UAB Blazers

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UAB hires Jacksonville State’s Bill Clark as head coach

Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark is leaving to become the new head coach at UAB.

UAB will announce Clark as its new head coach during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

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Ex- Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe to interview at UAB

Former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe will reportedly interview for the UAB head coaching vacancy.

Former Wake Forest head football coach Jim Grobe is expected to interview for the UAB head coach vacancy. (Photo: AP)The interview is expected to take place Friday in Atlanta, according to an al.com report.

In November, Grobe stepped down as Demon Deacons coach following 13 seasons.

Wake finished the year 4-8, its fifth consecutive losing season, but Grobe was chief architect of the most successful run by Wake Forest football in the ACC era.

The Demon Deacons won the ACC title in 2006, their first since 1970, and his 77 wins at Wake is tied with Peahead Walker for the most victories at the school.

The Blazers are replacing Garrick McGee, who resigned as head coach earlier this month to take the offensive coordinator job at Louisville.

Other candidates for the job include Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, Bethune-Cookman head coach Brian Jenkins and Atlanta Falcons tight ends coach Chris Scelfo.

Clark is expected to interview on Friday as well.

Photo: AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Tuesday, Jan. 14

It looks like Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason has emerged as the favorite to replace James Franklin at Vanderbilt.

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason (Photo: Nick Ut, AP)

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason (Photo: Nick Ut, AP)

Multiple sources tell us that Mason is the leading candidate for the job, and CBSSports.com’s Jeremy Fowler reports an interview is scheduled.

Alabama has hired Texas assistant (and former Crimson Tide assistant) Bo Davis to coach defensive line.

Sources tell us to expect even more movement on Nick Saban’s staff. Multiple sources indicate secondary coach Greg Brown is likely to move on. We’re also told there could be one to two other changes.

SI.com’s Pete Thamel reports longtime Penn State assistant Larry Johnson could join Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State.

The 61-year-old Johnson, a PSU assistant since 1996, told PennLive on Monday night he met with Franklin twice and was offered the opportunity to continue as defensive line coach at Penn State.

But, after considering the offer, LJ decided to move on. He said he has not retired and plans to continue coaching.

OSU defensive line coach Mike Vrabel joined Bill O’Brien’s Texans staff.

Speaking of the Buckeyes, Adam Caplan reports should Jim Caldwell wind up getting the Lions head coaching job, he could add former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to his offensive staff.

The Seattle Times reports Washington’s eight new assistant coaches are guaranteed a combined salary north of $3 million in their first year on Chris Petersen’s staff, making them among the highest-paid staffs in the Pac-12 Conference.

Hot names for the UAB head coaching job include Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, Hoover High School head coach Josh Niblett and former Arkansas and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

Texas‘ new football coach, Charlie Strong, will be paid $5 million for the 2014 season and the school will pay Strong’s $4.375 million buyout to Louisville, according to financial terms approved Monday by the university system’s board of regents.

Sources indicate offensive line coach Joe Wickline and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson are likely to run the Longhorns’ offense together.

Horns247 reports Les Koenning Jr., Joker Phillips and Mike Groh are the three leading contenders for the wide receivers position. The receivers job is the last vacant spot on the Longhorns’ staff.

Dawgs247 reports Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt has emerged as the leader to replace Todd Grantham as Georgia’s defensive coordinator.

DuckTerritory reports that Oregon will hire longtime assistant Don Pellum as its new defensive coordinator and that the Ducks will look to hire Philadelphia Eagles assistant Erik Chinander to fill out the staff.

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UAB head coach Garrick McGee bolts to become Louisville OC

It’s not everyday that an FBS program loses its head coach to become a coordinator at another college program.

UAB head coach Garrick McGee is leaving the Blazers to become offensive coordinator at Louisville. (Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP)But then again, UAB isn’t your everyday FBS program.

According to ESPN’s Joe Schad, Blazers coach Garrick McGee is stepping down to re-unite with Bobby Petrino as Louisville’s offensive coordinator.

McGee coached under Petrino at Arkansas, first as quarterbacks coach (2008-2009) and later offensive coordinator (2010-2011).

