Robert Ehsan named UAB Men's Basketball head coach after national search

UAB’s associate head coach is elevated after a week as interim head coach.

UAB Director of Athletics Mark Ingram has announced that Robert Ehsan will be the sixth head coach of UAB Men’s Basketball.

In 2016, Ehsan completed his fourth season under Jerod Haase — two years as an assistant coach and two as associate head coach — and was named interim head coach when Haase became Stanford University’s head coach.

“We are excited to announce Robert Ehsan as the new leader of the UAB Men’s Basketball program,” Ingram said. “Rob has been an integral part of the resurgence of UAB Basketball, and he emerged as the clear-cut choice to be our head coach after an exhaustive, national search that included candidates from all corners of the basketball world.”

Ehsan credits many coaches for his growth that prepared him for his first head coaching job. He has been recognized nationally as a rising star in coaching and a natural recruiter.

“I have been fortunate to hone my craft with coaches like Gary Williams, Seth Greenburg and Jerod Haase,” Ehsan said. “It will be a natural step to now lead our very talented team to continued growth. I have been honored to be a part of the Blazer family and this program of tradition as we build another era of success and great pride for UAB Basketball.”

UAB recently celebrated back-to-back Conference USA championships, as well as a 2015 NCAA Tournament run to the Round of 32 as the youngest team in the field.

Prior to his time at UAB, Ehsan spent a season as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech University and six seasons under Gary Williams at the University of Maryland, where he was heavily involved with many aspects of the program, including coaching, player development, recruiting, academics, scouting, scheduling and fundraising. 

At Maryland, Ehsan was instrumental in securing two Top 25 recruiting classes, and developed players like Jordan Williams, All-ACC, and ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez. He was also involved in the recruitment of Robert Brown, who was originally recruited by Ehsan at Virginia Tech before transferring to rejoin him at UAB, as well as UAB standout William Lee and others.

“We strongly believe Rob has the experience, background and pedigree to build on the already strong foundation he helped establish and take Blazer Basketball to new levels of success,” Ingram said. “His ability to develop young men and make them successful in the classroom, in the community and on the basketball floor makes Rob the perfect choice to follow the path the great Gene Bartow established nearly 40 years ago.”

Ingram led a nine-day search assisted by a committee of representatives from a cross section of UAB constituencies, including donors, faculty, former basketball student-athletes, UAB campus administrators and athletics staff.

UAB President Ray L. Watts commended the group on a successful search and thanked them for their dedication to the process.

“I would like to commend Mark Ingram and the search committee that assisted him with making this very important decision for the future of UAB Basketball,” Watts said. “I join Mark in sincere appreciation for the committee’s hard work, and I could not be happier with the outcome. Rob, his coaching staff and the team will have our full support.”

Ehsan and Ingram met with the team Monday afternoon to discuss the future of Blazer Basketball.

“It was a great meeting with a lot of excitement,” Ehsan said. “This is a team that is dedicated to building on our momentum and continuing what we’ve started. I think we are all thrilled to be doing this together, and we’re ready to work.”

Contract terms will be submitted to the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees Compensation Committee for consideration.

Ehsan played four seasons at the University of California, Davis. He started his last two seasons for the Aggies and was the team captain in his senior year. Ehsan finished 23rd in the nation in free-throw percentage as a junior for UC Davis, which was in a transition period while moving from NCAA Division II to Division I. At UC Davis, Ehsan received the Gordon S. Baranco Award, symbolizing exceptional leadership, unselfishness, work ethic and commitment to the team. 

Ehsan earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at UC Davis and completed a Master of Business Administration degree at Maryland. Ehsan is a native of Sacramento, Calif., and is married to the former Lindsey Rattray. They have one daughter, Katelyn, and a son due in early April.