American Football Database
UAB Blazers Football
File:UAB Blazers Logo.gif
First season 1991
Athletic director Brian Mackin
Head coach Garrick McGee
Home stadium Legion Field
Stadium capacity 71,594
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Birmingham, Alabama
Conference C-USA
Division East
All-time record 107–128–2
Postseason bowl record 0–1
Consensus All-Americans 2
Colors Green and Old Gold            
Mascot Dragon (Blaze)
Marching band UAB Marching Blazers

The UAB Blazers football team represents the University of Alabama at Birmingham and competes as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A), as a member of the East Division of Conference USA (C-USA). UAB plays its home games at Legion Field, which is located off-campus in Birmingham, Alabama. The current head coach of the UAB Blazers is Garrick McGee. With a capacity of 71,594, Legion Field is currently the third largest college football stadium in the state of Alabama and the 40th largest football stadium in the US. On February 3, 2011, it was announced that UAB would be moving forward with plans to build a horseshoe-shaped stadium on campus with an estimated seating capacity of around 30,000.[1]


The origins of football at UAB begin with the play of an organized club football team in 1989.[2] After two years competing as a club football team, on March 13, 1991, UAB President Charles McCallum and athletic director Gene Bartow announced that the university would compete in football as a NCAA Division III team beginning in the fall of 1991, with Jim Hilyer serving as the first head coach.[3] From 1991 to 1992, UAB competed as a Division III Independent, and during this period, the Blazers compiled an 11–6–2 overall record. During this period, the Blazers played their first all-time game on September 7, 1991, a 28–0 loss at Millsaps, and notched their first all-time win on September 21, 1991, a 34–21 victory at Washington & Lee.[4]

After only a pair of seasons at the Division III level, a NCAA ruling resulted in the Blazers being reclassified as a I-AA team for the 1993 season.[5] The reclassification was a result of the NCAA prohibiting a school's athletic program from being multi-divisional, and since UAB already competed in Division I in other sports, the move became necessary.[5] In their first game as a I-AA team, the Blazers would lose to Troy State 37–3 before a home crowd on September 6, 1993.[6] By 1994, the Blazers would play their first I-A opponent against Kansas.[4] Following the 1994 season, coach Hilyer would resign with Watson Brown being announced as the program's second ever coach on January 2, 1995.[3]

During the 1995 season the Blazers would notch their first ever victory over a I-A opponent on the road against North Texas by a final score of 19–14.[7] From 1993 to 1995, UAB competed as a Division I-AA Independent, and during this period compiled a 21–12 overall record before making the jump to Division I-A for the 1996 season.[4]

On November 9, 1995, UAB was officially informed by the NCAA that the school had met all requirements for reclassification, and as such the Blazers would enter the 1996 season as an I-A Independent.[8] In their first I-A game, UAB was defeated by in-state rival Auburn 29–0, and would finish their first I-A season with a 5–6 overall record. Already a participating member in other sports, on November 13, 1996, Conference USA commissioner Mike Slive announced that UAB would be admitted to the league as a football playing member for the 1999 season.[9]

Since the transition to I-A, UAB has made a habit of playing many of college football's traditional powers. In 2000, UAB achieved a monumental victory by beating LSU in Baton Rouge. In 2004, UAB reached yet another milestone earning their first bowl trip in school history, the Hawaii Bowl.

After being the face of the program for twelve years, on December 9, 2006, Watson Brown resigned as UAB's head coach to take the head coaching position at Tennessee Tech.[10] Following Brown's resignation, former Alabama player and Georgia offensive coordinator Neil Callaway was named head coach on December 17, 2006.[11] Callaway led the Blazers to the school's worst season (2–10), dropping the program's all-time record under .500 for the first time in school history.

On November 27, 2011, Callaway was fired as UAB's head coach having compiled a record of 18 wins and 42 losses (18–42) during his five years with the Blazers.[12] On December 4, 2011, UAB officials announced they hired Garrick McGee to serve as the fourth head coach in the history of the program.[13]

Head coaches

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1991–1994 Jim Hilyer 4 27–12–2 .683
1995–2006 Watson Brown 12 62–74 .456
2007–2011 Neil Callaway 5 18–42 .300
2012–Present Garrick McGee 1 1–4 .200
Totals 4 coaches 21 108–130–2 .454


All-time bowl results

Date Bowl Location W/L Opponent PF PA
December 24, 2004 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl Honolulu, Hawaii L Hawaii Warriors 40 59
Total 1 bowl game 0–1

