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Report: Louisville hires UAB’s head coach as offensive coordinator

Garrick McGee AP

It doesn’t get a whole lot more embarrassing for a program than this: UAB, according to ESPN’s Joe Schad, will lose head coach Garrick McGee to Louisville, where he’ll serve as Bobby Petrino’s offensive coordinator. McGee coached under Petrino at Arkansas as the Razorbacks’ quarterbacks coach (2008-2009) and offensive coordinator (2010-2011).

UAB is about as bleak a program as you’ll find at the FBS level, with McGee jumping ship after five wins in two seasons at the helm in Birmingham. The Conference USA school has just three winning seasons in 18 years at the Division I level, with the last coming in 2004 under Watson Brown — the brother of former Texas coach Mack Brown.

Even though McGee’s Blazers went 3-9 and 2-10, losing him to an offensive coordinator job at a non-elite school has to be a kick in the teeth. It’d be one thing if it were Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, USC and the like — but Louisville, despite the strides made in the last decade, isn’t part of college football’s top tier.

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11 Responses to “Report: Louisville hires UAB’s head coach as offensive coordinator”
  1. afrancis55 says: Jan 9, 2014 1:29 PM

    He was probably going to be fired by uab soon anyways so actually it is a pretty smart move.

  2. tigersfandan says: Jan 9, 2014 1:31 PM

    Charlie Strong’s hiring at Texas has created quite the ripple effect!

  3. tigersfandan says: Jan 9, 2014 1:34 PM

    Also, I wonder if Bobby Petrino will make any effort to poach his brother Paul from the head coaching spot at Idaho.

  4. jdbaker01 says: Jan 9, 2014 1:58 PM

    In other news, Bobby Petrino interviewed for the Browns head coach job immediately after the press conference.

  5. dcroz says: Jan 9, 2014 2:10 PM

    Far from embarrassed, there should be jubilation at UAB. Despite the fact that neither Alabama nor Auburn recruits much in the Birmingham area (or even in the whole state aside from Mobile) the Blazers have been unable to keep much local talent in town. They have been one of the most dysfunctional football programs in the country, because 1) the administration has long been hostile to the athletic department, and 2) the fan base was spoiled with the instant success it had when it started its basketball program thirty years ago (snagged Gene Bartow who brought most of his Memphis State recruits with him and made the Elite Eight in just a few years) and thought they would have the same thing happen on the gridiron. But most of all, they continue to blame The University of Alabama for all their problems, including the trustees’ refusal to allocate $75 million of the system’s money for a 30,000 on-campus stadium when the Blazers can’t draw half that many fans to Legion Field just a few miles away even with mostly-free tickets. UAB can get a respectable head coach; it’s just a question of if or when it takes its dragon head out if its ass and takes responsibility for its own missteps instead of blaming everyone else for the mess.

  6. dhardy8207 says: Jan 9, 2014 3:14 PM


    I work at UAB and this was true of the program back as far as the late 90’s early 2000 season when most of the people in attendance at the games were students, employees and student families. All of which are given free tickets just to somewhat show a local interest in the game. Legion field has had some updates to it and accommodates very large crowds for the Magic City Classic when Alabama State and Alabama A&M face off. It also accommodates the crowds that attend the BBVA Compass Bowl as well as the SWAC Classic.

    But the mentality of “we need our own stadium” is not only associated with the Blazer’s athletic department, it also is the foundation of a war between city/county officials that insist Birmingham should have a Dome. Citizens have faught this idea because the tax payers would end up shouldering the financial responsibility for a large part of the project with no guarantee that attendance would support a pro team.

  7. halbert53 says: Jan 9, 2014 3:29 PM


    Correction: Petrino interviewed w the Browns after he accepted the Louisville job but before the official announcement. That’s why he was late for the press conference. My bad, he had gone to a motel for a nooner.

  8. ancientcougar says: Jan 9, 2014 4:33 PM

    Louisville won’t lose a step with Petrino at the helm.

  9. normtide says: Jan 9, 2014 4:44 PM

    No one wants to make a major investment in Birmingham. The city leadership is a wreck. Why would the university board agree to spend $30 mill on a stadium there? A dome either. To me, the blazer fan base is just too small. If Alabama or Auburn invested that much money in stadium upgrades, it’s guaranteed to payoff. Not so much with UAB. They have to show some progress with the football program first. Right now they have no potential.

  10. sportsguy3434 says: Jan 9, 2014 5:35 PM

    I think this could be a bad sign when Bobby has to pull his old staff back together. This is kind of a strange move even if he wasn’t doing well there.

  11. hawg316 says: Jan 9, 2014 9:33 PM

    Whose Petrino’s next hire? I hear that John L. Smith is available.

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