Former Stanford Cardinal head basketball coach Johnny Dawkins, who was fired following the 2015-16 regular season, will reportedly be the next head coach of the Central Florida Knights, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.
Dawkins, who led the Cardinal to two NIT championships, was 156-115 in eight seasons with the team and qualified for the NCAA tournament just once.
Although the former Duke University star had only two losing seasons at Stanford, the Cardinal were just 15-15 this season. The lack of NCAA tournament appearances had to make the fans grow weary after seeing their team in the Big Dance 13 of the previous 14 years before Dawkins arrived in 2008.
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com noted that Dawkins' Duke connections could have helped him land the job with UCF.
"His career record in the Pac-12 is 66-78," Parrish wrote. "But the former Duke standout and Duke assistant still managed to land the UCF job...less than a week after losing the Stanford job. And, it should be noted, UCF athletic director Danny White is the son of Duke AD Kevin White, if you're looking for a Duke-UCF connection."
Although Dawkins did not reach the level of success he and the school would have liked, it's not like he failed miserably. He leaves with a .576 winning percentage and four 20-win seasons.
|2012-13||Stanford||19-15||.559||NIT Second Round|
|2013-14||Stanford||23-13||.639||NCAA Sweet 16|
It's also not as if the Knights have a rich history of basketball and can pick any coach they want. UCF began play in 1969 as a Division II school and sports a career 0-4 record in the NCAA tournament. In Dawkins' one appearance in 2013-14, he led the Cardinal to an upset victory of the No. 2-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in the second round.
This could be a perfect fit for both sides. Dawkins has the chance to turn around a program that went 12-18 last season, and the Knights are able to show recruits they landed a coach with Power Five experience who brings with him a history full of blue-blood tradition.