Dec. 8, 2010
After leading his squad to a Conference USA Championship and a No. 24 national ranking, UCF head coach George O'Leary has been named the C-USA Coach of the Year, as selected by the league's fellow head coaches. The Coach of the Year honor highlights a year that has featured O'Leary leading the Knights to a 10-3 overall record and a berth in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against Georgia on December 31.
This is O'Leary's third Conference USA Coach of the Year, as he was recognized in 2005 after leading the Knights to an East Division title and again in 2007 after leading UCF to its first-ever Conference championship. O'Leary was twice named ACC Coach of the Year, giving him five Conference Coach of the Year awards, a figure that trails only South Carolina's Steve Spurrier (six) and Arizona State's Dennis Erickson (six) among active FBS coaches.
UCF's win over SMU in last Saturday's C-USA Football Championship Game gave the Knights their second C-USA title in four years. UCF's 10 wins on the year has tied the school record set in 1990 and matched by the 2007 C-USA Champions. The Knights have made only four bowl appearances in school history under O'Leary's tutelage.
For the second straight season, UCF leads Conference USA in total defense, allowing 318.1 yards per game. The Knights also lead the league in rushing defense (110.4 yards per game) and scoring defense (18.0 ppg), figures that rank 10th and 12th nationally, respectively.
Under O'Leary's guidance, eight UCF players earned All-Conference USA recognition by the league's coaches, including five first-team selections. Included are OL Jah Reid, DE Bruce Miller, DB's Kemal Ishmael and Josh Robinson and KR Quincy McDuffie. Miller earned his second straight C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Award, while QB Jeff Godfrey was named C-USA Freshman of the Year.