Message from the Athletic Director
Dear Blazer Family -
As we move into to the month of February, it's a busy time for UAB Athletics. Our men's and women's basketball teams are headed into the home stretch of their seasons and our spring sports are close to commencing their schedules, if they haven’t already done so.
Both Coach Haase and Coach Norton are focusing on strong finishes for their teams and with several home games remaining this season for both, I encourage all of our fans to come out and show your support for these student-athletes and coaches.
We are genuinely excited about the start of the baseball and softball seasons at UAB. We're looking forward to Coach Shoop and his team getting on the field. Remember that the team will play a majority of their games at Regions Field, a wonderful new ballpark that was selected as Ballpark of the Year in 2013. And it's such a bonus for us that the park is located only a few blocks from campus.
Coach Townsend and our softball team are coming off an outstanding season and again have high expectations. The Blazers were picked as favorites to win Conference USA this spring and we’re looking forward to seeing this team play after such a tremendous season last year.
Our men's and women's tennis teams have already started their dual match seasons, the golf teams are getting close to beginning their schedules and our track squad is already competing.
Speaking of women's tennis, I want to welcome Mark Tjia, our new head coach. Mark brings an abundance of experience to UAB from TCU where he served as an assistant for the men's program. He also was on the staff at Florida when the Gators reached the finals of the NCAA Championships.
We're not too far from the beginning of spring football practice and the month of January was an exciting one for all of us at UAB as we announced Bill Clark as our new head coach. Coach Clark has been around successful programs throughout his coaching career, most recently at Jacksonville State where he led that program to 11 victories and one of the best seasons in the school’s history last fall.
The hiring of Coach Clark was such an important one for us. We had a specific profile for the coach we were looking to lead our program. We were seeking a coach with integrity and character. We wanted to find a coach respected by his peers. It was important that the new coach was a proven winner.
We were looking for a coach who had experience of success with doing more with less and someone who understands football in this state and has recruiting contacts around the state.
We all feel that Coach Clark brings each of these qualities and characteristics to UAB.
As a department, there were three things we deemed critical with the hiring of the new coach. It was important that we find a coach who put academics as a priority and who would compete for conference championships. Thirdly, we wanted a coach who understood the importance of the well-being of our student-athletes. We strive to do all three of those at UAB and make them priorities.
You probably noticed the announcements recently made regarding our future football schedules with the additions of Georgia State and South Alabama, as well as extending the series we have had with Troy. We are extremely excited about having all three of those teams on the schedules in the years to come.
We have changed our philosophy when it comes to football scheduling in an effort to put our team in a more competitive situation. In the past, we have generally played two "buy" games each season, an FCS opponent and attempted to schedule an opponent for a home-and-home.
We have shifted our philosophy now to playing only one "buy" game and completing the remainder of the schedule with regional, home-and-home opponents.
We feel like this will give our football program a much better opportunity to have early season success before entering Conference USA play. We also feel playing regional opponents is a win-win for us. Our fans will be able to easily travel to these games and at the same time, when we are playing at home, our opponent's fans will also be able to travel to Birmingham and that will increase our attendance.
Director of Athletics