The first domino has fallen in the Johnny Dawkins era on Wednesday afternoon, as the Knights’ new head coach has hired former USC assistant coach Kevin Norris.

“Kevin brings a lot of experience to our program, both as player and coach,” Dawkins said in a UCF Athletics press release. “He had an accomplished career as a student-athlete at Miami, played professionally for a number of years and since, has made his mark as a coach, specifically at Florida Gulf Coast and USC. We are very excited and fortunate to have a coach like Kevin, who has so much success in the state of Florida, join our staff.”

Norris spent the last three years as assistant coach at the University of Southern California, helping lead the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament and the programs first 20-win season since 2009.

Prior to USC, Norris was an assistant at Florida Gulf Coast for two seasons. During the 2013 season, he helped guide the program to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in the schools’ history, ultimately upsetting the No. 2 seed Georgetown and No. 7 seed San Diego State, becoming the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen.

Norris was a standout point guard in Miami, where he played for head coach Leonard Hamilton. Norris was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team as a freshman. He was a four year letter winner (1995-98) and he was the only player to ever lead Miami in assists for four straight seasons.  Norris holds the record in Miami for steals (208), just second in career assists (493) and he ranks fourth in career starts (108). In his senior year with Miami, he helped lead the Hurricanes to their fist NCAA Tournament berth since 1960.

Norris has played professionally overseas in France, Italy and the Czech Republic, as well as in the American Basketball Association (ABA) with the Calgary Drillers.


Christopher Davis is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future.