Dawkins: I Loved Coaching My Son

Johnny Dawkins reflected on his experience coaching his son, Aubrey, as well as UCF's incredible season

Taz and the Moose
April 03, 2019 - 1:01 pm
Aubrey Dawkins UCF NCAA Tournament

USA Today Images


Michigan State beat Duke 68-67 in the Elite Eight on Sunday, but the Spartans almost didn’t get the chance. That’s because UCF almost upended the Blue Devils in the Round of 32. 

While the Knights (24-9) lost 77-76 in heartbreaking fashion, they still had a great season.

“No doubt,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said on Taz & The Moose. “When I look back on the season – and I think when our players look back – they’ll realize just how great a year it was. The tournament is so unforgiving. It’s so abrupt that it kind of shocks your system, and a lot of emotions are everywhere. But our guys, I think they’ll realize they had a good season, and of course I’ve been through this before, so I understand it.”

Dawkins’ son, Aubrey, was virtually unstoppable against Duke. He shot 12-of-18 from the floor – including 5-of-7 from three – and scored a game-high 32 points. But his put-back attempt rolled off the rim as time expired, allowing Duke to advance.

“I loved coaching my son,” Dawkins said. “I didn’t know I would like it as much because I had worked out with him since he was a young kid. We worked out every day, and I figured he had heard my voice so much (he would tune me out). So it was kind of funny, but it ended up being amazing. This has been the most enjoyable year of my coaching career – in large part because I had a great group of guys to coach, but also because I had a chance to coach my son. It’s something that I’ll never forget. He was a great teammate, and all of the players will attest to that. He’s all about winning, all about sharing, and that’s what you want from a player on your team. He was very knowledgeable about the game, so he understood it. He was a great addition to our program.”

Click below to listen to Dawkins’ interview in its entirety.