KEVIN NORRIS | ASSISTANT COACH
Kevin Norris joined the UCF men's basketball coaching staff in March of 2016 as an assistant coach under head coach Johnny Dawkins.
With Norris on staff, the Knights had immediate success with an overall record of 24-12, doubling the team’s win total from 2015-16 and marking the sixth best turnaround in all of NCAA.
With just seven scholarship players, the Knights earned their highest ever seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament, and third seeded UCF advanced to The American Semifinals for the first time in program history.
A season full of firsts, UCF hosted its first NIT game in 2016-17, defeating Colorado for the program’s first ever win in an NIT or NCAA Tournament game. The Knights went on to defeat top seeded Illinois State on the road, before coming home to the first ever sell-out crowd at CFE Arena and winning 68-58 over Illinois to earn a spot in the NIT Final Four.
With Norris in the fold, UCF led all of NCAA Division I in defensive field goal percentage, holding opponents to just 36.5 percent from the floor. The Knights were also sixth in the nation, allowing only 61.2 points per game, and gave up 45 or less points in four games over the course of the year.
A former point guard, the UCF back court excelled in 2016-17. Sophomore point guard B.J. Taylor led the Knights with 17.4 points and 3.5 assists per game, earning All-American Athletic Conference Second Team honors. Senior Matt Williams finished his career with every single UCF three-point shooting record, converting 126 threes on the season, the second most in the nation.
Norris returned to the state of Florida after a three-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Southern California. During the 2015-16 season, he helped lead the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament and the program’s first 20-win season since 2009.
Prior to his tenure in Los Angeles, he served as an assistant at Florida Gulf Coast for two seasons. In 2013, Norris helped guide the program to its first NCAA Tournament berth in school history and one of the most historic tournament runs in NCAA history. The 15th-seeded Eagles shocked the nation upsetting No. 2-seed Georgetown and No. 7-seed San Diego State to become the first 15-seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. FGCU’s “Cinderella Story” ended in the Sweet Sixteen with a loss to No. 3-seed Florida.
Norris began his coaching career at Tallahassee Community College in 2007-08, then spent two seasons (2009-10) as an assistant coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He then assisted Buzz Peterson at UNC Wilmington during the 2010-11 season.
Norris was a standout point guard at Miami, where he played for then-Hurricanes’ coach Leonard Hamilton. He was a four-year letterwinner (1995-98) and the only player ever to lead Miami in assists for four straight seasons. Norris still holds the UM record for career steals (208), sits second in career assists (493) and ranks fourth in career starts (108). During his senior season in 1998, he helped lead the Hurricanes to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1960. Norris was also listed on the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team as a freshman.
Following his collegiate career, Norris played professionally overseas in Italy, France and the Czech Republic, as well as in the American Basketball Association (ABA) with the Calgary Drillers.