Less than a week after UAB head coach Bill Clark announced that he would be stepping down because of health concerns, the Blazers have settled on his replacement for the upcoming season.
On Monday, the school announced that it would follow Clark's recommendations and promote offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bryant Vincent to interim head coach.
Athletic director Mark Ingram said the school will wait to conduct a search for Clark's permanent replacement once the season ends.
"[B]ut right now our focus is on the present and getting this tremendous team ready to make another run at a Conference USA Championship," Ingram said in a statement.
Ingram said he met with the coaching staff, school president and board of trustees before making Vincent's promotion official.
"For Bill Clark to recommend me as Interim Head Coach is the compliment of a lifetime. It is one that I don't take lightly and I'm very appreciative that Director of Athletics Mark Ingram has given me this opportunity," Vincent said in a statement. "Bill Clark is UAB Football. What he has done as a football coach is truly remarkable. As great of a coach that he is, he's an even a better man, husband, father and leader.
"I am honored to lead this football team. The foundation is in place and the standard remains the same. We will continue to compete on a national level and this team is excited about making another run at the Conference USA Championship. This is the time for the UAB Football family to come together like never before."
Clark, 53, announced on Friday that he is retiring because of a serious back injury. He said he would need spinal fusion and that the physical demands of being a head coach would be too much to deal with.
A longtime high school football coach, Clark got his start in college at the FCS level at nearby Jacksonville State in 2013.
He became the head coach at UAB in 2014 and went 6-6 in his first season before the program was shut down by the university because of cost.
The decision was reversed less than a year later and Clark stayed on despite the team not competing for the next two seasons.
When UAB did return in 2017, Clark and the Blazers defied expectations by going 8-5.
From 2017 to 2021, UAB has gone 43-20 with five bowl appearances and three division titles.
In a statement Friday, Clark said that while he is stepping down, "I am not walking away."
"UAB football, the university and the city of Birmingham mean too much to me. My roots and my heart are here, and they will stay here," he wrote. "My future isn't completely clear, but I will remain active in causes I hold dear, including the Children's Harbor football game and the CoachSafely Foundation. I will be a champion for UAB and Birmingham, doing what I can to further their incredible progress."