Knights Hire Sean Beckton as Assistant Coach

Just days before enshrining the newest members of the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame, the Knights are bringing back a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2000 on a full-time basis as UCF head football coach George O'Leary announced on Monday that Sean Beckton has been hired as an assistant coach for the Knights.

Beckton, who starts his fourth different stint at UCF today (third as a coach and one as a player), will work directly with the UCF defensive backs, replacing Gary Blackney who has resigned for reasons that were personal.

Beckton has been a part of the UCF program at many different stages of its development. Beckton's playing career was bookended by a pair of the biggest highlights of UCF's rapid ascension that has led it eventually to the Football Bowl Subdivision and membership in Conference USA. Beckton's freshman season of 1987 saw the Knights advance to the NCAA Division II semifinals while his senior season, 1990, ended with the Knights competing in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. He also has previously spent eight seasons coaching the Knights at the then-Division I-A (currently FBS) level from 1996-2003, including the program's first two seasons in the Mid-American Conference. Now, he will add C-USA to his lengthy UCF legacy.

"I appreciate the work that Gary has done and I wish him the best of luck in the future," O'Leary said. "I am excited to bring Sean back onto our staff. I have always thought Sean was a very good football coach. I have tried to hire him back before and am happy that it has worked out this time. He is one of the more decorated players in UCF history. He knows the school inside and out and has a real love for UCF. I am pleased to welcome him back."

"I'm extremely excited about coming back," Becton said. "UCF has always been home for me. I came here in 1987 as a true freshman and never really left. I am very excited about coming back home to UCF and being a part of coach O'Leary's staff. I've always been interested in coming back. Coach O'Leary and I have spoken on numerous occasions and I'm happy to be back now."

A native of near-by Daytona Beach, Beckton played for the Knights from 1987-90, graduating as the school's career leader in receptions with 196 and career receiving yardage with 2,493. Amongst his most notable accomplishments was the rare feat he accomplished against Texas Southern on his Senior Day, Nov. 17, 1990, when he threw a touchdown pass (to future NFL star Shawn Jefferson), ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and also scored a fourth touchdown on a punt return.

After brief stints with the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals, Beckton returned to UCF for the first time to serve as a graduate assistant coach under Gene McDowell in 1992-93, working mainly with UCF's tight ends. From 1993-96, Beckton coached at Daytona Beach's Mainland High School where he was also a history teacher. Beckton helped Mainland to a pair of Florida state championships and, in his role as a basketball coach, also helped mentor current NBA star Vince Carter.

Beckton came back to UCF a second time in 1996 when he was hired on as an assistant coach by Mike Kruzcek. Beckton had great success guiding the UCF wide receivers, including a four-year run where the then-Golden Knights had a receiver ranked in the top six in the nation in receptions per game each year.

Beckton's coaching tenure at UCF lasted through the 2003 season, the first year of the O'Leary era in Orlando. He would go on to join Jay Gruden's coaching staff for the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators, a team for which he played from 1993-94.

Beckton graduated from UCF in 1993 with a degree in liberal studies and a minor in physical education. Along with his many football accomplishments, he has also served as Physical Education Department Chair at Mainland High School.


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