UCF football exited Conference USA by claiming the league’s Sport Academic Award in back-to-back seasons for 2011 and 2012. Now as a member of the American Athletic Conference, the Knights continued that trend Wednesday by earning the Team Academic Excellence Award as The American’s top football program in the classroom.
The honor is handed out following a 2013 campaign on the gridiron in which UCF went 8-0 in The American to win the inaugural conference title as well. It ultimately finished ranked No. 10 with a 12-1 overall mark and a win in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Winners of The American Team Academic Excellence Award are chosen based on the 2013-14 grade-point average of each student-athlete who appeared on an institution’s roster as of the last contest of the championship segment in each conference-sponsored sport. UCF was chosen for having the highest collective grade-point averages in football. Selections were made by the conference’s Academic Affairs Committee.
Academic accolades are becoming a staple for head coach George O’Leary and his Knights. UCF boasted a program-high Academic Progress Rate of 994 for 2012-13, only six points shy of a perfect score and tied for fifth in the country. It also marked eight straight years that UCF was ahead of the national average. UCF’s multi-year APR jumped from 975 to 978, placing the Knights 15th overall among all FBS schools.
The Knights Graduation Success Rate recently checked in at 83 percent, or 12 points above the national average.
In UCF’s last year in C-USA, it became the first program in league history to record at least a 3.0 or better in football as it posted a 3.024 team GPA during 2012-13.