Trent Dilfer Officially Accepts College Football Coaching Job Despite Bizarre, Unfortunate Timing

Trent Dilfer is set to become the next head football coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The announcement comes with unusual timing.

Dilfer, 50, is one day out from coaching his second-straight Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association football championship. Lipscomb Academy, where the former Super Bowl winner has coached since 2019, will face Christ Presbyterian Academy on Thursday morning at 11:00 am CST.

The Mustangs, who went undefeated through the first 12 games of the season, are looking to bring back-to-back state championships to Nashville.

Dilfer will be on the sidelines for the TSSAA Division II-AA title game.

However, he will not be with his now-former team on Wednesday, the day prior. Instead, he will be in the Yellowhammer State to meet with his new players on the collegiate level.

Trent Dilfer officially resigned from Lipscomb Academy on Wednesday morning.

The decision was announced to Mustangs players first. It was then confirmed in an email to their families from director of schools Brad Schultz.

In the email, he acknowledged the unfortunate timing of the decision. Reports began to surface about Dilfer's future on late Tuesday evening, which caused things to play out as they have.

A few moments ago, Coach Trent Dilfer met with members of the high school football team to let them know that he is stepping down as head coach of the program. Later today, the University of Alabama-Birmingham is officially announcing the appointment of Coach Dilfer as the head coach of the UAB Blazers. The timing of this release is not ideal with the Div II-AA State Championship game tomorrow. But, because the information was leaked overnight and is being reported in national media, we needed to share this news with our community. We are coordinating with the UAB athletics department on the timing of the official public announcement, which will take place later today. We intend to keep the focus on our student-athletes and support them as they head to Chattanooga today in preparation for the championship game tomorrow.

To reiterate:

This, obviously, is not ideal.

The current landscape of college football forces Trent Dilfer to move quickly, despite the ill timing.

In today's era, there is no time to waste on a lengthy coaching search. With the transfer portal playing such a prominent role in roster retention and replacement, dilly dallying simply will not work.

College football teams need to have their head coach in place as soon as possible. The transfer portal officially opens on December 5th, at which point it's a free-for-all.

As a result, coaches like Dilfer have to have their futures lined up so they can start recruiting. Both internally and externally.

Dilfer will share his vision for the program with his new players on Wednesday. It's likely many of those players may be considering a move. Now, Dilfer will have to convince them to stay.

In addition, Dilfer will have to hit the ground running on Friday — or even as soon as Wednesday afternoon — to get on the phone with UAB recruits and try to keep them from decommitting. The early signing window is just a couple of weeks away.

From there, Dilfer will be tasked with rebuilding a roster for which he has little to no familiarity. Players will graduate and some will enter the transfer portal. He has to turn around in less than a week and find players who entered the portal from other programs, with hopes of bringing them to Birmingham.

With all of those factors combined, UAB had to move quickly and get whatever coach it wanted to hire in place as soon as possible. In this case, it's Dilfer, and it puts him and Lipscomb in a weird spot.

UAB's decision to hire Trent Dilfer is a surprise.

Dilfer, who was drafted No. 6 overall in the 1994 NFL Draft, won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2000. Since retiring from the game in 2007, he has served as a media analyst, runs the Elite 11 quarterback competition, and coached at Lipscomb Academy.

Before Dilfer took over the Mustangs in 2019, they were terrible. Lipscomb went 1-10 in 2017 and 2-9 in 2018.

And then Dilfer arrived.

They won seven games in his first year. In his second year, 2020, they started 0-2 before rattling off 11-straight wins — outscoring opponents 375 to 71 — and then lost the state championship by a touchdown.

In 2021, the team was even more dominant. Lipscomb went 13-1 en route to a state championship. It outscored opponents 623 to 93 in games they won and lost just the one (pretty fluky) game to a non-district opponent by eight.

2022 has been more of the same. The Mustangs are 12-0 this season, out-scoring opponents 545-93.

What Dilfer has done in southwest Nashville is impressive. But does it translate to the collegiate level? Can he find the same success at UAB? Only time will tell.