McGee went just 3-9 and 2-10 in two seasons at UAB and was already under fire there.

The Blazers have just three winning seasons in 18 years at the Division I level, with the last coming in 2004 under Watson Brown.

Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP

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UAB fires two defensive staff members

Second-year UAB coach Garrick McGee has fired two members of his defensive coaching staff.

Garrick McGee is just 5-19 in two seasons as UAB coach. (Photo: Pat Sullivan, AP)

Garrick McGee is just 5-19 in two seasons as UAB coach. (Photo: Pat Sullivan, AP)

Defensive coordinator Jimmy Williams and outside linebackers coach Reggie Johnson have been let go, according to an AL.com report.

Defensive line coach Kevin Peoples is expected to remain on the staff. The status of defensive backs coaches Brandon Sharp and Matt Sanders has not yet been confirmed by AL.com.

UAB finished the season 2-10 season, following a 3-9 record in McGee’s first year.

The Blazers were last in Conference USA and 118th nationally in total defense, allowing 497.8 yards per game. UAB gave up 276.2 yards per game through the air, which ranked 117th nationally. Its 221.3 yards per game allowed on the ground was 109th nationally.

McGee announced after the season-ending 62-27 loss to Southern Miss that there would be staff changes.

Johnson and Williams came to UAB with McGee. Johnson started out as the defensive coordinator, but was demoted after UAB’s fifth game of the season and replaced by Williams.

Peoples and Sanders finished their first year on staff and Sharp finished his second season on staff.

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UAB loses six commitments in a single weekend

UAB head coach Garrick McGee had a rough weekend. (Photo: Butch Dill/AP)

UAB head coach Garrick McGee had a rough weekend. (Photo: Butch Dill/AP)

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o matter how bad it may have seemed, chances are your had a better weekend than Garrick McGee.

The UAB coach saw an astonishing six Blazers verbal commitments change their allegiance to other schools.

That’s not a typo. UAB had six commits flip to other schools in the 48 hour period between Sunday-Monday.

Three of the recruits were from Birmingham, the school’s hometown. One of them had been committed since July, two others since September.

When the sun came up Tuesday morning, the Blazers were left with just 15 commitments and a coaching staff that had to be scratching their heads.

It’s hard to imagine losing nearly one third of a recruiting class with just over a week left until signing day, but that’s exactly the situation that McGee and the Blazer staff face. (UAB did sign two recruits in December that have already enrolled.)

The Blazers lost three assistants this off season, and that certainly played a role in this weekend’s defections.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jeff Brohm left to work for his college head coach and mentor Bobby Petrino at Western Kentucky, while recruiting coordinator Tyson Helton joined Tommy Tuberville’s staff at Cincinnati. Receivers coach Ron Sigler resigned after the season. (One of the recruits, defensive end Kalvin Robinson of Vestavia, Ala., switched to Brohm’s new school.)

McGee promoted tight ends coach Richard Owens to offensive coordinator and brought in Arkansas graduate assistant Joseph Henry to take over the role of tight ends coach. There is still one staff spot open.

Though it’s hard to judge whether the sudden rash of decommitments is a sign of a program in turmoil or merely a function of bad timing and the general wackiness that has been the 2013 recruiting cycle, it’s clear that the staff turnover done damage.

With time quickly running out, McGee and company have to hope their luck takes a turn for the better. After last weekend, it certainly can’t get any worse.

UAB Weekend Decommits

[colored_box color=”grey”]Jamaris Hart (2-star DB, Florence, Ala.) – Committed since Sept., flipped to Arkansas State
T.J. Green (2-star ATH/KR, Sylacauga, Ala.) – Committed since Oct., flipped to Clemson
Trey Lamastus (2-star C/DS, Monroe, La.) – Committed since Dec., flipped to ULM
Julius McCall (2-star RB/ATH, Chelsea, Ala.) – Committed since July, flipped to Troy
Nick Mullens (2-star QB, Hoover, Ala.) – Committed since Dec., flipped to Southern Miss
Kalvin Robinson (2-star DE, Vestavia, Ala.) – Committed since Sept., flipped to WKU[/colored_box]

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