Gene Bartow, legendary Hall of Fame coach and Father of UAB Athletics, passed away Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at his home in Birmingham, Ala.
The former UAB Men's Basketball Head Coach and Director of Athletics was 81 years old. He had been battling stomach cancer since being diagnosed in April 2009.
Fans are encouraged to leave condolences, memories and other messages for the Bartow family in the space below.
Please note that all submissions are reviewed by UAB Athletics staff before being posted, so comments may not immediately appear on the page.
Dustin: Coach Bartow is the reason I'm a UAB Blazer today. Without him and his vision UAB would not be the great institution it is. He will be dearly missed. Skylar: RIP Coach Bartow. You will be missed
Treva: Thank you for your gift of UAB Athletics. We would not be who we are without you. Thoughts and prayers to the entire Bartow Family.
Mary Yeatman-Altine: I am truly sad at the passing of a great mentor, friend, and one of the most respected men I have ever known. He cared about his athletes, players, coaches, and staff and would do his best to make sure you had all the tools you needed to be successful both on and off the court.My heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends & colleagues. Rest in Peace, Coach.
Ralph (Birmingham): Even though I never seen him coach or talked with him in person, I still feel he has made an big impact on my life. If it was not for him making UAB what it is today, I probably would not be the die hard Blazer I am now. Coach Bartow, thank you for everything you have done. You will be missed, but never forgotten. #BartowForever
Mike Forrester: To all of Coach Bartows Family Condolences. I feel as if i have lost a member of my own family. Coach Bartow 'The'Coach,my hero.
Ron Naccari - Helena: Coach instilled the passion and loyalty to UAB that all Blazers understand. My Dad, Norman Naccari, was a friend of Coach Bartow's for many years. I know that my dad would be greatly saddened at Gene's passing but because of his advanced altzhiemers he does not understand what has happened. All Blazers will always be grateful to Coach Bartow for all he did for us. Rest in Peace Coach!
Dan: Coach Bartow was a wonderful person. He had the admirable quality of seeing the potential in people and encouraging that potential. I will miss him very much.
Diane: Coach Bartow's legacy at UAB cannot be measured. He was truly a remarkable man and will be deeply missed. I'm proud to be a UAB alum!
Randy (Comer, Georgia): What Coach Bartow and UAB did should be an inspiration to every college team in the United States, no matter the sport. He will be missed.
William (Birmingham): Coach, thanks for your dedication to UAB. The world is better off because God shared you with us for 81 years. You will be missed!
William (Savannah,GA): Our sincere condolences to Coach Bartow's family and the entire UAB family. He is a model of what a man should be.
Joseph (Fairhope, AL): Thank you for everything you did for UAB, Coach Bartow; there would be no UAB Athletics without you. Your legacy will live in all UAB fans forever.
Buddy (Douglasville, GA): Oliver Robinson and UAB vs Mark Aguirre and DePaul - impossible dream made possible by Gene Bartow.
Wayne (Dothan): The best hire the UA system ever made after Bear. Both men were unequaled when it came to showing class. Condolences to the family.
Andrew (Birmingham): Without Coach Bartow, I likely would not be a student at UAB and would have no team to cheer for because my beloved Blazers wouldnt exist. RIP Coach
Susan Fort Pearson: My family's path crossed the Bartow family's path in Memphis. As members of the same church, my brother and Murry played baseball & basketball together. The Bartow family are truly special people that will hold a special place in the hearts of many across this nation. My sincere condolences to the entire family. Heaven just opened the gates to receive a very special man.
Justin: Thank you Coach Bartow! If it werent for you I would not be able to enjoy UAB sports! I wish you could be here for the exciting time that the football program is going through. Praying for your family.
John Valekis: It was an honor to have met you and I THANK YOU for your Christian example and what you did for all. Our loss is Heaven's gain. To the Bartow family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Larry (Birmingham): Thankyou Coach for making us all feel like we were part of the family, not just the UAB family but the Bartow family too. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the Bartows, today and always.
Tom: thoughts and prayers go out to the Bartow family. Thanks Coach.You gave an 'average' golfer the chance to play for you and UAB.Thanks for the memories Coach
Richard (Pelham): When I think back to my days at UAB in the 80's, I immediately think about watching Coach pacing up and down those sidelines and how he brought us all the greatness and advancement of our sports programs. My thoughts and prayers to the Bartow family.
Zach (Birmingham): I only actually spoke with Coach Bartow once, but the opportunities that the program he created gave me are innumerable. He has impacted so many lives
Becky - Birmingham: Condolences to the Bartow family. Coach Bartow's influence will live on for generations to come.
Linda (Birmingham): Coach Bartow was such an amazing man. What a legacy he is leaving behind. I got to meet him once after a basketball game several years ago. I also have one of his bobble heads which I will cherish. I can just hear God telling him well done thy good and faithful servant when he got to heaven. My prayers are with your family.
Doug C (Prattville): My condolences to the Bartow family. Our prayers are with them. Thank you coach for all that you did for UAB. We miss you.
Lee Miller (Chelsea, AL): Without Coach Bartow's vision, I never would have come to UAB as a football player, and I never would have met my wife and had my children. He truly changed my life. UAB Athletics has helped my family create amazing memories, and we owe that to Coach! I'm so sorry for your loss. We share in your pain, and our prayers are with you and the entire Bartow family. Go Blazers!!
Graysville: To the Bartow family, He will be missed. I enjoyed the time spent talking to Coach and the encouragement He gave me while I was attending UAB.
Birmingham: May God be a comfort to the Bartow Family.As a former student,I share your pain.However,Coach is in the presence of the Lord. He is doing just fine.
