When varsity football arrived at Central Florida in 1979, it capped off a decade of drastic changes on the university's campus. In 1970, the school unveiled its new nickname for athletics: the Knights. At that time, though, UCF wasn't even UCF yet—it was still Florida Technological University, a title that was shed in 1978 to gain larger statewide appeal and minimalize applications from college-aged robots.
With a new mascot and a new identity, the school's athletics program began to develop its own personality. The football team wasn't just the Knights; they were the Fighting Knights. The baseball club became the Diamond Knights, and the tennis team the Smashing Knights. It was an era marked by change and by a collective toughness among the school's teams. When it joined Conference USA in 2005, UCF athletics showed similar resolve almost immediately. The football team won conference championships in 2007 and 2010, and the women's basketball team did the same in 2009 and 2010. The 2013–14 seasons mark yet another chapter in the university's history, as it begins competing as part of the Big East.