UAB has been looking for a new full-time football coach since June, when Bill Clarke announced that hefrom the health program. Offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent has taken over on a temporary basis and the UAB players are hoping the sports department will remove the “interim” tag and make Vincent the permanent head coach.
UAB players wrote a letter to school president Ray Watts urging the school to keep Vincent instead of hiring an outsider to lead the Blazers in 2023.
“We, as players and as a team, want our voices to be heard,” the letter says. “We deserve to be heard! We represented this program and this university and built something special here. We believe in coach Vincent and want him to be our head coach. This team loves coach Vincent and believes in him. He is our head coach… He is a great leader and we follow him. We have had memorable moments throughout the seasons of the championship and cup victories, but we have never been closer as a team and have never had a closer brotherhood than we do now.”
The letter was apparently written after Watts refused to meet with the players to discuss their views on the ongoing search for a coach.
“We called your secretary to arrange a meeting with our team, but she said that you are too busy to meet with us,” the letter says. “We, as a team, respect your time and schedule. We, as a team, want our voice to be heard. We fought and brought championships and cups to this university. Championships and cup victories that have never happened in history. programs. We have achieved something that no one here expected.”
The players appeared to become more frustrated with sporting director Mark Ingram as the process dragged on, leading them to write a letter to Watts.
“On June 27, Mark Ingram informed us that he would conduct a national manhunt for our coach,” the letter reads. That’s all he said. He didn’t talk to any of us players or ask us any questions. That’s all he said!!! He didn’t speak to us until November 28th. It was after the season! We went through the whole season of uncertainty and rallied as a team to qualify for the cup for the seventh… I repeat, the seventh year in a row. The only thing that was told to us as a team on November 28th is that he is determined to complete this within a week. That’s all”.
Vincent and the Blazers went 6-6 in 2022 and earned a Bahama Cup berth against Miami (Ohio), marking the Blazers’ sixth straight bowl appearance. The program returned after a two-year hiatus in 2017 and has prepared a bowl every season since its revival. Bryant played a big role in that run as the Blazers’ offensive coordinator for the 2018-21 season. He was also the Blazers’ offensive coordinator in 2014 – the final season before the shutdown – when they went 6-6 but didn’t play in the bowl.