The American Football Coaches Association recognized UCF’s football program Tuesday for graduating more than 90 percent of its freshman student-athletes.

Only 16 other programs out of 120 that compete in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision achieved a graduation rate of at least 90 percent.

UCF joins the following schools which had a GSR of 90 percent or better: Air Force, Army, Boise State, Boston College, Duke, Florida, Iowa, Miami (Fla.), Miami (Ohio), Navy, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Rice and Stanford.

UCF and Rice were the only two Conference USA programs among the 17 schools honored by the American Football Coaches Association. C-USA led the nation with seven programs that recorded graduation rates of at least 75 percent for the 2004 class.

Tuesday’s recognition applies to the freshman class that started in 2004, the first season for Head Coach George O’Leary.

The NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is based on a six-year graduation window for student-athletes. It was developed as part of the NCAA’s academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes.

The NCAA announced its latest Graduation Success Rates in October. UCF’s football program earned a score of 79, which ranked first among all of the state’s public universities. The football team’s score also is 12 points higher than the national average and the highest achieved under Coach O’Leary.