List of UAB Blazers head football coaches

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The UAB Blazers college football team represents the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the East Division of Conference USA (C-USA).[A 1] The program began in the 1991 season and spent two years as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III independent before transferring to Division II. After just three years in Division II, the school entered Division I-A, now known as the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). During this twenty-four year period, the Blazers had five head coaches.[2] In January 2014, Bill Clark was hired to coach the program.[3] However, following the end of Clark's first season, in which he led the team to its second-ever bowl-eligible record, UAB President Ray L. Watts announced the cancellation of the football program, due to financial strains.[4] After media condemnation of the decision and millions of dollars in fundraising, on June 1, 2015, Watts announced the school would reinstate football as early as the 2016 season.[5] Clark remains head coach through the 2016 season, despite the cancellation.[6]

The school adopted the nickname "Blazers" for its sports programs in 1978, in preparation for the basketball program's inaugural season. On January 13 of that year, a campus election selected the name with about 50% of 2600-person vote of students, professors, and administration. The nickname was selected over the options of Barons, Warriors, or Titans. After two different mascots, the nickname became representative of Blaze the Dragon, the school's mascot since the 1995 season.[7][8] The Blazers played in 273 games during the twenty-four seasons before the cancellation. In those seasons, Watson Brown was the only coach to lead the team to a postseason game, the 2004 Hawaii Bowl.[9][10] None of UAB's coaches has been enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame and no coach has led them to a national championship.[2]

Jim Hilyer, the program's first coach, is the all-time leader in win percentage, at .683 from a record of 27–12–2. Garrick McGee has the lowest win percentage, at just .208 and a record of 5–19. Watson Brown served the longest time as head coach at twelve years, and leads in number of games coached (136), number of games won (62), and number of games lost (74). Bill Clark has served the shortest time of any coach, at just one year, and has coached the fewest games (12). Among conference play, Brown leads in conference win percentage at .508. He also leads in conference games played (59), conference games won (30), and conference games lost (29).[11]


Key to symbols in coaches list
General Overall Conference Postseason[A 2]
No. Order of coaches[A 3] GC Games coached CW Conference wins PW Postseason wins
DC Division championships OW Overall wins CL Conference losses PL Postseason losses
CC Conference championships OL Overall losses CT Conference ties PT Postseason ties
NC National championships OT Overall ties[A 4] C% Conference winning percentage
dagger Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame O% Overall winning percentage[A 5]


List of head football coaches showing season(s) coached, overall records, conference records, postseason records, championships and selected awards[A 6]
No. Name Term G W L T PCT CW CL CT PCT PW PL PT CCs NCs Awards
1 Hilyer, JimJim Hilyer 1991–1994 41 27 12 2 .683 0 0 0 0
2 Brown, WatsonWatson Brown 1995–2006 136 62 74 0 .456 30 29 0 .508 0 1 0 0 0
3 Callaway, NeilNeil Callaway 2007–2011 60 18 42 .300 14 26 .350 0 0 0 0
4 McGee, GarrickGarrick McGee 2012–2013 24 5 19 .208 3 13 .188 0 0 0 0
5 Clark, BillBill Clark 2014 12 6 6 .500 4 4 .500 0 0 0 0


  1. ^ While UAB football is still technically cancelled, Conference USA has taken no position on whether the school will be removed from the conference. Until at least the fall of 2015, UAB remains in the conference.[1]
  2. ^ Although the first Rose Bowl Game was played in 1902, it has been continuously played since the 1916 game, and is recognized as the oldest bowl game by the NCAA. "—" indicates any season prior to 1916 when postseason games were not played.[12]
  3. ^ A running total of the number of head coaches, with coaches who served separate tenures being counted only once. Interim head coaches are represented with "Int" and are not counted in the running total. "—" indicates the team played but either without a coach or no coach is on record. "X" indicates an interim year without play.
  4. ^ Overtime rules in college football were introduced in 1996, making ties impossible in the period since.[13]
  5. ^ When computing the win–loss percentage, a tie counts as half a win and half a loss.[14]
  6. ^ Statistics correct as of the time of the disbandment of the program following their 2014 season.




  1. ^ "UAB remains in Conference USA, but plan is demanded". USA Today. Associated Press. June 4, 2015. Sports. Retrieved July 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Alabama-Birmingham Coaching Records
  3. ^ "UAB to hire Bill Clark". news services. January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  4. ^ Frank, Vincent (December 4, 2014). "UAB Cancels Football: The Larger Issue Of 'Amateur Athletics' Clashing With Corporate Ideology". Forbes. SportsMoney. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ SI Wire (June 1, 2015). "UAB to reinstate football program in 2016 after shocking reversal". Sports Illustrated. College Football. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ Scarbinsky, Kevin (January 29, 2015). "Bill Clark says he won't coach next season, in part, to see if UAB football returns". The Birmingham News. UAB Football Controversy. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Alabama-Birmingham will be 'Blazers'". The Odessa American. Odessa, TX. Associated Press. January 15, 1978. p. 6B. 
  8. ^ "A Chronological History of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and its Predecessor Institutions and Organizations, 1831-". UAB University Archives. The University of Alabama Board of Trustees. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ 2012 UAB Football Media Guide, p. 130
  10. ^ Song, Jaymes (December 25, 2004). "UAB makes first postseason appearance in Hawaii Bowl". USA Today. Associated Press. College football. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ 2012 UAB Football Media Guide, p. 128
  12. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2011). Bowl/All-Star Game Records (PDF). Indianapolis, Indiana: NCAA. pp. 5–10. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  13. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (August 25, 2006). "Overtime system still excites coaches". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009. 
  14. ^ Finder, Chuck (September 6, 1987). "Big plays help Paterno to 200th". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.