Program Spotlight: University of Central Florida

Assistant Coach Ted Tom of the University of Central Florida (UCF) shared a glance into his recruiting process while offering some advice to players. The UCF Knights are an NCAA Division I school competing in the American Athletic Conference and will move to the Big 12 Conference mid-2023. The Knights have posted a winning record in every season under the helm of current Head Coach, Greg Lovelady.

“Be physically prepared to showcase yourself.”

– COACH TOM, UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
courtesy of ucfknights.com

Quick Facts

School:University of Central Florida
Division:NCAA Division I
Conference:American Athletic Conference/
Big 12 Conference (beginning July 2023)
Location:Orlando, FL
Student Population:70,000
Website:ucfknights.com
Twitter:@UCF_Baseball

Recruiting Q&A – with Assistant Coach Ted Tom

What are your typical scouting methods?

High school, summer/fall travel ball.

How do you recommend players contact you if they are interested in your program?

Email/twitter.

If a player contacts you, what are you most interested in?

Video.

Any general advice for players that want to play college baseball?

Be physically prepared to showcase yourself.

>> Read more: Recruiting Q&As from college coaches <<


Program Overview – Knights Baseball

The UCF baseball program is highly recognized as a program that competes on a national level and continually produces top MLB talent. Head Coach Greg Lovelady and his staff recently led the program to their first American Athletic Conference Championship tournament final appearance in school history.

Coach Lovelady’s stint as head coach of the Knights began in 2016. Before taking over the UCF program Coach Lovelady spent several years as a top assistant before taking over the head coaching position at Wright State University. Coach Lovelady has tremendous success at Wright State, posting multiple 40-win seasons and a pair of NCAA Regional Runner-up finishes. That success continued at UCF, with winning records and regional appearances.

Coach Lovelady is an alum of the University of Miami, where he was a standout player and then coach. During that time he was a part of five College World Series appearances.

The Knights play at John Euliana Park, one of the country’s top college baseball stadiums, which holds close to 4,000 fans. The facility also features a weight room, training room, equipment rooms, and both players’ and coaches’ locker rooms. Frequent updates have been made to the field to provide fans with a great experience. Between the lights, fans, and Florida weather, the ballpark comes alive at night which highlights the electric atmosphere of college baseball.

The UCF players are also fortunate to have Jeremy Fradin on staff, the Assistant Director of Sports Performance. Fradin has extensive experience working with athletes and developing strength and conditions programs for both in and off-season. Fradin has experience working with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and was responsible for the health and recovery of professional athletes in that organization.

UCF produces multiple MLB draft picks every year, which is a testament to the coaching staff and the level of talent in the program. Coach Lovelady has developed several MLB draft picks in each of his years leading the program. UCF is a top college baseball program in the country and will surely continue to attract top-level talent.

School Overview – UCF

Located in Orlando, FL, UCF, in many recent years, has been the largest university in the United States with over 70,000 students. A university that is heavily invested in research, UCF offers over 230 degree programs across 13 colleges.

UCF features all the benefits of a large public university. There are countless student groups, organizations, and activities for students to participate in and explore their interests with like-minded students. The proximity to downtown Orlando creates even more opportunities for students with off-campus groups and activities.

UCF is an affordable option for a great education compared to many other colleges and universities. Recently, UCF was voted in the Top 50 universities nationwide with the least amount of student debt. To support that accolade, UCF reports that over 57% of students graduate without any educational debt.

There is a lot for potential students to learn about UCF, and for more information about the student experience at UCF, admissions, and academic programs, we’d invite student-athletes to visit ucf.edu to learn more.

Closing Remarks

We would like to thank Coach Tom for taking the time to share his answers to the Recruiting Q&A. Emphasizing his comments on physical ability, we agree it’s incredibly important for players to become prepared physically for the recruiting process and eventually college baseball. Physicality is an opportunity for players to stand out from each other and ultimately further their development as baseball players.

It’s important for players to understand why college coaches often place such a strong focus on recruiting players that are strong athletically. In college baseball, every player is very skilled, and the talent gap between players shrinks dramatically. The area where players can separate from each other and teams can become more competitive is on the physical side. A prospect that can show they are physically talented is going to catch the eye of college coaches. It shows the player has discipline in the weight room, and will work hard to improve all aspects of the game. It also shows that they have a strong physical foundation for college coaches to work with and fine tune mechanically.

We’d also like the point out the accessibility of Coach Tom, and the role email and twitter play in his recruiting process. Even at top-tier college baseball programs, it’s still possible for players to contract the coaches and let them know they are interest in their program. With that said, these coaches received hundreds if not thousands of messages from players, so it’s important to stand-out. Quick, concise, and respectful messages are the best ways to make sure a coach reads your message. Also, it’s extremely important to have a video that a coach can quickly watch and gather the information they need to move forward if they see the player is a potential fit for their program. Without a video and information, it really limits a players chance of furthering any conversations with a coach.

Again, we would like to thank Coach Tom, and wish the UCF Knights the best of luck in their upcoming season.