UAB will be out of the box with their next head coach unless the box expands in the aftermath of Jeff Saturday.
The school announced Wednesday that it has hired former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, who has no college-level coaching experience, to run the football program.
Dilfer is currently the head coach of Lipscomb Academy, a high school in Tennessee. Dilfer will coach Lipscomb in the state championship game on Thursday before officially starting his tenure at UAB on Friday, Dec. 2.
“Trent is a proven winner at every level on and off the field and will be a great leader for our program,” said UAB Athletic Director Mark Ingram. “He won the Super Bowl.” A quarterback who has played the game at the highest level for many years and has coached some of the top quarterbacks who are now NFL franchise players, Trent’s goals and vision for our program is to bring UAB to the highest level. There’s no question he’s the right coach to lead the transition to the college football playoffs and the American Athletic Conference.”
Jobs for the UAB are now open with former head coach Bill Clark retiring. Bill Clark announced in June that he was leaving the program due to his back problems. Offensively his coordinator Bryant Vincent joined as the school’s interim coach and the Bahamas qualified for his bowl with a record of 6-6.
Clarke was a driving force behind UAB’s revival, putting together a roster just a few years after seeing the program shut down. He left Birmingham with his 49-26 record. Dilfer is tasked with maintaining that success as the program transitions to his American Athletic Conference next season.
Trent Dilfer is UAB’s unconventional adopter
Hiring Dilfer is a surprise considering he’s only ever taught high school students. At his academy at Lipscomb in Nashville, he has a record of 43 wins and 10 losses in his four seasons.
Dilfer also serves as head coach for the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp, where the top high school quarterback prospects compete each year.
“Having the opportunity to lead a quality program like UAB is one of the things I am most excited about. It aligns with my vision to take this program to new heights as we compete for the top prize in the College Football Playoffs every year,” Dilfer said.
Dilfer, 50, is known for his NFL and broadcasting career. The Fresno State player played professionally for more than a decade since he was selected 6th overall in the NFL Draft in 1994, and Tampa Bay, where he spent five seasons as a starter for the Buccaneers, and Baltimore. won the Super Bowl with the Ravens.
After retiring in 2008, Dilfer became a television analyst, working for the NFL Network, ESPN and Fox Sports 1.
The situation is the same with the Indianapolis Colts, who hired former franchise great Jeff Saturday as interim head coach after the dismissal of Frank Reich. Saturday also had no coaching experience beyond high school level, but it was also a temporary job.