We’ve seen our fair share of curious and tradition-breaking hires in the world of football coaches recently, especially when it comes to people who don’t come into the head coaching role with the kind of experience that used to seem like a prerequisite.
Sometimes it works. Deion Sanders has done wonders at Jackson State, so much so that he’s probably going to take an FBS job soon. Meanwhile, Jeff Saturday has shown mixed results as the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. And there’s Ed McCaffrey, who took over as head coach at Northern Colorado in his first college coaching position, with disastrous results.
UAB is hoping that the success Sanders had at Jackson State is what they can expect now that they’ve officially hired Trent Dilfer as their new head coach.
𝐖𝐄𝐋𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐂𝐎𝐀𝐂𝐇 𝐃𝐈𝐋𝐅𝐄𝐑‼️
Trent Dilfer has officially been named the seventh head coach in program history.
— UAB Football (@UAB_FB) November 30, 2022
Dilfer spent 14 seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. After his playing career, he spent time in the broadcasting world. In 2019, he moved into coaching by taking over Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, where he went from 5-5 in his first season to 13-1 in 2021, winning the Division II Class AA State Championship. The team will once again play for the state title this week but Lipscomb Academy said in an email to parents that Dilfer was resigning to take the UAB job on Wednesday.
It’s a pretty wild ascent and curious situation. We’ll see if it pays off for the Blazers. But in the meantime, the college football world had some strong reactions to the news.
Hard to know what's going to work, but Trent Dilfer is one of the smartest football people around and cares about teaching so much. That's, at least, a good start. Intriguing hire. https://t.co/ldTzk3nx0g
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 30, 2022
Your new UAB coach. https://t.co/xQed74zmV9
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 30, 2022
Done deal. https://t.co/Ij6lCfCpTO
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) November 30, 2022
We mock and laugh, but Houston Texans head coach by 2024 is on the table the way how things are going https://t.co/uXrq34IZpb
— Cyrus Smith (@CoolCyWrites) November 30, 2022
O/U on number of times we hear "dude qualities" in the intro presser? https://t.co/MaQYFFOhq9
— Grace Remington (@GraceRemiTV) November 30, 2022