, Crain’s varsity eight squad earned the program’s first top-20 ranking in the US Rowing/CRCA Coaches Poll and claimed the team’s ninth Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship while finishing fourth in its region at the South/Central Regional Championships. The Knights also boasted the program’s first All-American in Krystina Sarff.

During the 2004-05 season, Crain’s team received its first ranking in the NCAA South Region Poll. Crain left UCF in 2008 to start up the Oklahoma rowing program where she still is.

#29 - Don Jonas (Football)

Don Jonas was UCF’s first head football coach, serving originally as a volunteer. He earned full-time status with UCF in 1980. He had a 14-12-1 record and an 11-6-1 record in home games. Jonas resigned after 1981 to become director of the UCF Gridiron Club, but still loyally attends UCF home games.

#28 - Karen Richter (Women’s Soccer)

Karen Richter was Head Coach of Women Soccer program (1993-1998) after Hall of Fame playing career from 1987-1990
UCF Athletics

Karen Richter makes her second appearance on the UCF250 as she ranked 13th on the Top 80 UCF Knights Female Athletes of All Time. Following a Hall of Fame goal keeping career as a player, Richter was head coach at UCF from 1993-1998, posting a 64-44-9 record with 5 A-Sun regular season champinships (1993-1996, 1998), 4 A-Sun Tournament Championships (1994-1996, 1998) and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998.

#27 - Gerry Gergley (Wrestling, Men’s Golf)

Gerry Gergley was Head Coach of Wrestling program (1970-1980) and Men Golf(1979-1980)
UCF Athletics

Gerry Gergley is in the UCF Athletic Hall of Fame for starting the wrestling program in 1970, and was Head Coach until 1980. With no facilities or scholarships, Gergley compiled a 108-42 career record as wrestling coach and produced five All-Americans. His teams ranked in the nation’s top-10 five times. The wrestling program was discontinued in 1985.

Gergley also started the men’s golf program in 1979 and coached that for two years, leading the Knights to a Sunshine State Conference Championship in 1980.

#26 - Lex Wood (Men’s Tennis)

Lex Wood started the Men Tennis program coaching from 1970-1977.
Florida State Athletics

Alexander “Lex” Wood began the UCF men’s tennis program in 1970 and would serve as the Knights’ head coach for six seasons. The first two years, the Knights competed as a club team, going 24-10 record from 1972-73.

The team joined NCAA Division II in 1974, and quickly became a perennial Top 20 finisher until joining Division I in the early 1980s.

Under Wood, the men’s tennis team went 102-46, including an impressive 30-4 mark in Wood’s last season of 1977. The Knights won the inaugural Sunshine State Conference tennis championship, the #1 seed in the NCAA Division II South Regional, and in back of national singles quarterfinalists and All-Americans Toby Crabel and Doug Baxter, the Knights finished third at the NCAA Division II National Championship that year.

Wood was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, and is also in the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame as a player.

#25 - Greg Lovelady (Baseball)

UCF Baseball Head Coach Greg Lovelady (Photo: UCF Athletics)
UCF Baseball Head Coach Greg Lovelady (Photo: UCF Athletics)
Photo: UCF Athletics

Former Miami Hurricanes catcher Greg Lovelady was named the head baseball coach at UCF on July 11, 2016, and made an immediate impact on the diamond.

Lovelady guided UCF to the 2017 American Athletic Conference regular season title with a record of 40-22 (15-9 in conference), earning The American’s Coach of the Year award in the process. It was the Knights’ first conference championship for the baseball program since the 2004 A-Sun championship, and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012. The Knights just missed making the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and 2019, as each time UCF was one of the first 4 left out of the field.

Lovelady was on track to bring UCF back to the NCAAs and likely contend for a second conference championship in 2020 as UCF was off to one of best starts in program history with a 15-3 record, and ranked 12th in the country before the season ended due to COVID-19.

D1 Baseball projected the Knights to not only make the NCAA Tournament but host a regional for the first time in program history.

Lovelady is the fastest UCF Baseball Head Coach to reach 100 wins and currently is at 126 wins.

#24 - Josh Heupel (Football)

Josh Heupel led UCF to 22 wins in his first 2 seasons as Head Football Coach
Derek Warden

Josh Heupel has won 22 of 26 games in first two seasons as head football coach at UCF.

Hired after the departure of Scott Frost following UCF’s undefeated 2017 season, Heupel kept the train rolling, winning his first 12 games, and leading the Knights to their second consecutive undefeated regular season and American Athletic Conference Championship. Heupel became just the third coach in history to lead a team to an undefeated regular season in his first year coaching, joining Chris Petersen at Boise State in 2003 and Larry Coker at Miami in 2001.

The Knights followed that success in Heupel’s second campaign in Orlando with a 10-3 mark in 2019, earning UCF a program-record fourth consecutive bowl invitation and winning the 2019 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl over Marshall. Heupel’s 22 combined victories in 2018-19 are more than the figure produced by any of the 20 other new coaches who took over major college programs beginning in 2018.

#23 - Nick Clinard (Men Golf)

Nick Clinard was UCF’s Men’s Golf Head Coach from 2002-2009, leading the Knights to NCAA Regional play in five of his last six seasons (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009). The Knights won six tournament titles in Clinard’s last two seasons. Clinard won an A-Sun Championship in 2004, a C-USA Championship in 2009 and one NCAA Regional title, also in 2009.

Clinard posted nine tournament victories during his time at UCF, and coached one All-American, two conference players of the year, three individual conference champions and eight all-conference selections. He left after 2009 season to become Auburn’s head coach, where he remains.

#22 - Bryan Koniecko (Women’s Tennis)

Bryan Koniecko has helped rewrite UCF Women’s Tennis history in his three seasons as head coach, boosting the Knights to their best season in program history in 2019.

The Knights had a record 24 wins during the spring and reached a then-record ranking of 18th in the Oracle/ITA poll after the team’s first ever win over Florida on Tennis Channel’s College MatchDay, and earned their first conference title since 2002.

The Knights swept Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before defeating #11 FSU for the first time ever to punch UCF’s first ticket to the Sweet 16.

Koniecko also became the fastest coach in program history to 50 wins on March 24, 2019 with a 4-1 victory over #34 Illinois.

#21 - John Roddick (Men’s Tennis)

John Roddick was named the UCF Director of Tennis on May 29, 2016. He serves as the men’s head coach and oversees both the men’s and women’s programs.

In his time at UCF, Roddick has led the men’s program into the NCAA Tournament twice (2017, 2019), and was on track to make it in 2020 before the season ended abruptly due to COVID-19. The 2017 NCAA Tournament appearance was the Knights’ first trip to the dance since 2005.

U.S. Open Day Ten
John Roddick, brother of Andy Roddick sitting next Jimmy Connors watching Roddick play Roger Federer during the 2007 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2007 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Roddick’s brother is Andy Roddick, who was the former #1 player in the world and the last U.S. player to win a Grand Slam tournament.