Jonathan (Hartselle): As a UAB grad & growing up in the B'ham area, I have very fond memories of Coach Bartow. I loved it when Coach got fired up and the jacket came off! May God bless the Bartow family during this time!
Lisa-Class of 88 (Dora): I have fond memories of Coach Bartow and the Blazer games. He was a man of class and integrity. He put UAB on the map. My sincere sympathy to the Bartow Family. I know you are so proud of him.
Lytrice Thomas (Memphis, TN): To represent UAB and what you have created is more than a privilege, it is an honor and I'm more than proud to call myself a UAB Blazer. Thank You!
Dakota (Hatton, AL): Thank you Coach Bartow for the vision you had at UAB, showing UAB fans how to win w/ class, & showing the state that you can win & play by the rules! chris vicksburg: coach b put uab on the map and my codolences go out to his family
Jason Roberts (Birmingham): Coach Gene Bartow was a great coach and leader, but he was an even greater man. My condolences to the Bartow family. Thank you Coach Bartow!!!
Florence and Joe Hupf: We held seasons' tickets to the Memphis State games the year (1973) Coach Bartow took up to the top. While we lost to UCLA, we'd never been that high before. He put us on the map, and we know that he's in Heaven today with player/Coach Larry Finch. They are in the presence of the Lord, for sure. May these memories bring comfort to folks who will never forget him. Not another like him.
Greg&Vicki Leet -Jackson,MO: Sympathy, gratitude, and respect to Coach Bartow's family. Coach was a special man and coach.
ANDY (Leeds): THAK YOU, does not do you justice, but it is what we say, but your spirit will be with UAB forever. You impacted so many lives and the world is a better place because of you.
Robin (Birmingham): We thank the Bartow Family for sharing Coach.He is now with the Lord. That's where wonderful people go after they leave here. May God give you peace.
Karen (Birmingham): Coach Bartow brought life to UAB by starting our basketball program and athletics at the school. It was such a joy & excitement to see him coach! We enjoyed every game regardless because of him! May GOD bless and keep you during this time of sadness. My condolences to all the families.
Dave (UAB): Coach, you gave me an opportunity at UAB and I greatly appreciate it. I only hope that we made you as proud as we were to have worked with and known you and your family. RIP
Robert and Yvonne (Birmingham): Coach Bartow was truly a special person. We pray for family members as they begin their life journeys without the physical presence of Coach Bartow. Because he touched so many lives, his physical presence will be missed; however, his legacy will forever remain.
Karl Moton (Lithonia): Thank you Coach Bartow for establishing the foundation for UAB Blazer Athletics as we know it today. Your contributions are countless and no amount of words could accurately depict your impact on UAB and Birmingham alike. R.I.P Coach Bartow
Paul Ensign - Attalla, Al: Coach, Thank you for everything you have done for UAB, Birmingham, and the basketball community. Thank you for all you did for me personally. Thank you for being our friend. pde
Albert - (Birmingham): We all have a star, shining clear and clean...It shows who we are and what our lives can mean. Coach Bartow has been the "star" that has shone on our city for so many years, & we would not have a sports scene at all for Birmingham to speak of were it not for him. My hearfelt condolences to his family, friends and those whose hearts and lives were touched in some way by this brilliant man. May God embrace his spirit with the same love and passion he had for UAB and the city of Birmingham. Thank you, Coach....Thank you...
Eric (Helena): I was in charge of physically setting up the UAB Arena (that was what it was called before being changed to Bartow Arena) and one year UAB had to wait on a phone call to see if they were going to the NIT. I sat in Coach Bartow's office and it was amazing to listen to him call high profile college coaches, just like if i was calling my friends, to see if they had heard from the NIT people. The NIT finally called and I remember coach looking at me and asking if we could host a game against Georgia State on a Tues night. I checked my calendar and told him I could make it happen. I will always remember that night in Coach's office.
Inver ness: Coach was kind. Would see him walking at gym in Inverness.
Bill Dorsey: A wonderful man that seemed to love everyone he met. He will be sorely missed with his broad smile and friendliness Christopher Hagee, Phoenixville, Penna.: The late Gene Bartow to me will always be associated with U.C.-L.A. from back in the mid-1970s when he had succeeded a male collegiate basketball head coaching giant in the late Johnny Wooden (d., June, 2010). May the late Gene Bartow's soul R.I.P.
Judy (Commerce, TX): There are not enough thank yous to you and your vision for UAB. Many lives have been touched by you mentoring. My prayers go to the Bartow family.
Duane Evans, Selma, Alabama: What a loss...what a legacy. My condolences to his family and those who knew him well.
Troy (Montgomery): The first name that comes to mind with UAB Athletics will always be Coach Gene Bartow. Back in the day, attending a UAB Blazer game with my classmates was among the best of times. Coach Bartow was such a professional and represented our school with utmost class. Thanks so much Gene!
Marcus Kronick Charleston S.C.: Thank for give me a chance to be Batboy for the UAB baseball team and Roddy White chance to played football at UAB thanks Coach Bartow
Cedrick(Douglasville): A man that I remember giving hope to another ,man.Love you,sir.
Lee Miller (Chelsea, AL): I am thankful that Gene Bartow did not dream too little dreams. The flame of victory will burn for Coach as long as UAB has athletics. Thanks for the memories, Coach Bartow.
Susan (Tampa): Coach Bartow was such a wonderful man. He would always play golf with the women's golf team while I played and even after I finished playing, he always remembered who I was when I met him at random events. He was such a legend at UAB. He will be missed.