University of Central Florida
|University of Central Florida|
|Sports:||Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Cross Country, Rowing, Softball, Track & Field, Volleyball |
|Degrees:||Bachelor's, Master's, Specialist, Doctoral, Professional|
The University of Central Florida (UCF) is one of Florida's eleven state-run universities, located in Orlando. It is the seventh largest university in the United States. Founded in 1963 as Florida Technological University, over 56,000 students are enrolled in the college as of 2010. They have 350 clubs and organizations. In 2006, the Princeton Review listed it on their annual guide to the best institutions for undergraduate education in the United States.
Dr. John Hitt joined UCF as its fourth president in 1992.
Notable programs at UCF include simulation technology (all three branches of the Armed Forces maintain simulation research centers in the Orlando area) and tourism and hospitality (Orlando is one of the world's top tourist destinations, being home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando).
The football team began play as a Division III program in 1979 (the lowest NCAA level, where athletic scholarships are not offered), moving to Division II only three years later in 1982, then in 1990 moved to Division I AA (now known as the Football Championship Subdivision of Division I) and finally to Division I A (now called the Football Bowl Subdivision) in 1996. They are the only football program in the NCAA ranks to play in all four levels. In 2017 they were the only undefeated team in FBS, but due to the FBS structure which doesn't give teams not in a "Power 5 Conference" a chance at a national title they were limited to a New Year's Day appearance at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. However, in 2023 they will finally move into a "Power 5 Conference" by joining the Big 12 Conference, a remarkable feat for a program in less than half a century.