UAB hires Super Bowl Champion QB Trent Dilfer as new head football coach

Trent Dilfer (courtesy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB Director of Athletics Mark Ingram has named 14-year NFL veteran quarterback and Super Bowl XXXV Champion Trent Dilfer as UAB Football’s seventh head coach in program history.

Dilfer most recently spent the last four years as the head coach of Lipscomb Academy in Nashville where he led the Mustangs to the 2021 TSSAA D2-AA State Championship and will once again play for the state title tomorrow, Dec. 1. With one game remaining, Dilfer has compiled an overall record of 43-10 in his four years and a mark of 25-1 in the last two seasons.

Dilfer was selected sixth overall in the 1994 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and threw for 20,518 yards and 113 touchdowns during his 14-year career. In 2000, he led the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1997 and was the recipient of the Bart Starr Award and Ed Block Courage Award in 2003.

“Having the opportunity to lead such a quality program like UAB is one that I am beyond excited about,” Dilfer said. “The investments the university has made for UAB Football aligns with my vision of taking this program to new heights as we join the American Athletic Conference and compete annually for the highest prize of playing in the College Football Playoff. I would like to thank President Ray Watts, Director of Athletics Mark Ingram and the entire search committee for their commitment to excellence and for trusting in me as we venture into this new era of UAB Football together.”

In 2008, Dilfer began a nine-year broadcasting career as an analyst on ESPN for a variety of programs, including Monday Night Countdown and NFL Primetime. He was nominated for a Sports Emmy in 2012 for Outstanding Sports Personality in the Studio Analyst category. 

Dilfer is also the head coach of the Elite 11 Academy which began in 2009 and was launched to train elite-level high school quarterbacks. His alumni include 27 of the 32 current NFL starting quarterbacks and 14 of the past 15 Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks. Currently, 60 of the 64 Power 5 starting quarterbacks in 2022 attended the Elite 11 Finals or Elite 11 Regional.  

“Trent is a proven winner on and off the field at all levels and will be a tremendous leader for our program,” Ingram said. “He is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who played the game at its highest level for many years, and he has coached some of the top quarterbacks who are currently NFL franchise players. Trent’s goals and vision for our program is to lead UAB to the College Football Playoff and we have no doubt that he is the right coach to lead our transition in the American Athletic Conference. Most importantly, Trent is an outstanding man, husband and father with tremendous character who fits our department’s core values of winning championships, graduating with honors and making a difference in our community.”

While appropriate members of the UA System Board of Trustees have been notified of the proposed terms and conditions of this proposed agreement, the financial terms remain subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.

“This is an exciting day for UAB Football and the entire UAB community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans,” said UAB President Ray Watts. “At UAB, excellence is the standard, and it is clear that Coach Dilfer will personify that standard. He is a well-networked Super Bowl champion with a national platform, and a successful coach who has helped teams and individuals – including some of the NFL’s most elite quarterbacks – reach their potential.

“I thank the search committee for their dedication to this process, as well as the University of Alabama System Office and the UA System Board of Trustees for their continued support of our great institution and UAB Athletics every day,” Watts said. “I also thank Bryant Vincent for serving as our interim head football coach and leading the football staff and team during a critical time in the program’s history. We are proud and appreciative of their dedication.”
Dilfer attended Fresno State where he was the starting quarterback and was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1993 after throwing for 3,799 yards and 30 touchdowns. Following his junior season, Dilfer declared for the NFL Draft, forgoing his senior season.

Dilfer and his wife Cassandra have three daughters, Maddie, Tori and Delaney, and a son Trevin, who passed away in 2003.

Season tickets for the 2023 UAB Football season are now available starting as low as $99. Season ticket packages will feature all six home games during UAB’s inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference and provide the most cost-effective way to attend games at Protective Stadium. For more information about season ticket pricing, call the UAB Athletics Ticket Office at 205-975-UAB1. Fans can also request more information by clicking here