UAB hires Trent Dilfer as coach: Super Bowl-winning QB a surprising choice to lead the Blazers

UAB hires Trent Dilfer as coach: Super Bowl-winning QB a surprising choice to lead the Blazers

UAB has hired former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer as its next coach, the school announced Wednesday. Dilfer, who played 14 years in the NFL for five different franchises from 1994 to 2007 and won a Super Bowl as quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, recently completed his fourth season as head coach. of Lipscomb Academy, a private high school in Nashville, Tennessee, which amassed a 38-8 record under his guidance.

Dilfer will coach Lipscomb’s state championship game on Thursday, Dec. 2 before beginning his UAB coaching duties the following day.

“Having the opportunity to lead a program of such quality as UAB is a program that I am beyond excited about,” Dilfer said in a statement. “The investments the university has made in UAB Football aligns with my vision to take this program to new heights as we join the American Athletic Conference and compete each year for the highest prize of playing in the playoffs. I would like to thank President Ray Watts, Director of Athletics Mark Ingram, and the entire Search Committee for their commitment to excellence and for their confidence in me as we venture into this together. new era of UAB football.”

In addition to his Super Bowl ring, Dilfer earned a Pro Bowl nod while coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997. Prior to the NFL, Dilfer won the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the top passer in the NFL. America after throwing for 3,799 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions as a signal caller at Fresno State.

After retiring from the NFL, Dilfer entered media as an analyst for ESPN and Fox. He is also deeply involved in the annual Elite 11 quarterback competition, which brings together the top high school quarterback recruits in the country each year.

While Lipscomb Academy is a highly competitive team that develops many FCS prospects, Dilfer has no college-level coaching experience. In fact, his four-year spell at Lipscomb is his only experience coaching organized team football at any level.

Dilfer worked closely with the players as a quarterback coach, but only as an individual coach. If Dilfer gets the job at UAB, convincing two-year starter Dylan Hopkins and Baylor transfer Jacob Zeno to stay out of the transfer portal would give him a talented group of callers he could work with in the first year.

dilfer received criticism in 2021 after a video of him shoving a player went viral. Later, he apologized for the incident.

“Trent is a recognized winner on and off the pitch at every level and will be a tremendous leader for our program,” said athletic director Mark Ingram. “He’s a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who played the game at its highest level for many years, and he coached some of the best quarterbacks who are franchise players in the NFL right now. The Goals and Trent’s vision for our program is to lead UAB to the College Football Playoff and we have no doubt that he is the right coach to lead our transition to the American Athletic Conference.Most importantly, Trent is a man , an exceptional husband and father with a tremendous character that aligns with our department’s core values ​​of winning championships, graduating with honors, and making a difference in our community.”

Dilfer is under contract with UAB’s last full-time coach, Bill Clark. Prior to joining South Alabama as a defensive coordinator in 2008, Clark had 18 years of high school football coaching experience in Alabama and Georgia.

Clark went 11-4 in one season at Jacksonville State in 2013 before being hired at UAB, where he led the Blazers to a 6-6 record before the program shut down. Clark then led an effort to resurrect UAB football, which succeeded with the reinstatement of the program in 2017. Despite needing to almost completely rebuild the program, Clark led the Blazers to five consecutive winning seasons and two Conference championships. USA (2018, 2020). He was also twice named CBS Sports Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year in 2018.

Clark, 54, resigned before the 2022 season due to back problems. His offensive coordinator, Bryan Vincent, took over as interim coach and led UAB to a 6-6 record.

After the season, the Blazers players wrote a letter to UAB President Ray Watts in an effort to have him retain Vincent as a permanent coach. Watts declined to meet with the players for their input in the search for coaches.

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