- Rick Christophel
Rick  Christophel

Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Tackles

Rick Christophel continues his second stint as an assistant at UAB and has returned to his role as the Blazers' defensive coordinator. He will work with the team's defensive tackles this season.

Christophel served as a senior associate athletics director for two years at UAB before returning to the sideline prior to the 2004 season.

Christophel is in his 11th year overall as a member of the UAB coaching staff.

Last season while serving as assistant head coach, Christophel coached the Blazer offensive tackles and tight ends.

With over 26 years of coaching experience, Christophel served as defensive coordinator two seasons. In 2001, Christophel helped guide one of college football's top defensive units. The Blazers finished the `01 campaign with the nation's top rush defense and No. 5 unit.

One of the Blazer staff's most versatile coaches, Christophel came to UAB with Watson Brown in January, 1995, from Mississippi State, where he was the wide receivers coach for four seasons (1991-94).

From 1996-98, Christophel coached the Blazer wide receivers. During that time, he coached junior receiver Darrius Malone, who set the single-season record with an average of 22.1 yards per catch. In 1997, he coached fifth-year senior and former quarterback Kevin Drake, who became the first offensive player in UAB history to go to the National Football League when he signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals (Drake later played on the NFL Europe champion Rhein Fire and was signed by the Buffalo Bills).

In 1999, Christophel worked with the offensive tackles and tight ends, and he has also coached running backs during his years at UAB. As director of football operations (2000), he served as coach Watson Brown's "right hand man", while also coaching the receivers.

Christophel has spent 23 of his 30 years in coaching working with Brown. The two were together for two seasons as assistants at Mississippi State (1991-92); Christophel was an assistant to Brown at Vanderbilt University (1986-90), as well as Austin Peay State University (1979-80), the University of Cincinnati (1983) and Rice University (1984-85).

During Christophel's tenure at MSU, he coached three future NFL receivers -- Olanda Truitt, Willie Harris and Eric Moulds. The Bulldogs participated in three bowl games during that span as well (Liberty Bowl in 1991 and Peach Bowl in 1993 and 1995).

While at Vanderbilt, Christophel coached the offensive backs for three years (1986-88). In 1989, he was the defensive coordinator and coached the middle linebackers; a year later, he was the assistant head coach and worked with the offensive backs.

Christophel coached quarterbacks and running backs at Rice (1984-85) and was the quarterbacks/ tight ends coach at Cincinnati in 1983; he was separated from Brown for one season in 1982 when he was the offensive coordinator at Southern Arkansas State University. Christophel coached running backs at Austin Peay State during his three seasons there (1979-81).

Prior to joining the collegiate coaching ranks full-time, Christophel served as a graduate assistant at Austin Peay (1975) and coached three years at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Ky.

A 1975 graduate of Austin Peay, Christophel was a four-year starter on the Governors football team; he played safety in his first season and quarterback during his final three years.

A native of Reading, Ohio, Christophel and his wife, Connie, have three daughters, Chrissy, who is a UAB graduate and is married to former UAB tight end Josh Holden, while twins Carrie and Sara are UAB graduates and were members of the softball team. Sara is married to former Blazer basketball player Derrick Broom.