A look back at UCF Athletics' hiring of Kirk Speraw


July 24, 2007

Orlando, Fla. (www.UCFAthletics.com) - The following press release may have been the biggest in men's basketball history at UCF, as it commemorated the hiring of Knights men's basketball coach Kirk Speraw, who has led the school to some of its most exciting moments in its Division I era.

The press release wording is exactly as it was written on July 28, 1993 by the UCF Sports Information Office.


University of Central Florida Director of Athletics, Steve Sloan, announced Wednesday the hiring of Kirk Speraw as the school's head men's basketball coach.

"Kirk us a real good match for our program at this time," Sloan said. "He's bright, energetic and has an extensive background in the state of Florida; he also is of sterling character. I think this will work out good for both of us."

Speraw, 36, comes to UCF after spending the last three seasons as an assistant at the University of Florida where, in addition to his coaching duties, he served as the camp director for Florida's summer basketball camps. Prior to joining Lon Kruger's staff at Florida, Speraw posted an 82-21 record in three seasons (1987-90) as head coach of Pensacola Junior College. His tenure at PJC was highlighted by a 31-7 record and a fifth-place finish in the nation in 1990. Speraw was honored as the NABC/KODAK Coach of the Year for his efforts that season.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to coach at UCF," Speraw said. "I have great respect for the university and am looking forward to working with the faculty, staff and students. I'm also excited about the prospects of working with Steve Sloan and being a part of all the changes taking place in the athletic department.

"I know we've got a lot of work to do in order to meet the challenges of the Trans America Athletic Conference but I'm expecting us to make progress from day one."

Speraw began his coaching career in 1979 after completing his eligibility as a player at the University of Iowa. He graduated with a B.B.A. in finance in 1980. Speraw then moved on to the University of Denver where he was an assistant coach while working on an M.B.A., a degree he received in 1982.

Speraw assisted George Scholz at Florida Southern from 1982 until taking over the coaching reigns at Pensacola in 1987. At FSC, Speraw was involved in recruiting four first-team All-Americans, including Jerry Johnson and Kris Kearney, both of whom earned Division II Player of the Year honors.

Instrumental in the turnaround of the Florida basketball program, Speraw becomes the fifth head coach at UCF, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Joe Dean. Assistant Ben DeVary handled the coaching duties on an interim basis after Dean's resignation April 19.

Speraw and his wife Tracy have two sons, Drew (6) and Dustin (2), and a daughter, Brooke (4).