BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -Garrick McGee is officially out at UAB.
Blazers athletics director Brian Mackin confirmed the news to AL.com after he met with UAB's football team at 3 p.m., a meeting which lasted roughly an hour. UAB later announced McGee's resignation.
McGee was not at the meeting, and did not address the players. Mackin did not comment on why McGee was not at the meeting, but said he and McGee met this morning before his exit.
Sources confirmed McGee's decision to after he met with his staff to inform them of his decision.
"I was surprised and disappointed, obviously with the timing," Mackin said.
There will be no interim head coach, and with National Signing Day on Feb. 5, the Blazers will be in a hurry to find a permanent leader.
The process could be slowed, Mackin said, with UAB President Ray Watts out of town.
"I'm hoping that, over the next day, I can get with him and really get a plan for the future," Mackin said.
Players were not available for interviews afterward. Mackin said he challenged the team to keep the ship righted despite the stunning news.
"I asked that whoever wanted to step up and be a leader, it was their time to do it," Mackin said. "Nineteen kids got up, addressed the remaining team and said they were going to hold them accountable for all of those - academics, training room and in the weight room, which I thought was a tremendous positive.
"This is all about our student athletes right now, making sure I answer all their questions and let them know how proud I am of them for all they've accomplished."
UAB went 5-19 in McGee's two seasons as head coach. ESPN first reported that McGee was going to Louisville to become the offensive coordinator for new Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino. McGee coached under Petrino at Arkansas from 2007-2011 before taking the UAB job in Dec. 2011.
McGee's final game as head coach came on Nov. 30, a 62-27 loss to Southern Miss. "(we'll) start at the process with evaluating everything that's going on, everything from top to bottom to see if we can make the turnaround. I think we can. I think this has the potential to be a good football program, but I think we're going to have to get serious about it on every level."
Three assistants - Jimmy Williams, Reggie Johnson and Matt Sanders - had been dismissed, and a fourth in John Peterson had left to take an assistant spot at Akron.Those vacancies should offer some appeal to an incoming coach, who would seemingly have the ability to bring aboard some hand-picked assistants. Come back to AL.com for more updates with reaction to McGee's decision to leave UAB for Louisville, and where the Blazers are headed from here.
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