West hired as UAB defensive coordinator

Former Memphis coach Tommy West has been hired as UAB defensive coordinator, the school announced Friday.

West replaces Eric Schumann on the UAB staff. Schumann had served as the defensive coordinator the past four seasons.

In addition to his coordinator duties, West will also coach the linebackers. Tyson Summers, who has served as linebackers coach the past four seasons, will now coach the UAB safeties.

West brings plenty of experience to the staff. Most recently, he served as the head coach at the Memphis, where he guided the Tigers to five bowl appearances in nine seasons. He was fired after in November 2009.

“I’ve known Tommy since the mid-80s and I’ve always thought he did a great job,” UAB coach Neil Callaway said in a statement. “I was really impressed with the job he did with Memphis’ defense when he was their coordinator, and the job he did as a head coach both there and when he was at Clemson.

“I know he is a good person and outstanding coach who fits into what we are doing both in philosophy and in toughness.”

West spent the 2000 season as defensive coordinator before becoming head coach. The Tigers finished the season ranked No. 1 in the nation in rushing defense (72.7 yards allowed per game) and were fifth in total defense (275.3 yards yielded per contest).

West also spent five seasons (1993-98) as the head coach at Clemson. He coached the Tigers to a win in the Peach Bowl a month after being hired and was a part of four bowl teams during his time at Clemson.