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The history behind the out-of-this-world uniforms at UCF

The Charging Knight statue at UCF is pictured with a launch soaring in the sky near the Bounce House stadium.
The Charging Knight statue at UCF is pictured with a launch soaring in the sky near the Bounce House stadium.

When the university was founded in 1963, the University of Central Florida was first called Florida Technological University with a focus on growing and evolving the U.S. space program.

The UCF athletics department created the space uniforms to honor that history and debuted the first space helmets in 2017.

The bounce house stadium has a direct correlation with space with the 50-yard line that is on the same latitude as one of the launch pads at NASA; specifically launch pad 39A.

The space-themed uniforms have evolved every year, and each uniform has a specific meaning, according to Jimmy Skiles, the Chief Brand Officer for UCF athletics.

“We don't just want to design a cool uniform; we want the uniform to tell a story," Skiles said. "And it's not just tell a story about space, it's about what UCF is doing in space.” 

The theme this year is “Reaching New Horizons” to highlight space research projects led by UCF students, faculty and graduates along with honoring the team’s first season in the Big 12 conference.

UCF stated that 29 percent of Kennedy Space Center employees are from the university and more than 30 alumni worked on the Artemis 1mission at NASA.

Skiles said that he wanted the starry uniforms to inspire the next generation of knights; that the light blue uniforms catch everyone's eyes.

“That's one of my goals always for the space game is that some kid watching somewhere wants to either go to space one day or work on building rockets or sees UCF and is like man SpaceU that's where that's where I want to go to school," Skiles said.

Marian is a multimedia journalist at WMFE 90.7 working as a reporter and producer for the 'Are We There Yet?' space podcast.
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