After helping develop UCF into one of the top programs in the nation, Mauricio Ruiz was promoted to the Knights' associate head coach in July 2012. Ruiz spent the last four campaigns as an assistant coach at UCF. The Knights who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship in 2010 and 2011, have become a fixture in the national rankings.
UCF recorded plenty of highlights in 2012, including as it finished third in its final campaign in Conference USA. The Knights posted a 1-0 win over No. 17 SMU during the year and also had big road victories at Kentucky and Marshall in league play.
In 2011, UCF went 12-6-3 overall and spent nearly the entire campaign in the top 25. The Knights were ranked as high as No. 6, and earned their second-straight at-large invitation to the NCAA Championship. For the second-consecutive year, UCF hosted a first round game, picking up a win over Florida Gulf Coast.
After serving as a volunteer assistant coach in 2008-09, Ruiz was promoted to assistant coach in the summer of 2009, and eventually to recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2010.
Ruiz is highly involved with the Greater Orlando youth soccer community, becoming the Director of Coaches for the Florida Soccer Alliance in Lake Mary, Fla., last summer.
In 2010, Ruiz helped guide the Knights back to the NCAA Championship after a five-year absence. Playing in the first-ever home NCAA Tournament game in program history, UCF defeated in-state rival South Florida, 3-0, to earn a spot against eventual College Cup semifinalist Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The 2010 Knights won 12 games and earned a No. 2 seed in the C-USA tournament; the highest ranking for the team since joining the league in 2005.
Ruiz has helped several Knights go on to professional soccer careers, including Deshorn Brown, who was the No. 6 overall selection by the Colorado Rapids in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. In 2012, both Kevan George (Columbus Crew) and Warren Creavalle (Houston Dynamo) were taken in the second round. Former Knight Sean Johnson, who has spent time with the U.S. National Team, was selected by the Chicago Fire in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.
Ruiz played soccer at UCF from 2001-02. During his time as a Knight, he was part of the first conference championship team in 2002, helping the team reach the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in program history. He played in every game as a freshman and started seven games as a sophomore, recording eight goals and four assists during this two-year career.
Ruiz finished his collegiate career at Stetson, where he played two seasons. He captained the team to an Atlantic Sun Championship during his senior season with the Hatters.
During the 2007-08 season, Ruiz suited up with the Orlando Sharks of the Major Indoor Soccer League, playing 27 out of 30 games and recording seven goals and four assists as a rookie.
Ruiz is a 2005 graduate of Stetson, where he earned a bachelor's degree in management information Systems. Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ruiz moved to the United States in 1996 with his parents and two older sisters.