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UAB Blazers
UAB Blazers Logo.gif
University University of Alabama at Birmingham
Conference Conference USA
NCAA Division I FBS
Athletics director Brian Mackin
Location Birmingham, AL
Varsity teams 17 intercollegiate sports
Football stadium Legion Field
Basketball arena Bartow Arena
Mascot Blaze
Nickname Blazers
Fight song UAB Fight Song
Colors Green and White and Old Gold

                     

Homepage www.uabsports.com

The UAB Blazers are the forest green and old gold-swathed athletic teams at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The school is one of the twelve member institutions of Conference USA (C-USA) and participates in Division I of the NCAA. The school's football program, as with all other C-USA members, participates in the Football Bowl Subdivision (still frequently referred to by its former designation of Division I-A), the higher of two levels of Division I competition in that sport The UAB football team is led by Neil Callaway and plays its home games at 71,594-seat Legion Field. The school's men's basketball team, coached by Mike Davis, plays in 8,508-seat Bartow Arena.

While the football team entered post-season play only recently, the men's basketball program has a long history of success spanning several decades. In addition to football and basketball, UAB also has programs in men's sports for baseball, golf, soccer, and tennis. Women's sports programs include softball, basketball, golf, soccer, synchronized swimming, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor), cross country, rifle and volleyball.

Contents

Football

Legion Field

In contrast to many other colleges and universities that have decades of tradition, UAB only began its football program in the early 1990s. Jim Hilyer was the first head coach of the Blazers, coaching from 1991-1994. Beginning with the first NCAA sanctioned Division III football team in 1991, UAB quickly moved up the ranks of the collegiate football divisions at a rate which few had foreseen. Coach Watson Brown took over as head coach in 1995 and held the position through the end of the 2006 season, when he left for Tennessee Tech. The team is currently led by head coach Neil Callaway.

UAB made the move to Division I-A, now FBS, football in 1996 and made the jump to Conference USA in 1999. Since then, UAB has made a habit of playing many of college football's traditional powers. In 2000, UAB achieved a monumental victory by beating LSU in Baton Rouge. In 2004, UAB reached yet another milestone earning their first bowl trip in school history, the Hawaii Bowl. Though young, UAB's football program continues to make large strides both in on the field success and in attendance. UAB plays its home football games at Legion Field, where the latest average attendance is 23,139 according to NCAA figures.[1]

Basketball

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Men's Basketball

UAB Blazers Men's Basketball vs. Tulsa at Bartow Arena

The UAB Blazers, in effect, started their entire athletics program with the creation of a men's basketball team in 1978. Setting the standards high from the start, UAB hired former UCLA, University of Illinois and Memphis head coach Gene Bartow. Known to many as the "Father of UAB athletics", Bartow led the Blazers to almost instant success. In 2004, the school once again gained national attention when it upset No. 1-seeded Kentucky in the second round of the tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.Since their inaugural season, the Blazers have made 13 appearances in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament including 3 Sweet Sixteen appearances and 1 Elite Eight appearance. UAB has also appeared in the NIT a total of 11 times, including 2 appearances in the NIT Final Four.

After only 30 years of basketball, UAB has had 27 winning seasons including memorable wins over Virginia, Kentucky, Louisville, Alabama, Florida, Villanova, Indiana, and Memphis, among others. The Blazers have amassed an impressive 617 wins to only 367 losses since 1978 giving UAB one of the best all-time winning percentages in college basketball history. The UAB men's basketball team has been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll many times in school history and as recently as 2010. UAB has been ranked as high as #9 in the nation. Up until the early 1990s, UAB played its home games at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. Today, UAB plays its home basketball games in Bartow Arena where the Blazers have won more than 80 percent of its games. The current head coach, Mike Davis, was named head coach of the Blazers in the spring of 2006 and became just the fourth head coach in UAB basketball history.

UAB Men's Basketball Coaches
Coach Years Wins-Losses
Gene Bartow 1978-1996 365-204 (.641)
Murry Bartow 1996-2002 103-83 (.554)
Mike Anderson 2002-2006 89-41 (.685)
Mike Davis 2006-Present 84-47 (.641)
Overall 641-375 (.632)

Women's Basketball

Though largely overshadowed by the men's basketball program at UAB, the Blazers women have a strong history in their own right. Since UAB began a women's basketball program, UAB has won 4 conference championships, made 2 NCAA Tournament appearances, and 4 WNIT appearances. No team in Conference USA has advanced further than the Blazers' Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA tournament of the 1999-2000 season. The Blazers have also advanced to the Elite Eight of the WNIT.

