Football: Knights in Nation's Top 5 for Academic Success

Knights improve their multi-year APR from 975 to 978.

Football: Knights in Nation’s Top 5 for Academic Success

UCF football’s Academic Progress Rate rose yet again as official numbers were released by the NCAA Wednesday, proving that the Knights are not only succeeding on the field but in the classroom as well.

When head coach George O’Leary took over the program for the 2004 campaign, UCF’s APR stood at 880. That changed immediately, as the Knights quickly jumped to 973 for 2005-06 and had at least a 970 six out of seven times from 2005-06 to 2011-12.

The 2012-13 APR just announced, though, solidified UCF football as an academic power. The Knights checked in with a program-high of 994, only six points shy of a perfect score and tied for fifth in the country. It also marks eight consecutive years that UCF is ahead of the national average.

Highest 2012-13 APR for FBS Programs

1) Texas, Louisville 1,000

3) Air Force 997

4) Stanford 995

5) UCF, Minnesota, Utah State, South Carolina, Wisconsin 994

10) Indiana, Rutgers 991

UCF’s multi-year APR rate (last four reporting periods) jumped from 975 to 978, placing the Knights 15th overall among all FBS schools. UCF’s 978 stands 27 points higher than the average four-year rate among all NCAA football programs of 951.

Highest Multi-Year APR for FBS Programs

1) Duke 992

2) Northwestern 991

3) Wisconsin 989

4) Boise State, Utah State 988

6) Stanford 984

7) Clemson, Georgia Tech 983

9) Boston College 981

10) Missouri, Nebraska, Rutgers, South Carolina 980

14) UCLA 979

15) UCF 978

Of the top-15 multi-year APR programs, UCF, Duke, Wisconsin, Stanford, Clemson, Missouri, South Carolina and UCLA were ranked in the final AP and USA Today top-25 polls in 2013.

The 978 also ranks UCF as the top APR school in the state of Florida as well as No. 1 in the American Athletic Conference.

UCF football’s team grade-point average has been at least a 2.9 for three of the last four terms (excluding summers), highlighted by a 3.01 overall GPA for the 2012-13 academic year. Before entering The American, the Knights won the 2011-12 and 2012-13 Conference USA Football Academic Award for highest GPA in the league.

More than 20 student-athletes in the past four years have been enrolled in graduate school while completing their eligibility. That included Lyle Dankenbring who was an Academic All-American in 2012.

In the fall 2013 semester, two Knights graduated, three earned a 4.0 GPA for the term and 48 players were on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for having at least a 3.0.

For the spring of 2014, eight student-athletes graduated, three received a 4.0 GPA for the term and 46 Knights earned Athletic Director’s Honor Roll distinction.

While UCF has mastered the textbooks, it has opened eyes on the gridiron. The Black and Gold is coming off a 12-1 campaign where it won the American Athletic Conference title, won the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, defeated two top-10 teams and finished No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25.

Overall, the Knights have posted double-digit wins in three of the last four seasons, highlighted by three straight bowl victories.