UAB Blazers football

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UAB Blazers Football
2014 UAB Blazers football team
UAB Blazers Logo.gif
First season 1991
Athletic director Brian Mackin
Head coach Bill Clark
1st year, 2–1  (.667)
Home stadium Legion Field
Stadium capacity 71,594
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Birmingham, Alabama
Conference C-USA
Division East
All-time record 114–148–2 (.436)
Postseason bowl record 0–1 (.000)
Consensus All-Americans 2

Green and Old Gold

Mascot Dragon (Blaze)
Marching band UAB Marching Blazers
Rivals Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Memphis Tigers
Troy Trojans

The UAB Blazers football team represents the University of Alabama at Birmingham and competes as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A), as a member of the East Division of Conference USA (C-USA). UAB plays its home games at Legion Field, which is located off-campus in Birmingham, Alabama. Bill Clark is the current head coach of the UAB Blazers. With a capacity of 71,594, Legion Field is currently the third largest college football stadium in the state of Alabama and the 40th largest football stadium in the US.


Origins (1989–1990)[edit]

The origins of football at UAB begin with the play of an organized club football team in 1989.[1] After two years competing as a club football team, on March 13, 1991, UAB President Charles McCallum and athletic director Gene Bartow announced that the university would compete in football as a NCAA Division III team beginning in the fall of 1991, with Jim Hilyer serving as the first head coach.[2]

Jim Hilyer era (1991–1994)[edit]

From 1991 to 1992, UAB competed as a Division III Independent, and during this period, the Blazers compiled an 11–6–2 overall record. During this period, the Blazers played their first all-time game on September 7, 1991, a 28–0 loss at Millsaps, and notched their first all-time win on September 21, 1991, a 34–21 victory at Washington & Lee.[3] After only a pair of seasons at the Division III level, a NCAA ruling resulted in the Blazers being reclassified as a I-AA team for the 1993 season.[4] The reclassification was a result of the NCAA prohibiting a school's athletic program from being multi-divisional, and since UAB already competed in Division I in other sports, the move became necessary.[4] In their first game as a I-AA team, the Blazers would lose to Troy State 37–3 before a home crowd on September 6, 1993.[5] By 1994, the Blazers would play their first I-A opponent against Kansas.[3] Following the 1994 season, coach Hilyer would resign with Watson Brown being announced as the program's second ever coach on January 2, 1995.[2]

During the 1995 season the Blazers would notch their first ever victory over a I-A opponent on the road against North Texas by a final score of 19–14.[6] From 1993 to 1995, UAB competed as a Division I-AA Independent, and during this period compiled a 21–12 overall record before making the jump to Division I-A for the 1996 season.[3]

Watson Brown era (1995–2006)[edit]

Watson Brown came to UAB from Oklahoma, where he served as offensive coordinator. On November 9, 1995, UAB was officially informed by the NCAA that the school had met all requirements for reclassification, and as such the Blazers would enter the 1996 season as an I-A Independent.[7] In their first I-A game, UAB was defeated by in-state rival Auburn 29–0, and would finish their first I-A season with a 5–6 overall record. Already a participating member in other sports, on November 13, 1996, Conference USA commissioner Mike Slive announced that UAB would be admitted to the league as a football playing member for the 1999 season.[8]

Since the transition to I-A, UAB has made a habit of playing many of college football's traditional powers. In 2000, UAB achieved a monumental victory by beating LSU in Baton Rouge. In 2004, UAB reached yet another milestone earning their first bowl trip in school history, the Hawaii Bowl.

After being the face of the program for twelve years, on December 9, 2006, Watson Brown resigned as UAB's head coach to take the head coaching position at Tennessee Tech.[9]

Neil Callaway era (2007–2011)[edit]

Following Brown's resignation, former Alabama player and Georgia offensive coordinator Neil Callaway was named head coach on December 17, 2006.[10] Callaway led the Blazers to the school's worst season (2–10), dropping the program's all-time record under .500 for the first time in school history.