Conference affiliations

Rivalry Game

Battle for the BonesMemphis Tigers


File:Legion Field outside.jpg

Exterior View of Legion Field from Graymont Avenue

Located to the west of campus in the Graymont neighborhood of Birmingham, the Blazers play their home games at Legion Field. Construction on the stadium began in 1926 and was completed in 1927 with a seating capacity of 21,000.[14] Subsequent expansions would raise its capacity to 81,000 at its peak only to have it reduced to 72,000 with the removal of the upper deck in 2004.[15] The Blazers have utilized the facility since the inaugural 1991 season, and have played all but two home games at Legion Field throughout their history. The only home games not played at Legion included a contest at Lawson Field in 1992, and a contest at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in 1998.[16] At present, UAB is under contract with the City of Birmingham to utilize the facility through the 2013 season.[17]

The prospect of constructing an on-campus stadium has been debated since the mid-1990s. By 1999, former head coach Watson Brown stated that UAB would eventually need to construct a facility comparable to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium at Louisville.[18] On February 3, 2011, university officials announced that UAB will be moving forward with plans to build a horseshoe-shaped stadium on campus with an estimated seating capacity of around 30,000 as part of a new campus master plan.[1]

On September 16, 2011 UAB vice president Richard Margison outlined preliminary plans for the proposed on-campus football stadium to the University of Alabama board of trustees. The plan calls for a horse-shoe stadium that would seat 27,511 with an additional 2,500 lawn seats in one end zone. It would also include 33 suites and 24 loge boxes. The proposed cost for the stadium complex is $66 million with a total project cost of $75 million.[19]

Attendance records

Top 10 Home Football Attendance Records
Opponent Attendance
1 Southern Miss (2003) 44,669
2 Mississippi State (2006) 36,104
3 TCU (2004) 33,280
4 Troy (2006) 32,818
5 Virginia Tech (1998) 31,897
6 Southern Miss (2005) 31,363
7 Kansas (1998) 30,543
8 Troy (2012) 28,612
9 Houston (1999) 28,573
10 Mississippi State (2011) 28,351

Current NFL Players

Name Position Team
Matt McCants Offensive Lineman New York Giants
Bryan Thomas Linebacker/Defensive End New York Jets
Joe Webb Quarterback/Wide receiver Minnesota Vikings
Roddy White Wide receiver Atlanta Falcons


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wolfson, Hannah; Steve Irvine (February 3, 2011). "UAB planning on-campus stadium at Sixth Avenue South, 12th Street". The Birmingham News. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "February 3, 2011" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Sims, Neal (August 26, 1996). "Game Week: Bowden helps put UAB on I-A map". The Birmingham News.
  3. 3.0 3.1 2008 UAB Football Media Guide "Important Dates In UAB Football". UAB Sports Information Department, Accessed September 21, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 2008 UAB Football Media Guide "Year-by-Year Results". UAB Sports Information Department, Accessed September 21, 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bolton, Clyde (May 23, 1993). "UAB football scratching and clawing". The Birmingham News.
  6. Bolton, Clyde (September 10, 1993). "First game a giant step for the Blazers". The Birmingham News.
  7. Martin, Wayne (October 15, 1995). "UAB gets first win over I-A opponent". The Birmingham News.
  8. Martin, Wayne (November 9, 1995). "UAB football approved for I-A". The Birmingham News.
  9. Martin, Wayne (November 15, 1996). "Blazers football gets league ok for '99". The Birmingham News.
  10. Segrest, Doug; Steve Irvine (December 10, 2006). "Brown says decision wasn't easy: Coach resigns from UAB and takes job at Tennessee Tech". The Birmingham News.
  11. Tom Dienhart (December 17, 2006). "Report: Georgia aide gets UAB job". Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  12. Schlabach, Mark (November 27, 2011). "UAB fires coach Neil Callaway". Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  13. "UAB hires Garrick McGee as coach". Associated Press. December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  14. McPhillips, Alex (July 25, 2002). ""Gray Lady" admits to 75 -Legion Field's history goes beyond Iron Bowl rivalry". The Birmingham News.
  15. Tomberlin, Michael (August 19, 2004). "Upper deck at Legion Field closed". The Birmingham News.
  16. Rubin, Adam (November 17, 1998). "UAB christens Met as football venue". The Birmingham News.
  17. Wright, Barnett (September 29, 2004). "UAB contract at Legion Field set to 2013". The Birmingham News.
  18. Rubin, Adam (October 28, 1999). "Brown wants on-campus stadium like Louisville's". The Birmingham News.
  19. UAB Proposed Stadium"Irvine, Steve (September 16, 2011). "UAB outlines preliminary plans for on-campus football stadium". The Birmingham News.
  20. "Records & History: Year-by-year results" (PDF). 2010 UAB Football Media Guide. Birmingham, AL: UAB Athletic Media Relations Office. 2010. pp. 129–130. Retrieved March 20, 2011.