A SECOND CHANCE

On Dec. 8, 2003, O’Leary, 57, is hired as UCF head coach and signs a five-year contract worth $700,000 per year. Then-UCF Athletic Director Steve Orsini, who knew O'Leary from their days at Georgia Tech, convinces UCF President <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PEBSL000176" title="John Hitt" href="/topic/education/colleges-universities/john-hitt-PEBSL000176.topic">John Hitt</a> and board of trustees chairman <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PEBSL000162" title="Dick Nunis" href="/topic/business/tourism-leisure-industry/recreational-sporting-goods-industry/dick-nunis-PEBSL000162.topic">Dick Nunis</a> that O'Leary is the perfect fit for an up-and-coming program. O'[Leary takes over for Mike Kruczek, who was dismissed with two games to play in 2003 in what in ended up being dismal 3-9 campaign. In his introductory press conference O’Leary calls UCF’s program “a sleeping giant.”
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( RICARDO RAMIREZ BUXEDA, ORLANDO SENTINEL / December 8, 2003 )

On Dec. 8, 2003, O’Leary, 57, is hired as UCF head coach and signs a five-year contract worth $700,000 per year. Then-UCF Athletic Director Steve Orsini, who knew O'Leary from their days at Georgia Tech, convinces UCF President John Hitt and board of trustees chairman Dick Nunis that O'Leary is the perfect fit for an up-and-coming program. O'[Leary takes over for Mike Kruczek, who was dismissed with two games to play in 2003 in what in ended up being dismal 3-9 campaign. In his introductory press conference O’Leary calls UCF’s program “a sleeping giant.”

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