It will be a night to remember Friday when the 2013 class gets inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame inside the J. Rolfe Davis Recruiting Room at Bright House Networks Stadium. This year’s class features Dan Burke, Lou Cioffi, Don Jonas, Justin Pope and the 2003 cheerleaders.
Burke anchored the offensive line for the Knights’ first four football seasons, starting every game at center his first two years. He made the switch to offensive tackle due to injuries but would go on to be listed as an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American in 1981. Currently the head coach of Palm Bay High School, Burke has amassed a 169-43 record while stockpiling 17-straight playoff appearances, 13 district titles, five final-four appearances and two state titles in 2000 (6A) and 2002 (4A).
Jonas led Burke and the Knights as the football program’s first head coach, serving originally as a volunteer and eventually earning full-time status with UCF in 1980. Over three seasons, Jonas put together a 14-12-1 record and an 11-6-1 record at home. He would retire after the 1981 season to become the director of the UCF Gridiron Club.
Cioffi served as the Knights’ goalkeeper from 1978-79 and attends every match to this day. He remains actively involved and continues to be one of the lead fundraisers for men’s soccer. Notching 111 career saves, Cioffi ranks 10th all-time and also holds the 11th spot in UCF history with six shutouts, and eighth with a 1.54 GAA. He was the Most Valuable Defensive Player in 1979, the same year the Knights won the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship. Cioffi served as the Varsity Club’s first president when established in 2009 and is being inducted as a Distinguished Letterwinner for his major contributions to the athletic program, from personal time, effort and years of continued service.
Pope led the Knights from 1999-01 with former teammate and current Hall of Fame pitcher Jason Arnold, when the two formed a 1-2 punch that carried UCF’s baseball program on a historic run. Often referred to as “Bulldog,” Pope helped guide the Knights to the NCAA Regionals in 2000 and 2001, with a ranking coming in as high as No. 7 in 2001. He stands as the program’s career leader with 32 wins and 335 strikeouts in addition to a laundry list of all-time records. Bulldog ranks second all-time with 49 starts on the mound, third with three shutouts, fifth with 310.0 innings pitched and seventh by averaging 9.73 strikeouts per nine innings. Pope also broke Roger Clemens’ NCAA record by pitching 38.1 consecutive innings without giving up a run in 2001. In the 2001 MLB Draft, he was selected 28th overall in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals and also played eight seasons in the minor leagues. He is currently in his second season as the manager for the Staten Island Yankees (Class A).
Celebrating its 10th anniversary of claiming the Universal Cheerleading Association College Cheerleading Division IA National Championship, the 2003 cheerleaders are the first team to be inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame. The team made the jump from I-AA along with the football team in 1996 and locked up the title just seven years later. The Knights’ cheerleading team would go on to win a second title in 2007.
The Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony is sold out, but check out UCFAthletics.com late Friday night for complete coverage of the event.