O'Leary Retains Beckton On Coaching Staff

Assistant Coach Sean Beckton

ORLANDO - UCF head coach George O'Leary announced Wednesday that he currently plans to retain assistant coach Sean Beckton for his new coaching staff. Beckton has served as receivers coach at UCF since 1996 and, as of now, is the only assistant coach retained from the 2003 staff.

Beckton, 35, is a member of the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame after a record-setting career at wide receiver from 1987-90. Beckton left as the school's all-time leader in receiving yards with 2,493 before the mark was topped by David Rhodes' 3,618 yards from 1991-94.

Under Beckton's tutelage UCF has had a player finish among the nation's top six in receptions per game four times. Beckton also coached the top 1-2 receiving tandem in UCF history in 2002 when Doug Gabriel and Jimmy Fryzel each recorded a 1,000-yard season. The two players set a new school record with 2,363 combined yards receiving.

Meanwhile, former interim head coach Alan Gooch will not be back with the UCF for a 22nd season of coaching but has been offered a job as Executive Director of the Golden Knights Club, the fundraising arm of the athletics department.

"After several conversations with Coach O'Leary I think the feeling is mutual that a position on his new staff would not be a good fit," Gooch said. "I have a genuine love for UCF and I feel a great sense of loyalty to the UCF football family and the players that I have had the opportunity to coach over the years. These are the factors that have kept me here for 23 years and are also the reasons why this has been such a difficult decision to make. UCF is a great university and spending my entire career here has been my choice. I can tell you now that I have no regrets about that decision."

Gooch, 43, served as interim head coach for the final two games of the 2003 season after Mike Kruczek was relieved of his duties Nov. 10. Prior to being elevated to interim head coach, Gooch was assistant head coach and running backs coach. He was the longest tenured coach on the UCF staff since beginning his coaching career in 1983. He played football for the Golden Knights in 1981 and 1982.

He has not announced whether he intends to accept the job he was offered Wednesday.

"I do appreciate, and my family appreciates, Steve Orsini considering me for that position," Gooch said. "I have not ruled out continuing my coaching career elsewhere, but for now I will be spending some much needed time with my family during the holidays. We will see what the future holds from there.

"I want to thank the UCF community for their support of Linda and I over the past month and I want the players who finished this year to know that I am proud of the way they fought through adversity," Gooch added. "Coach O'Leary is getting some fine young men and I wish him and the team the very best."

O'Leary is continuing to build his coaching staff while working full-time as defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. The NFC-North leading Vikings have three games left in the regular season.

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