By Erik Harris
ORLANDO, Fla. – Longtime University of Central Florida head football coach George O’Leary retired on Sunday, leaving a hole in the Knights’ program that wont be filled by offensive coordinator and former Hewitt-Trussville standout offensive lineman Brent Key.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, UCF will pay Key $700,000 for choosing not to promote him to head coach.
“Brent Key has a clause in his contract that he will be paid $700,000 if he is not the next head coach. We will honor that agreement and the $700,000 will be payable over 24 months,” said UCF spokesman Grant Heston to the Orlando Sentinel.
After serving as a position coach for 11 years under O’Leary, Key was promoted to offensive coordinator over the summer. The Knights currently sit at 0-8 while averaging 15 points per game (127th nationally) in Key’s first season leading the offense.
UCF is rushing for 58.3 yards per game (128th) and tossing for 199.4 yards per outing (91st).
Key shined on the Huskies’ offensive front in the mid 90’s before serving as a four-year starter at Georgia Tech under O’Leary from 1997 to 2000. Once his playing days were over, O’Leary brought him on as a graduate assistant for the Yellow Jackets.
O’Leary was named UCF’s head coach in 2004, one year before he invited Key onboard as a graduate assistant. Key has worked under his former coach in Orlando for 11 years.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Knights will look outside the program for its next head coach.
Erik Harris is the Sports Editor for the Trussville Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @jeharris2 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.