Nobody Better Than Knight Fan Stan

Brian Stanley, better known as “Knight Fan Stan” to all UCF students, is a beloved Knights super fan and supporter. You probably know him as the enthusiastic guy who runs around the stands with UCF signs with slogans that say “Nobody better than UCF students” and “Every day is a great day to be a UCF Knight” at every football game. He puts a smile on all of the fans’ faces, but there’s a lot more to know about UCF’s number one fan. I had the opportunity to speak with Knight Fan Stan and hear what ignited his passion for the UCF community, and what motivates him in his endearing support for our university, students, and alumni.

How long ago did you become a UCF fan, are you alumni yourself?

Knight Fan Stan (KFS): That’s a very common misconception, I’m actually not an alumni—my wife went to UCF, my sister graduated from UCF too, and my daughter is going to UCF. I’ve had season tickets for 25+ years.

So you’ve seen UCF transform throughout the years, that’s amazing. What is your favorite thing that’s changed since you became a fan?

KFS: The on-campus stadium for sure. UCF used to play at the Citrus Bowl near Downtown, Orlando before Bright House Networks Stadium opened. Expanding the campus and building the stadium has brought in a lot of recruits and has been great for the school.

How did you actually end up branding yourself as “Knight Fan Stan?”

KFS: I always wanted to model myself after Mr. Two Bits, a Florida Gators cheerleader of 60 years who had a signature cheer “Two Bits! Four Bits! Six Bits! A Dollar! All for the Gators Stand up and holler!” My goal as Knight Fan Stan was to get fans inside the stadium when it first opened. That’s still my goal as I want to help build a heritage and a fan base for UCF since we are still a relatively young school.

In 2007, I would knuckle bump everyone in my section, (which I still remember was section 226); I am not a shy person at all. In 2008, I really wanted to get people into cheering “Every day is a great day to be a UCF Knight” from my most signature sign and motto. I've earned my trust after a lot of postive feedback to my cheering in the stands. Well, one sign lead to another and now I’m at 10. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to do what I do for UCF.

Knight Fan Stan has his own printing company called Jet Set Printing, his father started the company in 1975. Knight Fan Stan prints his own signs he brings to the UCF sporting events. Jet Set Printing also produces items such as brochures, cards, banners, direct mail and more. Every football season Knight Fan Stan tries to print new slogans on every sign for a new experience for fans, he wants to promote UCF positively and creatively.

How many sporting events (on average) would you say you go to every year?

KFS: I go to every single football game! I usually attend 50-70 basketball games as I have season tickets for basketball as well, and I try to go to as many baseball games as I can.

Last football season Knight Fan Stan even cheered on the Knights while going through chemotherapy and his doctor advising him against it. His big heart and love for our school is truly inspiring, nothing can stop him—not even cancer. Since then, he is now cancer free and ready to take on the 2016 season with a clean bill of health and fresh start!

Assuming you’ve traveled to some away football games, what has been one that’s really stuck out to you?

KFS: I usually go to the USF vs. UCF game so I’ve been to Tampa before. (Disclaimer: he doesn’t cheer in the stands at USF games for obvious reasons). I’ve also been to Miami, and my favorite away game was traveling to Arizona for the 2013 Fiesta Bowl.

Not only does Knight Fan Stan cheer on the Knights at every game, he also has his own online radio show called the Knight Fan Stan Show that airs Thursday-Sunday on Orlando Sky Radio. He interviews UCF students, alumni and fans and usually chats about sports and the students themselves, asking questions such as why they chose UCF. It’s a family-friendly show and the genre of music played varies from rock n’ roll to new country and the top 40 hits.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve interviewed on your radio show?

KFS: I have Robert Brownrigg, “Knight Fan Bob” on my show weekly. I really enjoyed interviewing Chris Duffy, a former baseball player.

Speaking of athletes, who has been your favorite to watch—past and present.

KFS: In the past, my favorite UCF athletes included Blake Bortles, Daunte Culpepper and Brandon Marshall. I’m excited for the new team this year and to see who rises to the occasion as a standout quarterback. I’m most eager to see how Justin Holman, Nick Patti and Tyler Harris do.

What are your thoughts or predictions for this year’s football season?

KFS: Call me in December for a concrete answer (laughs). I’m happy with three or four wins.

What do you envision for the future of UCF?

KFS: There’s a lot of talk about being in a top 5 power conference like the Big 12, which could definitely happen one day but I think people lose light of the fact that games are about family, bonding, making friends and lasting memories—so I don’t know what the future holds but I’m content with where we’re at now. It's going to be a slow process, other schools have a 100-year head start on UCF, we will get there eventually.

When you’re not cheering on the Knights, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

KFS: I’m always cheering on the Knights! I guess driving around town with my 10 UCF car flags and magnets (laughs).

What’s something on your UCF bucket list that you’ve always wanted to do?

KFS: I think in the future being able to get on the field before games to cheer, and then going in the stadium is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’m extremely happy doing what I’m doing now and believe good things come to those who wait. I’ve also always wanted to partake in Spirit Splash tradition and cheer there too.

Who inspires you the most in your life?

KFS: God is always number one, along with my family, kids and mom—and of course UCF students. Sometimes we are all faced with a lot of negativity, and it’s nice to see UCF students and put a smile on their faces and give them lasting memories to look back on.

Any closing remarks or advice for UCF students?

KFS: Incoming freshman need to come on out to the games, don’t leave halfway through and meet me!

Cheer loud and proud, because every day is a great day to be a UCF Knight.

Follow Knight Fan Stan on social media: Twitter & Facebook 

Featured photo credit: KnightNews.com - Last photo credit: Centric.cos.ucf.edu