Men's Hoops Promotes Ben Witherspoon to Assistant Coach

by Ken Landis

ORLANDO – UCF men’s basketball head coach Johnny Dawkins announced Sunday the promotion of Ben Witherspoon to assistant coach, following the NCAA’s coaching limit increase.

“We’re happy to announce Ben’s promotion to assistant coach,” said head coach Johnny Dawkins. “He has worked extremely hard and has made a big impact in the film room and in our on-court efforts since joining the staff.”

Witherspoon served as UCF’s special assistant to the head coach in 2022-23, his first season on staff with the Knights. His responsibilities included video coordination and he assisted in on-court efforts. With Witherspoon on staff, the Black and Gold returned to the postseason, tallying 19 victories including a win over the Florida Gators in the first round of the NIT.

Prior to joining the UCF men's basketball staff in June 2022, Witherspoon spent three seasons (2019-2022) as the head men's basketball coach at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando. As head coach, Witherspoon led the Panthers to unprecedented success.

In 2019, he led his team to its first 20-win season in five years en route to a district championship. He followed with even greater success in year two as Witherspoon's Panthers went on to win their first state championship in program history and finished the season nationally ranked. In 2021-22, they were again nationally ranked throughout the entire season and finished as the state runner-up. In three years at Dr. Phillips, he developed four high-major Division I players, including McDonald’s All-American Ernest Udeh Jr., and had 10 guys go on to play college basketball.

Prior to Dr. Phillips, Witherspoon enjoyed two stints at Montverde Academy as an assistant coach in 2013-14 and 2018-19. In 2013-14, he coached a team with current NBA players Ben Simmons (Brooklyn Nets) and D'Angelo Russell (Minnesota Timberwolves) to an undefeated national championship season. On the 2018-19 team, Witherspoon coached current NBA players Cade Cunningham (Detroit Pistons), Precious Achiuwa (Toronto Raptors), Dariq Whitehead (Brooklyn Nets), Moses Moody (Golden State Warriors), and Caleb Houstan (Orlando Magic).

Witherspoon was also the head coach at Cypress Creek High School in Orlando from 2016-18.

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