UAB hires Trent Dilfer as coach: Super Bowl-winning QB a surprising choice to lead Blazers


The UAB has hired former Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer as its next coach, sources close to the situation told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. At noon ET, the Blazers will issue a press release to officially announce the move and hold a press conference at 5:30 pm.

Dilfer, who played 14 years in the NFL for five different franchises from 1994 to 2007 and won the Super Bowl as a quarterback for the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, just completed his fourth season as head coach at Lipscomb Academy, a Nashville private high school. Tennessee, who posted a 38-8 record under him.

On Wednesday, the school released a statement explaining Dilfer’s departure.

“A few minutes ago, Coach Trent Dilfer met with members of the high school football team to inform them that he was stepping down as head coach of the program,” wrote director Brad Schultz. “Later today, the University of Alabama at Birmingham officially announces the appointment of Coach Dilfer as head coach of the UAB Blazers. The timing of this release is not ideal given tomorrow’s Div II-AA state championship game. the information was leaked overnight and reported in the national media, we needed to share this news with our community. We are coordinating with the UAB Athletics Department the timing of the official public announcement, which will take place later today. focus on our student athletes and support them as they head to Chattanooga today to prepare for tomorrow’s championship game.”

In addition to his Super Bowl ring, Dilfer earned a Pro Bowl nod while leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997. interceptions as a signalman in Fresno State.

After retiring from the NFL, Dilfer moved into the media as an analyst for ESPN and Fox. He is also active in the annual Elite 11 Quarterback Competition, which annually brings together the best high school quarterbacks in the country.

While the Lipscomb Academy is a highly competitive team that develops many FCS leads, Dilfer has no coaching experience at the collegiate level. In fact, his four years at Lipscomb is his only coaching experience at any level of organized team football.

Dilfer worked closely with the players as a quarterbacks coach, but only as an individual coach. If Dilfer does get a job at UAB, convincing two-year-old rookie Dylan Hopkins and Baylor transfer Jacob Zeno to stay out of the transfer portal will give him a group of talented signalers to work with in his first year.

Dilfer received criticism in 2021 after a video of him pushing a player went viral. He later apologized for the incident.

Difer has a strict contract with the last full-time UAB coach, Bill Clark. Prior to joining South Alabama as a defensive coordinator in 2008, Clark had 18 years of experience as a high school football coach in Alabama and Georgia.

Clark went 11-4 in one season at Jacksonville State in 2013 before being hired by the UAB, where he led the Blazers to a 6-6 record before the program closed. Clarke then spearheaded an effort to revive UAB football, which was successful with the program’s reinstatement in 2017. Despite having to almost completely overhaul the program, Clark led the Blazers to five consecutive winning seasons and two Conference USA championships (2018, 2020). He was also twice named CBS Athletic Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year in 2018.

Clark, 54 retired ahead of the 2022 season due to back problems. His offensive coordinator Brian Vincent took over as interim coach and led the UAB to a 6-6 record.

Post-season Blazers players wrote a letter to UAB President Ray Watts to keep Vincent as a permanent coach. Watts declined to meet with the players for their input during the search for a coach.