has been the head coach at Alabama-Birmingham for 11 years. He has
ushered the program from 1-AA to 1-A and has taken the Blazers to three
bowl games in the last six seasons. Brown has built UAB into a
respectable program over time that graduates players and sends a few
off to the NFL almost every year. So once again the Pirates will face a
team they want to be like.
Coaching is in the blood of Watson Brown. His brother Mack led Texas to
the 2005 National Championship and is a former University of North
Carolina coach who led the school to its greatest gridiron heights.
Watson's grandfather was a legendary high school coach in Tennessee for
Watson also has connections to ECU. The former Vanderbilt quarterback
was an assistant coach under Pat Dye from 1974 to 1975 and helped the
Pirates to a 15-7 record in his time in Greenville. In fact, he has
rejuvenated offenses in coaching stops at Jacksonville State, Austin
Peay, Mississippi State and Oklahoma.
This year his UAB team will return to Watson's roots of running the
ball. They have a stable of capable running backs and a new quarterback
Sam Hunt. The Middle Tennessee State transfer passed for 149 yards and
had a team high 65 yards rushing against nationally ranked Oklahoma.
The Blazers lost the game 24-17 but opened some eyes with a competitive
But it all starts with Brown. He is the steadying influence who has
done it the right way despite playing in front of sparse home crowds.
He graduates players and runs a clean program. When asked about the UAB
program, Skip Holtz said the key to any success is stability. "When you
look at the Bobby Bowdens and the Joe Paternos and they have the
longevity of their coaching staff together. You look at Conference USA
right now with Watson Brown and Southern Miss and Memphis, the better
programs with coaches who are established. Coach Brown has recruited
well and has depth, and when you have that on your offensive and
defensive line, you are building a program." It's elementary, Watson.