Will Friend, a former All-Southeastern Conference performer at Alabama, was named to the UAB coaching staff in December of 2006. Friend just completed his fourth year coaching the Blazers' offensive line with the 2010 season.
Friend came to UAB after spending two years at Gardner-Webb as the Bulldogs' offensive line coach.
Under Friend's guidance, the Blazers have had two offensive linemen earn first-team All-Conference USA honors the past two seasons. Junior offensive tackle Matt McCants was tabbed to the first unit last season while senior center Jake Seitz was named to the first-team in 2009. In addition, Seitz was on the 2009 Rimington Award Watch List.
UAB has featured a potent offense in recent seasons. In 2010, the Blazers ranked No. 30 in the final NCAA statistics in total offense at 423 yards per game. UAB was 24th in passing offense (267.0 ypg).
The Blazers ranked No. 7 in the country in rushing offense in 2009 at 229 yards per contest, were 22nd in total offense (425.9) and 16th in pass efficiency (145.4).
Perhaps most impressively, UAB ranked No. 15 nationally in sacks allowed last season, yielding only 12 in 12 games.
Friend twice earned All-SEC honors at Alabama when UAB head coach Neil Callaway was a member of the Crimson Tide coaching staff. Prior to going to Gardner-Webb for two seasons, Friend spent two years as a graduate assistant at Georgia, helping Callaway with the offensive line.
He also spent a year at Tuscaloosa Central High School and was the offensive line coach at West Alabama in 2001.
In his first season at Gardner-Webb, the Bulldog offense ranked No. 10 nationally in total offense as Friend saw three of his linemen earn All-Big South Conference honors.
Friend was a four-year starter at guard for the Crimson Tide, helping Alabama to the SEC Western Division title and berths in the SEC Championship Game in 1993, 1994 and 1996 -- with appearances in the Gator Bowl, Citrus Bowl (1996) and Outback Bowl (1997).
Friend was named to Alabama's Team of the Decade for the 1990s. Friend coached the offensive line at West Alabama in 2001. Friend's experience is not limited to the collegiate level. He spent one season(2002) at Central High School in Tuscaloosa.
A highly-recruited lineman out of high school, Friend was a Parade Magazine All-America selection as a senior at Neshoba Central High in Philadelphia, Miss.
He earned his B.S. degree in human performance from Alabama in 1998.
Friend is married to the former Carrie Moon of Pleasant Grove, Ala. They have two daughters: Katie, 6; and Ashley Brooks, born last spring.