Bartow brought the Blazers back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994 and the 10th time overall during the 1999 campaign as the UAB head coach.
Bartow, 40 (born August 18, 1961), had two 20-plus win campaigns to his credit and finished at or over .500 in five of his six seasons at the helm of the UAB program.
In 1999, UAB posted a 20-12 overall record on the way to the C-USA National Division title. It was the first championship for the Blazer basketball team in its then four-year association with the league. Add to that a 21-victory season in 1997-98 and 18 victories in 1996-97, and it is easy to see why Bartow is regarded as one of the game's best young coaches.
Named only the second head coach in UAB history after the 1995-96 season, Bartow guided the Blazers to an 18-14 mark and an NIT appearance in 1996-97. The 18 victories ranked him seventh among 25 first-year head coaches in NCAA Division I play during that season. That set the tone for an even more successful season the following year, as the Blazers finished 21-12 overall and advanced to the second round of the NIT. Bartow currently ranks sixth in victories among head coaches that enter their sixth season with the same school, trailing the likes of Steve Lavin of UCLA, Billy Donovan of Florida, and Ben Braun of California.
The son of Coach Gene and Mrs. Ruth Bartow, he has literally grown up around the game of basketball, and has apprenticed at the side of two of the game's master teachers, Gene Bartow and Indiana's Bob Knight. Bartow began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Indiana (1985-87), and worked with the Hoosiers' 1987 NCAA Championship team. He then worked for two seasons a full-time assistant and recruiting coordinator at William & Mary (1987-89).
During his seven seasons as an assistant on the UAB staff (1989-96), Bartow developed a reputation as an energetic teacher and recruiter, and was often mentioned as one of the nation's top defensive strategists.
A 1980 graduate of Birmingham's W.A. Berry High School, Bartow was an outstanding point guard, earning All-Jefferson County honors and his team's MVP award as a senior. He played basketball at UAB from 1981-85, and was part of four NCAA Tournament teams, three Sun Belt Conference championship teams and UAB's 1984 Great Alaska Shootout title team. He was also a member of the golf team while at UAB.
Bartow earned his B.A. in business administration from UAB in 1985, and his master's degree from Indiana in 1987.
Bartow, a native of Warrensburg, Missouri, is married to the former Tammy Earley of Birmingham, a registered nurse and former UAB cheerleader. They have three sons, Alec, Stephen and Connor.