UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Retrospect Series: 2005

GO KNIGHTS This year's Hall of Fame dinner is on Friday, April 10.
This year's Hall of Fame dinner is on Friday, April 10.

April 10, 2009

Orlando, FL (www.UCFAthletics.com) - Orlando, FL (www.UCFAthletics.com) - In commemorating the 10 previous UCF Athletics Hall of Fame inductions, UCF Athletics Communications will run a series of archival flashbacks to the previous classes. Today's flashback is the 2005 class, which featured UCF athletics icons Rony Francois, Franco Grilla, Frank Rohter and Johnny Rouse.

Below is the press release written on Sept. 22, 2005.

Five Golden Knight greats, including local football product Marquette Smith, will be inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Friday night at the Rosen Plaza Hotel on International Drive. The induction ceremony, hosted by the UCF Alumni Association, begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of UCF's football game against Marshall Saturday night.

Smith, who graduated from Lake Howell High School and holds the single-season rushing record at UCF, will join UCF's first AD, Frank Rohter, soccer All-American Rony Francois, place-kicker Franco Grilla, and wrestler Johnny Rouse to comprise the 2005 UCF Athletics Hall of Fame class.

Smith played tailback in 1994 and 1995 after transferring from Florida State and led UCF in rushing both seasons. He set the school's single-season record for rushing yards with 1,511 and also set a record with 14 touchdowns as a senior. He is the only player in UCF history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons and is third in career rushing with 2,569 yards, despite having played only two seasons. Smith earned second team All-America honors in 1995, and was an honorable mention selection on the Orlando Sentinel's 25th Anniversary Football Team. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round, but knee injuries in successive years during the pre-season cut his NFL career short.

Rohter helped lay the foundation for the early success in athletics enjoyed by UCF, then known as FTU, all while serving as the chair of the physical education department. He was responsible for hiring some of UCF's most successful coaches during his tenure, including UCF Athletics Hall of Fame inductees Torchy Clark, Gerry Gergley, Dennis Kamrad and Jim Rudy. What made his hiring of these successful coaches more amazing was the fact UCF had little funding and no facilities for athletics and each coach also had to accept a teaching position at the University in addition to their coaching duties.

Francois played soccer from 1980-83 and led the team to two Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament titles and its first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1982 and 1983. He was a three-time All-South performer and earned All-America honors in 1982. Francois earned first-team All-Sunshine State Conference honors three times and was named the league's offensive MVP twice. He finished his career with 39 goals, 23 assists and 101 career points.

Grilla is probably most recognized for his game-winning kick as time expired on a frozen field in Youngstown, Ohio in 1990 that gave UCF a first-round win in the I-AA playoffs against previously unbeaten Youngstown State. He served as UCF's place-kicker from 1989-92 and was named to the Orlando Sentinel's 25th Anniversary UCF Football Team. He owns the school record with 103 consecutive PATs made and is second in career field goals made with 47.

Rouse wrestled at UCF in 1971 and 1972 and finished second in the state his first year and third his second year. He returned to UCF in 1973 as an assistant coach and stayed until 1976. He served one year as head coach in 1982. He won the Regional Olympic Trials in 1976, but an injury prevented him from competing at the National Finals. Rouse coached Winter Park High School for 19 years. He was honored by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Service Award and is a member of the Winter Park High School and Metro Conference Hall of Fames. Currently, he is currently coaching UCF's highly successful wrestling club.

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