Bill Clark has the UAB Football program on the right track for success. What can we expect from the Blazers in 2018?
The UAB Blazers have one of the more interesting stories in college football history. The Blazers started their program in 1991 as a Division III program and immediately transitioned to a I-AA (now called FCS) independent in 1993 because of an NCAA rule. After reclassification, the Blazers then were promoted to the Division I-A (now called FBS) level in 1996 and set to compete in Conference USA by 1999.
Watson Brown had guided the Blazers through reclassification and a move into a conference before leaving Birmingham for Tennessee Tech. Watson Brown, the older brother of Mack Brown, led UAB to their only bowl game until 2017. The Blazers lost the 2004 Hawaii Bowl 40-59 to the Hawaii Warriors.
After struggling through the Neil Callaway and Garrick McGee eras the UAB administration landed on former Alabama area high school coach and Jacksonville State head football coach Bill Clark. Clark posted a 106-11 record at Pratville High School about an hour south of Birmingham before being named the defensive coordinator at South Alabama. Clark’s only season as head coach at Jacksonville State, the Gamecocks finished 11-4 with a loss in the FCS quarterfinals.
Clark then took over at UAB in 2014 finishing 6-6 before the program was on hiatus for the 2015-2016 seasons. In the midst of an alleged financial crisis, the Board of Trustees canceled the program which many felt was a way to funnel even more funds into the Alabama Crimson Tide football program. In 2017, Clark restarted the program and finished 8-5 with a loss in the Bahamas Bowl and a 76th overall ranking in the S&P+.