Abrahamson-Henderson, also known as Coach Abe, has inked a one-year deal keeping her at the helm through the 2022-23 season. Dawkins will lead the Knights through the 2023-24 season.
“We are very fortunate to have Katie Abrahamson-Henderson leading our women’s basketball program [and] I am thrilled to have Johnny Dawkins leading our men’s basketball program,” says Danny White, vice president and director of UCF Athletics.
Under Abrahamson-Henderson’s guidance, the Knights finished the 2017-18 campaign with a 22-11 record, tying the most wins in a season as a Division I program. UCF turned in a 12-4 mark in The American – its best record in league play since 2010-11 – and posted its highest finish in the conference for the second consecutive season, earning the third seed. One year after earning the program’s first postseason victory in either the NCAA or WNIT tournaments, Abrahamson-Henderson’s squad followed with a second-straight WNIT second round appearance.
“I am blessed and excited for the confidence of Danny White, Brandi Stuart, former President Hitt and new President Whittaker,” Abrahamson-Henderson says. “Our team’s success over the last two seasons, both on the court and in the classroom, would not be possible without their support. Our entire staff is looking forward to building on the success of back-to-back postseason appearances as we head into this season and the future.”
Dawkins took over a 12-18 team that hadn’t finished above .500 since the 2012-13 season and has led UCF to 43 wins in his two years under his leadership. In the last two seasons, Dawkins’ Knights have made a run to the National Invitation Tournament Semifinals, led the NCAA in field goal percentage defense, won at Memphis for the first time ever and earned their first true road win over a ranked opponent.
“I’m very thankful to Danny White, Eric Wood, former President John Hitt, and new President Dale Whittaker for their continued support of me and my staff,” Dawkins says. “It’s great to have our administration behind us, knowing they believe in what we’re doing as a program and our standard of representing UCF and the community at the highest level.”
With the average team GPA of 3.0 for the last two semesters, both coaches have seen academic growth among their players.