Garrick McGee is out, Blazer football moving forward

By on January 12, 2014
(Photo by Sarah Adkins)

Garrick McGee will join Bobby Petrino at the University of Louisville where he will be an assistant coach.

Bobby Petrino was officially introduced on Thursday and wasted no time finding his staff.

McGee worked under Petrino at Arkansas for four seasons, including two years as the offensive coordinator. In his final season McGee was a Broyles award finalist.

It is unusual to see a head coach leave and step down to a coordinator job, but that may point to the quality of the head coaching job from which he was stepping down.

The buyout for McGee is set at $550,000.

McGee went 5-19 in two seasons as the Blazer’s head coach.

So now the search for a new coach kicks off.

The selection process will be similar to the past one, using Carr Sports Consulting.  However, UAB great Izell Reese has been asked  for his opinion and aid in the process.

Finding someone who will want to coach at UAB will be difficult, frankly put, being a head coach at UAB could be committing career suicide.

Former coaches are not fairing so well in the NCAA. Neil Callaway is now an offensive line coach at WKU.  Watson Brown holds the record for the most losses as a head coach in the NCAA, and Garrick McGee stepped down from a head coaching job to be an assistant.

Tough to sell UAB and coaching a team that has an attendance less than some Hoover High School games, a program with outdated facilities, no fan base, no money and a future that looks equally as bleak.

UAB is averaging just 15,000 people attending a game which is near the very bottom of the FBS in 2012.

Michigan averages almost 100,000 more people attending each game than people go to Legion Field. UAB doesn’t even have 100,000 people attend games over the course of the season.

At the Blazers peak in 2004-2005, UAB averaged a little over 20,000 fans per game, which would make them average in C-USA. These are not numbers to be proud off.

It will take a certain kind of person to take the job.

Rather than just be a footnote in another programs history, UAB needs someone who want start the programs traditions, start a culture of winning: the Gene Bartow type.

Someone who realizes that success may not come immediately and neither will financial reimbursement, but if he turns the program around he can have the future stadium (if one is ever built) named after him with his statue out front.

One advantage of not having a historic program is that someone can come in and be the next Bear Bryant or the Woody Hayes. However, the politics around UAB are not conducive to future success.

Gene Bartow said that UAB would rue the day that Paul Bryant Jr. was put on the Board of Trustees.  So far, most Blazer faithful will say that statement couldn’t be more accurate.

UAB needs to hire someone to drum up some excitement, something similar to what happened in Baylor.

UAB’s best attendance numbers came at a time when UAB was putting up high point totals and running an exciting down the field passing offense.

Also, players like to play in the fast pace style.  This could be a make or break program decision.

If another person doesn’t pan out and we continue to see attendance numbers shrink and more losses than wins, a football program may not last too much longer at UAB.

If the BoT is unwilling to give the program what it needs to be successful—new stadium and workout facilities— then UAB will continue to be at the bottom looking up.

It is a sad fact, but if results continue to slide, attendance continues to dwindle, and money continues to be spent in all the wrong areas, maybe eliminating the football program may not be the worst idea.

The Blazer football flame is in danger of being extinguished.

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About Tripp Larsen

I am life long Blazer fan, who wishes the best for the program. I am 22 year old psychology major. If you have any comments or arguments feel free to comment, or send me an email at Writers are wanted so if you want to become a member of the staff send an email or come down to the student media office.
  • Alyssia

    Harsh but true Tripp. UAB needs someone who will step up and encourage growth for our football team. Maybe our next head coach can be that person.

  • Unleash The Dragon

    First of all, what Garrick McGee did, leaving the way he did and all, speaks for itself. He is after all, a “student” of the teachings of one Bobby Petrino (ask any Atlanta Falcons fan you happen to see about him), let’s just say, the “apple” didn’t fall far from the “tree.” Secondly, all this talk about shutting the football program is utter nonsense, there are other programs in existence today that have been around far longer than UAB’s and have not fared well, either, eventually they do, look at Duke and Vanderbilt. But to their credit, they have progressive, supportive governing bodies and modern facilities to thrive with and be competitive , which is more than I can say for UAB, that board of trustees is a disgusting bureaucracy with a crimson tide -only agenda(by the way, thank you, Auburn and Oklahoma!) , & they have no intention at all of supporting UAB Football with the facilities they need to get better, they’ve made that crystal clear over the years.
    Cowards with power love to hide behind that power as much as they do flaunting it.
    As a sports fan, the completely asinine notion of shutting down the UAB Football program is not an option for me. This will not bode well for UAB athletics or the as a whole if this happens. But, I’m also a realist, & if anyone truly expects things to get better for this team with the bureaucratic, abhorrent conditions facilities-wise they have to endure with no support whatsoever from its’ governing body (& Coach Bartow was right about Bryant Jr.) to add insult to injury, having to play “home” games in Legion Field, the worst football stadium of its’ size in America, instead of a modest but modern stadium on campus , what are we telling our football team? That they’re less than nothing, but they’re expected to go out and win under these conditions?
    Good luck selling that to a prospect/recruit. As well as a depleted, disenfranchised, and thanks in part to Garrick McGee, betrayed franchise. UAB Athletics really has its work cut out for it now…

  • mdv483

    Garrick McGee made the best move possible for his career. He was in over his head at UAB. He reminded me a bit of Mike Davis, where he talked big but never carried through. If he stayed another two years, UAB would eventually have fired him. With the way everything unfolded, I don’t believe we could have ended up with a better situation. The only negative I could find is that it’s now 3 weeks until signing day and we have no head coach, and no definite assistants in place.
    McGee brought in some key pieces to the offense (Staples and Howard) but had some very unorthodox play calling. He also had some unusual situations at QB, the ones he didn’t run off. Our defense continued to get worse under him, setting record worsts in many categories. As a coach, he also seemed pretty stubborn and set in his ways. When I saw the article a few weeks ago about making changes from top to bottom, I assumed he meant new uniforms. It’s sad to see how it all ended, after all of the momentum we gained when we hired him. In the end, I believe McGee will go down as the worst head coach in UAB history.

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