Pro Hockey News

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Lovelady Will Not Return as UCF Baseball Head Coach

ORLANDO ( - Greg Lovelady will not return as UCF baseball head coach after seven seasons in that role. 

The Lovelady era in Orlando ends with one NCAA Championship appearance (in 2017 in Lovelady’s first season), a shared American Athletic Conference title (also in 2017), one appearance in the AAC Tournament title game (2021), 20 combined selections in the Major League Baseball Draft (2017-22) and a seven-year mark of 225-149 (.601).


The Knights finished with winning records in all seven of Lovelady’s seasons, beginning with a 40-22 mark in his debut campaign in 2017. UCF was 83-68 (.549) in regular-season AAC play over the seven years.


In his first campaign with the Knights in 2017, Lovelady earned AAC Coach of the Year honors.Recent years have been highlighted by early-season road series wins or sweeps at No. 1 Ole Miss (2021), No. 8 Auburn (2020) and Clemson in 2022. In the 2020 season shortened by Covid, the Knights began with a 15-3 record through the first four weeks of the season and were ranked as high as No. 12 by four of the six major national baseball polls.


The Knights concluded their 2023 season Friday with a 13-inning, 7-6 elimination-game loss to No. 1 seed East Carolina in the AAC Tournament in Clearwater, Florida. UCF finished 33-26 (12-12 in AAC play) and led the league in home runs with 109.


“We appreciate all of Greg’s hard work, effort and commitment over his seven seasons. There’s no doubt he’s a high-character individual,” says UCF vice president and director of athletics Terry Mohajir. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.


“I’m excited for the future because we believe in the trajectory of our baseball program. Over the last few years we’ve put significant resources into baseball at UCF--and we will continue to build the program in the transition. I’m confident we can win Big 12 Conference baseball titles and compete on a national level.”Lovelady was named the head baseball coach at UCF on July 11, 2016. He came to Orlando after three years as head coach at Wright State (2014-16), where he led the Raiders to consecutive runner-up finishes at NCAA Championship regionals in 2015 and 2016. As Raiders' head coach, he compiled a 124-56 record (.688)—and Wright State won the Horizon League regular season or tournament championship (or both) in each of Lovelady's three seasons at the helm. He was named the 2014 and 2016 Horizon League Coach of the Year and the 2016 ABCA/Diamond Mideast Regional Coach of the Year.Before being named head coach, Lovelady was on the Wright State staff for nine previous seasons, the final seven as associate head coach.  Lovelady served as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, helping Wright State to NCAA Championship appearances in 2006, 2009 and 2011. As head coach Lovelady’s teams finished 69-18 (.793) in Horizon League play. His career head coaching record is 349-205 (.620) in 10 seasons (seven at UCF, three at Wright State).

As a catcher at the University of Miami, Lovelady helped the Hurricanes win NCAA baseball championships in 1999 and 2001. He captained the 2001 squad after hitting a career-best .314 in 1999. The 'Canes made a postseason appearance during each of Lovelady's years as a player and coach in Coral Gables (he was a Miami assistant coach from 2002-04). Miami reached the NCAA College World Series five times and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional seven times while Lovelady was on campus.The Miami native graduated from Miami in 2001 with a finance degree and a sports management minor. He also played with the Utica Blue Sox, an affiliate of the MLB Florida Marlins.