Alan Gooch, Executive Director
Alan Gooch has committed his life to one thing…helping others. His primary vehicle for doing this has been his work for more than 25 years in college athletics and, primarily, football. Alan is the Executive Director of the Orlando Sports Foundation, whose goal is to bring a new and different college football bowl game experience to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Additionally, the bowl’s goal is to create awareness and an additional financial resource for breast cancer research.
Alan began his football career in 1981 as a defensive back for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights. He spent 22 years on the coaching staff starting in 1983 as a graduate assistant, and quickly moving thru the ranks and becoming UCF’s recruiting coordinator.
Alan guided the secondary for his first few years, then took over coaching the linebackers. In 1986, he became responsible for the running backs. Over the next 17 years, all 31 running backs finished their eligibility and received degrees from UCF. During the 1997 season, Alan earned national attention working with running back Dwight Collins, who is deaf. Collins received Walt Disney’s Wide World of Sports Spirit Award for being the nation’s most courageous athlete and was honored, with Alan at his side, by President Bill Clinton in a White House ceremony for winning the Giant Steps award, presented by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. That same year, Alan himself was named the Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
During his eight years as the recruiting coordinator, he aided the program’s transition from Division II through I-AA and into I-A status. He was named assistant head coach in 1998 and took over as interim head coach at the end of the 2003 season. Alan and Gary Gibbs of University of Oklahoma are the only two coaches in division I football to rise from player to Head Coach without leaving their alma mater.
Alan earned both his bachelor’s degree in physical education and master’s degree in exercise physiology from UCF and was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006. He served as the UCF Lettermen’s Club president for three terms and also spent time on the UCF Alumni Association Board of Directors. For his work in the community and commitment to UCF, the UCF Alumni Association awarded Alan with its annual Service to UCF award in November of 1998. In 2007 UCF College of Education honored him as “Educator of the Decade” for the 80’s.
After leaving the coaching profession in 2004, Alan spent a year as the Executive Director of the Golden Knights Club before entering the private business sector as a commercial real estate broker. Alan founded Tizon Commercial in 2006. In 2007, football came calling again when Alan was named President and General Manager of the AFL Orlando Predators and led the 2-Time AFL World Champion organization to its 20th consecutive playoff experience.
Winning championships is a family affair as Alan is married to Linda Gooch, UCF’s longtime Cheerleading Coach. Linda has helped lead her teams to two National Championships (2003 and 2007) and top ten finishes 20 of the last 22 years. Alan and Linda have two boys Zach and Noah.