UAB announces formation of Athletics Foundation

New organization will support the UAB Athletics Department in its quest for excellence in all programs.

mark ingramBlazer Athletic Director Mark IngramThe University of Alabama at Birmingham has announced the formation of the UAB Athletics Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that will support the UAB Athletics Department in its quest for excellence in all programs. “This is a great day for all of our athletics programs,” Blazer Athletic Director Mark Ingram said in making the announcement. “You can feel the growing excitement around UAB Athletics. I have never seen anything like it.”

The UAB Athletics Foundation is composed of 24 board members who will be responsible for helping build loyalty and philanthropic support for the Blazer athletic program and support the staff in coordinating, developing and improving a superior intercollegiate athletics program. The foundation will encourage alumni and friends to generously support the Athletics Department and contribute to scholarship funding for UAB’s student-athletes.

The new foundation will also support the construction, improvement and renovation of first class, high-quality athletic facilities for UAB’s teams through strategic philanthropic initiatives set forth by the university’s Athletics Department.

UAB Athletics Foundation board member Tommy Brigham said, “The significant progress we have made, culminating in the forming of the UAB Athletics Foundation, could not have been accomplished without the incredible leadership of the Birmingham community combined with President Watts’ extraordinary dedication to working constructively and collaboratively with the leadership in our city, and the first rate support we have received from the UA System trustees, especially Johnny Johns, Barbara Humphrey, Karen Brooks, Finis St. John and Britt Sexton.

“Because of the partnership we have forged over the last several months, UAB football especially and Athletics in general are poised for a level of greatness never before seen,” Brigham said. “The future is very bright and the best is yet to come.”

UAB Blazer Head Football Coach Bill Clark said the new Foundation is a major step for the Blazer football program and for UAB Athletics. Clark said, “I want to thank our donors and our leadership, including Dr. Watts, Mark Ingram and the Board of Trustees, for helping make this a reality.

“We talk about doing things the right way and about being excellent,” Clark said. “We now have a much needed tool to help us raise money for facilities, player development and leadership initiatives. Let’s keep the momentum going!”

UAB alumnus and former Blazer student-athlete Justin Craft, who also sits on the Athletic Foundation board, said, "I am delighted about the formation of the UAB Athletics Foundation. The progress that has been made working collaboratively with the trustees, the UA System office, the UAB administration, our coaches, our great students and our community is so exciting. It signifies a new chapter in the Birmingham Renaissance and a very bright future for UAB Football and the Blazer athletic programs.

“I know Coach Bartow would be proud to see everyone working together to make UAB and Birmingham a great place for future students," Craft continued.

“The generosity and pride our community has shown in its unprecedented financial support for UAB Athletics over the last several months is historic,” UAB President Ray Watts said. “This new foundation will help harness the energy and excitement. I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their support as well as everyone on campus and in our community who has contributed to our growing momentum.”

“I am thrilled with the announcement about the formation of the UAB Athletics Foundation,” Foundation board member Hatton Smith said. “This is a great example of a successful collaboration among UAB supporters, the UAB administration, and the University System Trustees. Clearly, this type of partnership is a great sign for the future of UAB athletics but, more importantly, for the City of Birmingham and the State of Alabama.”

Members of the UAB Athletics Foundation Board are:

  • Allen Bolton
  • Tom Brannan
  • Tommy Brigham
  • Karen P. Brooks
  • Justin Craft
  • Jimmy Filler
  • Mike Goodrich II
  • Miller Gorrie
  • Ray Hayes
  • Donald Hire
  • Barbara Humphrey
  • Mark Ingram
  • Johnny Johns
  • John R. Jones
  • Jimmy Lee
  • Craft O’Neal
  • Harold Ripps
  • Britt Sexton
  • Hatton Smith
  • Merrill Stewart
  • Finis St. John IV
  • Mike Thompson
  • Ray L. Watts
  • Robert E. Witt