On November 27, 2011, Callaway was fired as UAB's head coach having compiled a record of 18 wins and 42 losses (18–42) during his five years with the Blazers.[11]

Garrick McGee era (2012–2013)[edit]

On December 4, 2011, UAB officials announced they hired Garrick McGee to serve as the fourth head coach in the history of the program.[12] McGee is the first African American head football coach in UAB football history. The Blazers posted a 3-9 record in McGee's first season as head coach and a 2-10 in his second.

On January 9, 2014, it was announced that Garrick McGee would resign as UAB head coach to join Bobby Petrino as Offensive Coordinator at Louisville.[13]

Bill Clark era (2014–present)[edit]

In January 2014, former Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark was hired to serve as the next fifth coach head coach at UAB.[14][15]

Head coaches[edit]

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1991–1994 Jim Hilyer 4 27–12–2 .683
1995–2006 Watson Brown 12 62–74 .456
2007–2011 Neil Callaway 5 18–42 .300
2012–2013 Garrick McGee 2 5–19 .208
2014–present Bill Clark 1 2–1 .667
Totals 5 coaches 23 114–148–2 .434


All-time bowl results[edit]

Date Bowl Location W/L Opponent PF PA
December 24, 2004 Hawaii Bowl Honolulu, Hawaii L Hawaii Warriors 40 59
Total 1 bowl game 0–1

Conference affiliations[edit]

All-time record vs. CUSA teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current CUSA opponents as of the start of the 2014 season:

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Charlotte (joining in 2015) 0 0 0 - - -
Florida Atlantic 1 4 0 .200 Lost 3 2008 2013
FIU 1 0 0 1.000 Won 1 2013 2013
Louisiana Tech 0 4 0 .000 Lost 4 1996 1999
Marshall 2 7 0 .222 Lost 1 2005 2013
Middle Tennessee 2 2 0 .500 Lost 1 1995 2013
North Texas 1 0 0 1.000 Won 1 1995 1995
Old Dominion 0 0 0 - - -
Rice 2 3 0 .400 Lost 2 2005 2013
Southern Miss 4 10 0 .286 Lost 1 2000 2013
UTEP 3 1 0 .750 Won 2 2005 2010
UTSA 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2013 2013
Western Kentucky 2 3 0 .400 Won 2 1993 1997
Totals 18 35 0 .340


Active rivalries[edit]

Southern Miss Golden Eagles[edit]
Troy Trojans[edit]

Inactive rivalries[edit]

Memphis Tigers[edit]
Main article: Battle for the Bones


Exterior View of Legion Field from Graymont Avenue

Located to the west of campus in the Graymont neighborhood of Birmingham, the Blazers play their home games at Legion Field. Construction on the stadium began in 1926 and was completed in 1927 with a seating capacity of 21,000.[16] Subsequent expansions would raise its capacity to 81,000 at its peak only to have it reduced to 72,000 with the removal of the upper deck in 2004.[17] The Blazers have utilized the facility since the inaugural 1991 season, and have played all but two home games at Legion Field throughout their history. The only home games not played at Legion included a contest at Lawson Field in 1992, and a contest at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in 1998.[18] At present, UAB is under contract with the City of Birmingham to utilize the facility through the 2013 season.[19]

The prospect of constructing an on-campus stadium has been debated since the mid-1990s. By 1999, former head coach Watson Brown stated that UAB would eventually need to construct a facility comparable to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium at Louisville.[20] On February 3, 2011, university officials announced that UAB will be moving forward with plans to build a horseshoe-shaped stadium on campus with an estimated seating capacity of around 30,000 as part of a new campus master plan.[21]

On September 16, 2011 UAB vice president Richard Margison outlined preliminary plans for the proposed on-campus football stadium to the University of Alabama board of trustees. The plan calls for a horse-shoe stadium that would seat 27,511 with an additional 2,500 lawn seats in one end zone. It would also include 33 suites and 24 loge boxes. The proposed cost for the stadium complex is $66 million with a total project cost of $75 million.[22]

Attendance records[edit]

