BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – UAB head football coach Bill Clark has been named one of 20 coaches to land on the 33rd annual Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award, presented by the American Heart Association.
Clark joins a list of coaches which includes: Mario Cristobal (Oregon), Dave Doeren (NC State), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati), Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), Tom Herman (Texas), Josh Heupel (UCF), Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia), Seth Littrell (North Texas), Mike MacIntyre (Colorado), Dan Mullen (Florida), Ed Orgeron (LSU), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma), Nick Saban (Alabama), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Dabo Swinney (Clemson), Mark Stoops (Kentucky) and Charlie Strong (USF).
The winner of the 33rd Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year award will be announced on Jan. 9 during the awards dinner and ceremony at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston. Nebraska’s Scott Frost won the award last year while coaching at UCF.
Clark and the Blazers have matched their best start in program history at 5-1 overall and 3-0 in C-USA action, and can set the new program mark this weekend with a win against North Texas.
The 2017 CBS Sports National Coach of the Year, Clark has guided the Blazers to a 13-6 overall record since returning to the playing field. A victory on Saturday would give UAB its most combined wins in a two-year span in program history since becoming Division I members in 1995.
In three years at UAB, Clark is 19-12 overall and he’s 30-16 as a Division I head coach.
Clark has the defense playing at a record-setting pace. UAB currently ranks second nationally in sacks per game at 3.83 and is on pace to shatter the school record in total sacks. UAB currently has 23 sacks and needs 12 more for the record.
Additionally, UAB ranks third nationally in passing yards allowed (134.8), fourth in third down conversion defense (23.4), fifth in scoring defense (14.2), and sixth in total defense. UAB is allowing just 4.6 points against in three C-USA games this year.
The Blazers (5-1, 3-0 C-USA) host North Texas (6-1, 2-1 C-USA) on Saturday night at Legion Field in blockbuster West Division showdown. Kickoff on beIN Sports is set for 6:30 p.m.