This is part three of looking back at UCF in Conference USA Era. I broke down the best moments during CUSA Era, and Best Athletes in CUSA era. Now we look at Best Head Coaches during CUSA era with the Top 8 coaches in the 8 years at CUSA.
1- Amanda Cromwell – UCF Women Soccer : Not only can you argue that Amanda Cromwell is UCF’s best coach during CUSA era, she may be best coach of any sport at UCF Ever. Since taking over the helm of UCF women’s soccer in 1999, Cromwell has guided her team to a 203-83-26 record, 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. But for this we will just focus on Conference USA era. Cromwell won 4 regular season CUSA titles (05, 07, 09, 10) and Conference USA Tournament championship in 2012. Cromwell also led the Knights to championship game appearances in CUSA Tournament in 2007, 2009, and 2010. Never finished worst then 4th in the regular season which happen only once (2011) and Finished 1st or 2nd in CUSA in 6 of 8 seasons. UCF made NCAA Tournament six straight years from 2007-2012 during CUSA ERA. Won Coach of Year in CUSA in 2009. Led Knights to elite 8 in 2011 and 2nd round of NCAAs in 2007,2008,2009,2010, and 2012.
2- Caryl Smith Gilbert– UCF Track and Field : In 6 seasons, Caryl Smith Gilbert led UCF to 4 outdoor CUSA Championships (2010-2013) and two indoor championships (2011,2013) and has been name coach of the year four times for outdoor success and made UCF Track and Field as one of the nations best teams in the country competing for National Championship.
3- Bryce Wallor – UCF Men Golf : Since taking over in 2010, Wallor has led UCF to two CUSA Championships (2010,2011),and made 4 NCAA Tournament appearances (2010-2013) and made it to NCAA Championship round in 2012, 2013.
4- George O’Leary – UCF Football : In 8 seasons at CUSA, O’Leary led the Knights to two CUSA Championships (2007, 2010) played in two other title games (2005, 2012). During this time the Knights made it to 5 bowl games in 8 seasons. O’Leary was named CUSA Coach of the Year three times (2005, 2007, 2010).
5- Renee Luers-Gillispie – UCF Softball : In 8 seasons at CUSA, UCF Softball made the NCAA Tournament 3 times (2008,2010,2012) won CUSA Championship in 2008 as well as reached the title game in 2010. Gillispie. UCF also finished 2nd and 3rd during regular season and made the semi-finals in CUSA Tournament in 2007, 2011 as well in a conference that has sent 24 teams into the NCAA Tournament, 2nd most behind only Baseball. CUSA Softball has sent 4 or more teams into NCAA Tournament every year since 2010. The Knights were 1 win away from Super Regional in 2008 as they made it to Regional Championship Game in Gainesville versus # 1 ranked Florida.
6- Joi Williams – UCF Women Basketball : In six seasons at UCF, Joi Williams led UCF to two CUSA Conference Tournament Championships (2009, 2011) and played in another title game (2013). Since taking over in 2008, UCF only finished better then 5th in CUSA regular season once (2011) and had two winning seasons in CUSA games . But in CUSA Tournament games Williams ended up going 11-4. Williams was name CUSA Coach of the Year in 2009.
7- Nick Clinard – UCF Men Golf : from 2006-2009, Clinard led UCF to 3 NCAA Tournament appearances and CUSA Championship in 2009 before leaving for Auburn.
T-8- Terry Rooney – UCF Baseball : since taking over Baseball program in 2009, Rooney led UCF Baseball to two NCAA Tournament Appearances (2011,2012) including regional championship game in 2012 in Coral Gables as the Knights were 1 win away from Super Regional. The Knights played in a conference that was one of the top 5 conferences in Baseball. Rooney and the Knights was within 1 win of regular season title in 2012 which was the Knights best finish in CUSA.
T-8 Bryan Cunningham – UCF Men Soccer : In seven seasons, Cunningham led the Knights to two NCAA Tournament appearances (2010,2011) and reached 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament in each season. Reached CUSA Conference Tournament Semi-Finals from 2009-2011. Finished 2nd in CUSA regular season in 2010, 3rd in regular season in 2011.