UAB hires ex-NFL QB Trent Dilfer as new football coach

UAB has hired former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer as the Blazers' new football coach, it was announced Wednesday.

Dilfer, 50, the head coach at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, is a former standout quarterback at Fresno State, who graduated to an NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. He won the Super Bowl with the Ravens in the 2000 season.

"Having the opportunity to lead such a quality program like UAB is one that I am beyond excited about," Dilfer said in a statement. "The investments the university has made for UAB Football aligns with my vision of taking this program to new heights as we join the American Athletic Conference and compete annually for the highest prize of playing in the College Football Playoff."

Dilfer informed his team at Lipscomb Academy about the news earlier Wednesday, sources told ESPN's Pete Thamel.

The Blazers finished 6-6 this season under interim coach Bryant Vincent, who is also the team's offensive coordinator. They were among three teams in Conference USA to finish 4-4 in the league.

Vincent replaced Bill Clark, who resigned in June for health reasons. Under Clark, UAB went 49-26 across six seasons, including a 2-2 mark in bowls. In Clark's final season, the Blazers finished 9-4, including a victory in the Independence Bowl.

Dilfer, a former ESPN analyst, was the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft by Tampa Bay in 1994. A 1997 Pro Bowler, Dilfer appeared in 130 games, throwing for 20,518 yards, 113 touchdowns and 129 interceptions.

In his fourth season at Lipscomb, Dilfer has led the Mustangs to a 12-0 record this season. They will play Thursday in a state championship game in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Dilfer will officially begin his UAB tenure on Friday.

"Trent is a proven winner on and off the field at all levels and will be a tremendous leader for our program," UAB athletic director Mark Ingram said. "He is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who played the game at its highest level for many years, and he has coached some of the top quarterbacks who are currently NFL franchise players.

"Trent's goals and vision for our program is to lead UAB to the College Football Playoff and we have no doubt that he is the right coach to lead our transition in the American Athletic Conference. Most importantly, Trent is an outstanding man, husband and father with tremendous character who fits our department's core values of winning championships, graduating with honors and making a difference in our community."

The Blazers were in good shape at 4-2 after a 34-20 win over Charlotte on Oct. 15. But they proceeded to lose three straight games, and had to rally with a 37-27 win over Louisiana Tech in the season finale last week to gain bowl eligibility.

UAB scheduled up just once this season, playing one Power 5 team, LSU. They lost to the Tigers, 41-10, on Nov. 19.

The Blazers will take on Miami (Ohio) (6-6) in the Hometown Lenders Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 16.