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New UCF head football coach Gus Malzahn has made an impact in the short time he’s been with his new team, and adding the Twitter handles to the back of player jerseys for the spring games seems to be the latest installment.
“We have a chance to be the future, and we’re a program that’s going up,” Malzahn said. “I’m blessed to come in here at the right time. Everything’s starting to line up, and I think everybody feels it. We’ve just got to do it now, but the exciting thing is it’s capable of being done.”
“The future of student-athlete branding,” Front Office Sports tweeted.
Malzahn is coming off an eight-year run as the head coach of Auburn and comes to UCF after being fired in December. He replaces Josh Huepel, who left for Tennessee in February.
“Chip-on-the-shoulder program, chip-on-the-shoulder coach,” he told ESPN. “This place allows me to be me.”
Although Malzahn’s team may not have been the first to try the trend out, it may be the program that sets the trend.
Temple’s 2018 Cherry and White spring game featured Twitter handles in place of the last names of its players, as well.
With UCF’s new leadership — and the use of social media as a connection and branding tool — will this trend pick up more steam than when Temple tried in 2018?