New Era Officially Underway at UCF as Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn Takes the Helm of the Knights

By  //  June 10, 2021

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UCF has three 10-win seasons in last four years

There’s a new look to UCF football in 2021 – and it begins with ultra-successful new head coach Gus Malzahn. (UCF Knights)

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – There’s a new look to UCF football in 2021 – and it begins with ultra-successful new head coach Gus Malzahn.

The former Auburn head coach saw his Tiger teams produce 77 wins over the last eight seasons, all ending in bowl games—six of them of the New Year’s Day variety.

Malzahn helped Auburn finish unbeaten and win the national championship as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator in 2010—then as head coach led Auburn to the Bowl Championship Series title game to cap the 2013 campaign, a Southeastern Conference title and two SEC West crowns.

Malzahn takes over a UCF program led by record-setting sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who paced the NCAA in passing last year (357.0 yards per game).

Gabriel returns to headline a Knight football team that expects to continue as one of the most prolific offensive units in the nation again in 2021.

UCF has ranked in the top eight nationally in both total offenses and scoring each of the last three seasons, the only team in the country to accomplish that.

“From the outside looking in, I always felt like if the right guy got to UCF, stayed here, and built it, everybody else would be in trouble,” says Malzahn. “Now that I’ve been here a while, I believe that even more—and I hope I’m that guy. You just feel the positive excitement when you go around campus. It’s set up for success.

“Now we’ve got to go and do it–you’ve got to work. But there’s so much potential here, and that’s really exciting. The foundation is here—this has been a top 25 program. We want to get it to where we are a top 10 team on a consistent basis. We believe the future of college football is here at UCF.”

The UCF football program has put itself in the elite company thanks to three 10-win seasons in the last four years, 41 combined victories in that span, a record five straight postseason appearances (including two New Year’s Six bowl games), and a pair of American Athletic Conference titles.

The Knights, whose three-season victory total eclipses that of all but a handful of major-conference programs (Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Clemson), also will seek to retool a defense that returns 10 players who started at least four times in 2020.

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