National search for new coach will begin immediately
UAB concludes 2011 season Saturday
Blazers round out the 2011 season on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT
Blazers days away from hosting nation's No. 20 team
Blazers gearing up for Saturday's game with Cougars
Neil Callaway's Press Conference
Neil Callaway, who has been a part of successful football programs throughout his playing and coaching careers, was named the head coach at UAB on December 17, 2006.
Callaway, who had been the offensive coordinator at the University of Georgia for the previous six seasons, became the third head coach in the history of the UAB football program.
Having completed his fourth season, Callaway inherited a program low on numbers and experience. Since assuming the helm of the program, the Blazers have improved both on and off the field under Callaway's leadership and the future continues to look bright.
"Coach Callaway brings to UAB a hardnosed attitude, both on the field and in the classroom," Richard Margison, who served as the Blazers' Interim Director of Athletics from December, 2005 until this February of 2007, said at the press conference announcing Callaway's appointment. "He knows how to win. He has been connected with winning programs everywhere he has been and he will bring that attitude and experience to UAB. He delivers to our football program exactly what we need to successfully move us forward."
The Blazers' offense has been one of the most potent in Conference USA the past three seasons. In 2009, the UAB ranked first in C-USA and No. 7 nationally in rushing offense and was third in the league in total offense and 22nd in the final NCAA statistics.
Last season, the Blazers again were a powerful offensive team, ranking No. 24 in the country in passing offense and 30th in total offense. UAB amassed 5,074 yards on offense, second only to the 2009 total in school history.
Since becoming head coach Callaway, has also put a major emphasis on academics and there has been a significant improvement with the football program in that area in the past several seasons, especially with the team's academic performance rate (APR).
There are few coaches who have been a part of more championship teams than Callaway. Counting his years as a player and coach, Callaway has been a part of 10 Southeastern Conference championships, an accomplishment that includes three as a player at Alabama, four as an assistant coach at Auburn under head coach Pat Dye, one as an assistant at Alabama, and most recently, two at Georgia as offensive coordinator.
During his six years at UGA, he was part of a staff that helped lead Georgia to 61 victories, two SEC championships, three SEC Eastern Division titles, four bowl victories, and four top 10 finishes in the final national polls.
In 2002, the Bulldogs finished as the SEC's top scoring (32.14 ppg) and pass efficiency (138.91) offense and the `Dogs were second in scoring offense in 2005.
In addition, Callaway helped develop numerous outstanding offensive linemen for the Bulldogs. While under Callaway's tutelage, six different Georgia O-linemen earned All-Southeastern Conference honors on 10 occasions. One of them -- Max Jean-Gilles -- received All-America accolades in 2005.
The UAB job is the first head coaching position for the successful, veteran coach and is one Callaway embraces and of which he sees loads of potential.
"UAB has established a solid foundation when it comes to creating and developing a football program," Callaway said when hired. "I'm looking forward to building on what exists and taking it farther than people can imagine. There are many people who are dedicated to this team, and that is so important in building championships. We have some work to do to get where we want to be, and where we expect to be in the very near future."
Callaway, a native of Macon, Ga., and a graduate of the University of Alabama, served as offensive line coach at Alabama in 1997 and line coach and offensive coordinator from 1998 to 2000. Prior to joining the Crimson Tide, he served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Houston (1993-96).
He was the long-time offensive line coach under head coach Pat Dye at Auburn (1981-92). Callaway also served on Dye's staff at Wyoming (1980) and at East Carolina (1978-79). He was inducted into the Macon (Ga.) Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
During Callaway's tenure at Auburn, the Tigers won or shared four SEC championships and he produced four first-team All-Americans and 14 All-SEC players.
In his four seasons coaching at Houston, the Cougars' offensive line allowed just 19.5 sacks per season including only 10 sacks in his final year. Houston won the inaugural Conference USA championship while he was there.
Callaway and his wife, Karen, have three children: Russ (wife is Taylor), Kate (married to Zach Kirby), and Clay.