Soccer

Men's Soccer

UAB began a men's soccer program back in 1979. Throughout its history, UAB has enjoyed quite a bit of success in both the men's and women's soccer programs. The men's team has been in the NCAA Tournament a total of 5 times including 2 Sweet Sixteen appearances and 1 Elite Eight appearance in 1999. The men's team has been ranked both regionally and nationally numerous times throughout its history. One of UAB's biggest wins in the men's team history came when UAB upset the #1-ranked UCLA Bruins in 1997 by a score of 2-0. UAB would upset another #1-ranked team in 2006 when they beat the SMU Mustangs by a score of 2-1. The men's team plays their home games at UAB's West Campus Field. Since 1993, the men's team has won nearly 80% of its games played at West Campus Field. Mike Getman is the head coach of the men's team.

Women's Soccer

Though only beginning a women's soccer program only in 1996, the UAB women's soccer team has already been in the NCAA Tournament and has also been ranked several times in its history. The UAB women's soccer team has won the Conference USA Championship 3 times in ten years, including the most recent in 2006. Paul Harbin is the head coach of the women's team. Like the men, the women's team plays their home games at UAB's West Campus Field.

Golf

Men's Golf

Frequently ranked among the nation's better collegiate programs, the men's golf program has gained considerable recognition. Over the program's history, UAB has made 7 appearances in the NCAA Men's Golf Championship tournament including 6 times in the last 10 years. The UAB golf team has won 2 conference titles including the 2008 Conference USA Championship. Several UAB golfers have gone on to have success as professional golfers including Ireland-native Graeme McDowell and Garrett Osborn. UAB's golf team is led by coach Alan Kaufman.

Synchronized Swimming

Even though the team was formed only in the 1998-1999 season, the UAB synchronized swimming team has quickly established themselves as a dominant team in the sport having finished numerous times among the Top 5 teams in the nation. Currently, the team is being dropped as a varsity sport from UAB [2]

Championships

Conference Championships (40)

  • Men's Basketball (8): 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1987 · 1990 · 1999 · 2004
  • Men's Tennis (5): 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995
  • Women's Basketball (4): 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1994
  • Women's Tennis (4): 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996
  • Women's Volleyball (4): 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 2006
  • Men's Baseball (3): 1991 · 1992 · 1994
  • Men's Soccer (3): 1994 · 1995 · 1999
  • Women's Soccer (3): 2003 · 2004 · 2006
  • Women's Cross Country (2): 1995 · 2006
  • Men's Golf (2): 1991 · 2008
  • Women's Indoor Track (1): 1995
  • Women's Outdoor Track (1): 1995

Rivals

UAB's main rivals are conference opponents Memphis (football and basketball) and Southern Miss (football). Beginning with 2006 the UAB-Memphis football rivalry is called the Battle for the Bones (sometimes known as "The BBQ Bowl") and includes both professional and amateur barbecue contests as part of the pregame festivities. This event was created from the ideas of several UAB students and with the efforts of Daniel Walters (GangGreen President) and Andrew Brashier (USGA President). The winner of the game receives a traveling 100-pound bronze rack of ribs trophy, known as ‘The Bones’ trophy.

Mascots

The current UAB mascot is a green dragon named Blaze. Former mascots included a strange cartoonish Nordic warrior and perhaps the most beloved Beauregard T. Rooster that met an untimely demise when threatened with legal action by the San Diego Chicken.

Attendance Records

Top 10 Home Football Attendance Records
Opponent Attendance
1 Southern Miss (2003) 44,669
2 Mississippi State (2006) 36,104
3 TCU (2004) 33,280
4 Troy (2006) 32,818
5 Virginia Tech (1998) 31,897
6 Southern Miss (2005) 31,363
7 Kansas (1998) 30,543
8 Houston (1999) 28,573
9 Memphis (2004) 27,192
10 Southern Miss (2009) 26,871
Top 10 Home Basketball Games at the BJCC
Opponent Attendance
1 DePaul (1980) 17,309
2 DePaul (1985) 17,222
3 Auburn (1984) 17,025
4 Indiana (1997) 16,982
5 Virginia Commonwealth (1985) 16,866
6 Auburn (1986) 16,815
7 Auburn (1983) 16,803
8 Auburn (1982) 16,797
9 South Florida (1985) 16,781
10T Virginia (1982) 16,754
10T Louisville (1982) 16,754
Top 10 Home Basketball Games at Bartow Arena
Opponent Attendance
1 Memphis (2008) 9,392
2 Louisville (2005) 9,354
3 Cincinnati (2004) 9,312
4 Cincinnati (2000) 9,279
5 Cincinnati (1996) 9,213
6 Alcorn State (1989) 9,010
7 Arkansas (1990) 8,951
8 Cincinnati (1994) 8,907
9 Western Kentucky (1991) 8,879
10 Auburn (1990) 8,879

Blazers ISP Radio Network

UAB athletic events can be heard on the following stations:

References


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