1979 UCF Knights football team

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1979 UCF Knights football
Conference Independent
1979 record 6–2
Head coach Don Jonas (1st season)
Home stadium Orlando Stadium
1980 →

The 1979 UCF Knights football team was the first official varsity team fielded by the University of Central Florida. The Knights first head coach was Don Jonas. The Knights competed as an NCAA Division III Independent. The team played their home games at Orlando Stadium, now known as the Citrus Bowl, in Downtown Orlando.

UCF played its first game on September 22, 1979, against Saint Leo University. The Knights would prove victorious with a 21–0 shutout, and less than a week later, the Knights would win their first home game by defeating Ft. Benning, 7–6.[1] Jonas led the Knights to a 6–2 inaugural season, behind an average attendance of 11,240, including a Division III record crowd of 14,138.[1][2]

The humble beginnings for the Knights football team were exemplified during their inaugural season. The team had no locker room, the coaching staff was composed of volunteers, players were asked to bring their own cleats, and all equipment and supplies were donated. Practices took place on a driving range, and players had to go to a classroom building on campus to find showers. Head coach Don Jonas famously offered to take the position for no salary.[3]

Season schedule[edit]

Orlando Stadium, the Knights home field.
Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 22 at Saint Leo* St. Leo, Florida W 21–0   1,000
September 29 Fort Benning* Orlando StadiumOrlando, Florida W 7–6   14,138
October 13 Maryville* Orlando Stadium • Orlando, Florida W 10–7   7,350
October 20 at Fort Lauderdale* Fort Lauderdale, Florida W 14–0   500
October 27 at Presbyterian* Bailey StadiumClinton, South Carolina L 0–48   3,800
November 3 at Emory & Henry College* Emory, Virginia L 14–28   1,000
November 10 Sewanee* Orlando Stadium • Orlando, Florida W 24–0   10,111
November 17 Morehouse* Orlando Stadium • Orlando, Florida W 14–7   13,309
*Non-conference game. All times are in Eastern Time.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Finally, Gametime Arrives: Part 2 of 8 - The History of UCF Football". University of Central Florida Athletics Association. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2011-12-24. 
  2. ^ "Central Florida Game by Game Results". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2011-12-24. 
  3. ^ "The Birth of Saturday Knights Live: Part 1 of 8 - The History of UCF Football". University of Central Florida Athletics Association. 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2011-02-05.