Scott Calabrese was named the sixth head men's soccer coach at UCF on Dec. 5, 2016.
In just his second season with UCF, Calabrese and the staff earned the American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year after winning the conference regular season title with a 5-1-1 record in conference play. Overall, the Knights finished 13-3-3. Since becoming a Division I program, it is the third best record the Knights have garnered. UCF put together an impressive 8-2-3 record at the UCF Soccer Complex scoring 29 goals and grabbing 86 points.
The 2018 team moved into the program record books after recording eight goals and eight assists in the 8-1 win over Jacksonville for 24 points, the fifth most in program history. The Knights also went on a 10-match unbeaten streak, which breaks their previous record of nine.
Calabrese coached one of the best offenses in all of Division I. For the entire regular season, the Knights have been ranked top 10 in the nation in almost every offensive category including total assists, total goals, total points, scoring offense, points per game, assists per game, goals per game, and have been the top team in shots per game and shots on goal per game. UCF was also the top team in The American in all of those categories.
Calabrese and the staff produced three major award winners (Offensive, Midfielder, Goalkeeper of the Year), seven All-Conference selections, and eight Player of the Week awards from The American. They also produced five All-Region selections and two All-Americans (Cal Jennings and Louis Perez). In addition to all the awards, the Knights capped off the regular season with a ranking of No. 9, which is the third highest in program history. Throughout the season, the Knights reached as high as No. 7.
For the sixth time in program history, the Knights reached the NCAA Tournament after earning a 14th seed, a first round bye, and hosting privileges.
Calabrese also produced a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist in Cal Jennings who scored 20 goals in 19 games including three hat tricks on the season.
In his first season with UCF, the Knights went 8-6-2 overall and 4-2-1 in conference play. The team went undefeated at home posting four wins and finished second in the American Athletic Conference under Calabrese’s leadership.
During the 2017, the Knights were awarded The American Player of Week five times, earned five all-conference selections, two all-rookie honors, and two all-region winners. Also during his first season in The American, the Knights finished first in points (39), goals (13), and assists (13), while senior Matias Pyysalo dominated the offensive game taking Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Calabrese spent the previous three seasons before coming to UCF at FIU, taking the program to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in over 10 years by capturing the 2015 Conference USA Championship. He helped the Panthers to consecutive appearances in the finals at the C-USA Championship.
The two-time conference coach of the year has posted an 85-67-20 overall mark.
"I am very excited about the pedigree that Scott Calabrese brings to UCF," White said. "The soccer culture in Orlando has grown exponentially over the last several years, and I believe Coach Calabrese can help us add to that culture here at UCF. Scott has had great success in his coaching career. He was the region coach of the year at FIU in 2015 and won two conference championships at East Tennessee State, where he started the program from scratch. I look forward to watching him build the Knights into a national power in the soccer capital of the south."
The Newton, Conn., native has been known for building programs and started the program at East Tennessee State in 2008. In three short years, he guided the Bucs to the 2010 Atlantic Sun Championship behind 10 shutout victories, earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The 2010 NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year tallied four seasons with 10-or-more victories and also aided ETSU to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
"I would like to thank Dr. Daniel J. White and the search committee for providing me with the opportunity to be the next head men's soccer coach at UCF," Calabrese said. "I am beyond excited to join this incredible and growing athletic department that is investing in its student-athletes and programs.
"I had an opportunity to meet the team and talk with the players individually this morning. They are very committed to seeing this program succeed, improve and progress. I can't wait to get started on the field in January and begin building personal relationships with these young men."
Prior to taking the head coaching position at ETSU, Calabrese served four seasons as an assistant at Clemson from 2003-06. He aided the Tigers to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2005 College Cup and a No. 1 national ranking. He additionally worked as the director of the Clemson Soccer Academy, which hosts over 1,800 youth soccer players a year.
As a part of the coaching staff at North Carolina from 2000-01, he helped the Tar Heels to a pair of Elite Eight appearances, which included the 2001 National Championship and 2000 ACC Championship.
He has ties to the central Florida area, beginning his career as an assistant coach at Stetson from 1998-99.
Calabrese also has a connection to UCF women's soccer head coach Tiffany Roberts-Sahaydak, who he coached professionally as a member of the Carolina Courage (WUSA) coaching staff in 2002. He helped guide the Courage as an assistant coach to the Founder's Cup that season.
Calabrese graduated from Bryant College with a degree in business administration. He also holds an "A" coaching license and is a Level I and II certified goalkeeping instructor with the NSCAA.