Richard Owens begins his second season on the staff at UAB -- and his first as the Blazers' offensive coordinator -- after spending two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas.
Owens was UAB's tight ends coach in 2012 in his first year in Birmingham but has switched to wide receivers in addition to taking on duties as the offensive coordinator.
While on the Razorbacks' coaching staff, Owens worked with the Arkansas tight ends. In 2011, Owens led a group that featured junior Chris Gragg, who ended the season ranked third on the team with 41 receptions and fourth among Razorbacks with 518 receiving yards. Gragg's average of 3.2 receptions per game tied for the highest average among tight ends in the SEC and tied for 11th overall in the conference. Austin Tate also added seven catches for 53 yards from the tight end position.
In his first season at Arkansas in 2010, Owens tutored a group led by Mackey Award winner D.J. Williams. Williams, who also won the Disney Spirit Award and was Arkansas' first Sullivan Award finalist in 2010, was the first Razorback to win the Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's top tight end.
Williams finished his collegiate career with 152 receptions, at the time the second-highest total in school history and the most by a non-wide receiver, and 1,855 receiving yards, which ranked eighth on UA's all-time list. Williams was drafted in the fifth round, 141st overall, of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers to become the earliest-drafted tight end to play for the Razorbacks.
Owens played collegiately at Louisville before a five-year NFL career in which he played for the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings and N.Y. Jets.
As a freshman in 1999, Owens redshirted at Louisville. The following year, he played in all 12 games with three starts and was selected to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team at tight end. In 2001, he played in 13 games and had three catches, two of which went for touchdowns. He appeared in all 13 games in 2002 with starts in six of the last seven games and ranked sixth on the team with a career-high 20 catches for 182 yards. As a senior, he played in all 13 games with four starts and finished his career with 36 catches for 371 yards and eight touchdowns while also serving as the Cardinals' long snapper.
A native of Middleburg, Fla., Owens played tight end and defensive line at Middleburg High School and was a first-team all-area selection. In 2006, his high school number was retired before a Middleburg High School football game.
After completing his collegiate career, Owens signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings. Owens appeared in 53 NFL games between 2004-09 and started seven contests. He totaled 17 receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown in his career. Owens played for the Vikings from 2004-07 and was named the captain of the special teams in 2005. From 2007-08, Owens was a member of the St. Louis Rams' organization before he signed with the New York Jets in July of 2009.
Owens earned his degree in sports administration from Louisville in 2004. He and his wife, the former Tina Ryan, have one daughter, Rylan.