March 25, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB will open spring football drills on Wednesday and among the new faces on the field for the Blazers will be three new coaches that have joined head coach Garrick McGee's staff.
McGee announced the additions Monday as he met with the media as the Blazers prepare for Wednesday's start to spring practice.
Eric Evans has joined the staff and will coach the running backs, Joe Henry will be the tight ends coach and Kevin Peoples will serve as UAB's defensive line coach as well as recruiting coordinator.
McGee also said he expects a fourth new assistant (a special teams/assistant secondary coach) to join the staff soon.
"I'm real excited about having the new coaches on our staff," said McGee. "I have worked with all of them. They understand my language, how we manage kids and how we motivate them."
Evans comes to UAB after spending five years as the wide receivers coach at the University of Albany. Prior to joining the staff at Albany, Evans was on the staff at Northwestern as an offensive assistant, working with McGee while there.
At Northwestern, he assisted with the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends and helped build the Big Ten Conference's top passing offense at 307.9 yards per game. Evans, 30, also coordinated the scout defense and special teams and handled offensive quality control.
Evans also served two years as a graduate assistant at Dayton. He coached the tight ends and tackles and helped develop the program's first All-America tight end since 1999. Prior to going to Dayton, Evans worked as a student assistant at DePauw University, his alma mater.
Henry, a former football student-athlete at Arkansas, spent last season as a graduate assistant with the Razorbacks, coaching the tight ends. After redshirting at Arkansas in 2005, Henry was part of the Razorbacks' team that won the SEC Western Division and played in the SEC Championship Game.
Through Henry's five seasons, Arkansas won 27 games and advanced to three bowl games, playing in the 2007 Capital One Bowl, the 2008 Cotton Bowl and the 2010 Liberty Bowl.
"Joe understands our system and he understands how I like to do things," McGee said.
Peoples, who has 15 years of collegiate coaching experience, spent the 2012 season as the defensive tackles coach at Arkansas. He served as the Razorbacks' Director of High School Relations from 2010-11. Prior to joining the Arkansas staff, Peoples was the defensive line coach at Arkansas State from 2002-09 and coached 11 all-conference selections while there.
He was defensive tackles coach at Northwestern State in 2001, a year after he served on the staff of the XFL's Las Vegas Outlaws. Peoples also coached the defensive line and special teams at Northern Arizona in 1999.
From 1997-98, Peoples was the defensive line coach at Central Missouri and in 1996, he worked with the defensive ends and the kickoff coverage team at Northwestern State. He began his coaching career at Carroll College in Montana in 1993 before hoining the staff at Blinn (Texas) Community College.
He was a four-year starter at linebacker at Carroll College, earning two all-conference selections and was an all-district performer as a senior.
"Kevin is one of the top defensive line coaches in the country," McGee said. "He has done an outstanding job at other programs and we are excited to have him on our staff."
In addition to the new coach hires announced on Monday, McGee also said there will be several position responsibility changes for the Blazers' staff.
Richard Owens, who coached the Blazer tight ends in 2012, will be the offensive coordinator and coach the wide receivers. Assistant head coach Jimmy Williams will coach the inside linebackers after coaching the defensive line last season.