ORLANDO — UCF introduced former Duke All-American Johnny Dawkins as coach Thursday.
Dawkins, who was fired as Stanford coach after eight seasons last week, accepted the Knights' job Wednesday.
"I love to compete and I was so happy when I got the call and had the opportunity to interview for an institution like this because it allowed me a chance to get right back in the saddle and start competing," said Dawkins, 52, who agreed to a six-year contract that can pay him up to $1.35 million annually. "That's who I am; I'm a coach, I'm an educator. It wouldn't have felt right not being involved with calling a recruit, not involved with interacting with someone on campus."
Dawkins takes over a program that has struggled since entering the American Athletic Conference a few years ago. The Knights went 12-18 this past season and were bounced in the first round of the conference tournament by No. 10 seed Tulane. Donnie Jones was fired March 10. The Knights are 15-25 in AAC games in the last three seasons.
Dawkins believes all of the pieces are in place to be UCF back on track as the program's seventh head coach.
"I think the possibilities of this job has unlimited potential," he said. "It's a meaningful opportunity for somebody in my position to grow and build something special. I've been a part of that as a player and a part of it as a coach and so I want to be a part of it here.''
N.C. STATE: Twins Caleb and Cody Martin will transfer. Coach Mark Gottfried said the decision came after "a series of honest, thoughtful and somewhat surprising conversations" they've had since the season ended. The brothers, who play both guard and forward, combined to start 35 games as sophomores this season. Caleb thanked N.C. State for the opportunity but said "we think it is best for us to move on."
FROZEN FOUR: The road to the men's hockey Frozen Four, on April 7 (semifinals) and April 9 (championship) at Amalie Arena in Tampa, will come into clearer focus when the field of 16 opens play today. Games on ESPNU today are Northeastern-North Dakota, 2, Michigan-Notre Dame, 5:30, and Harvard-Boston College, 8. For Frozen Four ticket information, go to ncaa.com/tickets or call Amalie Arena at (813) 301-6900.