While Johnny Dawkins has received high praise for the excellent job he’s done with the University of Central Florida Knights basketball program, it’s easy to forget his own successful career on the hardwood. Dawkins didn’t just play college basketball, he starred for the Duke Blue Devils and will go down as one of the school’s top players ever.
The Knights will wrap up this season with the program’s fewest losses since the 2006-07 season. But they have a tall task in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament which comes against Dawkins’ former team. UCF will square off with No. 1 seed Duke after both teams won their opening round matchups.
While the coach has done a great job with the Knights program in recent years, the on-court success from his playing days shouldn’t be overlooked.
Johnny Dawkins’ College Stats With Duke Blue Devils
Dawkins played for the infamous (and current) Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski from 1982-86. He’ll go down as one of the best players in school history and during his time playing, became the school’s all-time scoring leader with 2,556 points, per Duke Report. That record stood until JJ Redick broke it during the 2006 season. Dawkins had multiple impressive seasons with the Blue Devils, but his senior year was a memorable one.
During the 1985-86 season, which was Dawkins’ final with the Blue Devils, the team posted a 37-3 record. The talented guard was honored for his personal achievements as he won the Naismith College Player of the Year Award. Dawkins led the team to the NCAA title game, but they came up just short of winning the championship, losing to the Louisville Cardinals.
After an exceptional collegiate career, Duke proceeded to retire the No. 24 jersey of Dawkins, showing just how much he meant to the program throughout his career.
Johnny Dawkins’ Post-Playing Career & Coaching Record
Dawkins went on to play in the NBA for nine seasons, and after his career wrapped up he returned to Duke in 1998 as an assistant under Krzyzewski. He held a role with the Blue Devils from 1998 to 2008 before accepting the head coaching job at Stanford.
The Cardinal went 156-115 with Dawkins leading the way and made the 2014 NCAA Tournament. His team finished .500 or better in six of those seasons, but he was fired by the school following the eighth year. Almost immediately after, Dawkins was hired as the head coach at Central Florida.
Through the first two seasons with the current coach at the helm, the Knights went 24-12 and 19-13. After their opening-round win in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, UCF boasts a 24-8 record for the 2018-19 season. Dawkins played a vital role in helping the school receive its first top-25 ranking since 2010-11 and only the second in 35 seasons.