Top 10 Home Football Attendance Records
Opponent Attendance
1 Southern Miss (2003) 44,669
2 Mississippi State (2006) 36,104
3 TCU (2004) 33,280
4 Troy (2006) 32,818
5 Virginia Tech (1998) 31,897
6 Southern Miss (2005) 31,363
7 Kansas (1998) 30,543
8 Troy (2012) 28,612
9 Houston (1999) 28,573
10 Mississippi State (2011) 28,351

Current NFL players[edit]

Name Position Team
Matt McCants Offensive Lineman Oakland Raiders
Bryan Thomas Linebacker/Defensive End Retired
Joe Webb Quarterback Carolina Panthers
Roddy White Wide receiver Atlanta Falcons
Chris Hubbard Offensive Lineman Pittsburgh Steelers

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

2015 2016
at Tennessee (Nashville, TN) at South Alabama
vs Georgia State vs Troy
vs South Alabama at Georgia State
at Troy



  1. ^ Sims, Neal (August 26, 1996). "Game Week: Bowden helps put UAB on I-A map". The Birmingham News. 
  2. ^ a b 2008 UAB Football Media Guide "Important Dates In UAB Football". UAB Sports Information Department, Accessed September 21, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c 2008 UAB Football Media Guide "Year-by-Year Results". UAB Sports Information Department, Accessed September 21, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Bolton, Clyde (May 23, 1993). "UAB football scratching and clawing". The Birmingham News. 
  5. ^ Bolton, Clyde (September 10, 1993). "First game a giant step for the Blazers". The Birmingham News. 
  6. ^ Martin, Wayne (October 15, 1995). "UAB gets first win over I-A opponent". The Birmingham News. 
  7. ^ Martin, Wayne (November 9, 1995). "UAB football approved for I-A". The Birmingham News. 
  8. ^ Martin, Wayne (November 15, 1996). "Blazers football gets league ok for '99". The Birmingham News. 
  9. ^ Segrest, Doug; Steve Irvine (December 10, 2006). "Brown says decision wasn't easy: Coach resigns from UAB and takes job at Tennessee Tech". The Birmingham News. 
  10. ^ Tom Dienhart (December 17, 2006). "Report: Georgia aide gets UAB job". Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  11. ^ Schlabach, Mark (November 27, 2011). "UAB fires coach Neil Callaway". Retrieved November 27, 2011. 
  12. ^ "UAB hires Garrick McGee as coach". Associated Press. December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ "UAB's Garrick McGee to join Petrino's Louisville staff". CBS Sports ( January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "UAB to hire Bill Clark". news services. January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  15. ^ Champlin, Drew (December 18, 2012). "Bill Clark leaving Jacksonville State to be UAB's head football coach". Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  16. ^ McPhillips, Alex (July 25, 2002). ""Gray Lady" admits to 75 -Legion Field's history goes beyond Iron Bowl rivalry". The Birmingham News. 
  17. ^ Tomberlin, Michael (August 19, 2004). "Upper deck at Legion Field closed". The Birmingham News. 
  18. ^ Rubin, Adam (November 17, 1998). "UAB christens Met as football venue". The Birmingham News. 
  19. ^ Wright, Barnett (September 29, 2004). "UAB contract at Legion Field set to 2013". The Birmingham News. 
  20. ^ Rubin, Adam (October 28, 1999). "Brown wants on-campus stadium like Louisville's". The Birmingham News. 
  21. ^ Wolfson, Hannah; Steve Irvine (February 3, 2011). "UAB planning on-campus stadium at Sixth Avenue South, 12th Street". The Birmingham News. 
  22. ^ UAB Proposed Stadium"Irvine, Steve (September 16, 2011). "UAB outlines preliminary plans for on-campus football stadium". The Birmingham News. 
  23. ^ "Records & History: Year-by-year results" (PDF). 2010 UAB Football Media Guide. Birmingham, AL: UAB Athletic Media Relations Office. 2010. pp. 129–130. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ "UAB Blazers Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2014-09-07.