Brophy to leave UWA for UAH
LIVINGSTON — UWA Director of Athletics Dr. E. J. Brophy has been named to the same position at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, effective May 9. The UAH position became vacant upon the untimely passing of long-time AD Jim Harris in December.
“West Alabama is a wonderful school and Livingston is a wonderful town,” said Brophy. “My family and I will always be tremendously grateful for the opportunity that UWA afforded us for the past five years. University President Richard Holland is my great friend and his leadership has been absolutely incredible in every way. I look forward to a new beginning in Huntsville but will always hold a special place in my heart for the Tigers.”
Since his arrival as Director of Athletics at UWA on June 1, 2006, Dr. Brophy has overseen the institution’s 10 NCAA Division II sports that compete in the Gulf South Conference, as well as men’s and women’s rodeo and the addition of women’s soccer that starts play in the fall of 2011.
During his time in Livingston, Brophy led the charge in improving UWA’s athletics facilities, including renovations to Tiger Stadium, the UWA Football Practice Facility, the Tartt Baseball Complex, Pruitt Gymnasium and the UWA Softball Complex. These upgrades have included the erection of a new softball lockerroom, the creation of the Cross Country Clubhouse and upgrades to lockerrooms for several sports such as football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. Brophy also supervised completion and final funding for the 41,000 square-foot Dora Dahlberg Beard Indoor Practice Facility for baseball and softball. New synthetic turf was also installed in Tiger Stadium in the summer of 2010. The Pruitt Gymnasium lobby was renovated in the fall of 2010, giving it a new collegiate look including a new trophy case, carpeting and a wall wrap complete with large photos and graphics. A new and improved Athletic Hall of Fame display was also unveiled in the James Homer Fieldhouse in the spring of 2010.
In the area of fundraising, Brophy enhanced the university’s booster club by giving it a new name – The Tiger Club – which along with a newly developed corporate sponsorship program has procured over $1 million since its inception in 2006. Brophy also was instrumental in negotiating corporate partnerships with Coca-Cola and Adidas, as well as new radio broadcast agreements and expanding the visibility of the overall sports program. Brophy also created the highly successful Junior Tiger Kids Club, which grew to over 100 members in 2010-11 athletic year.
During Brophy’s tenure at UWA, the Tigers have won two Gulf South Conference East Division baseball titles (2007 and 2009), participated in two NCAA baseball regionals (2008 and 2009), and set the baseball season record for wins (45 in 2008). UWA baseball was also ranked in the final top 25 polls for three straight seasons (2007, 2008, and 2009). West Alabama also made the NCAA football playoffs for the first time in 34 years (2009), reached the program’s highest win total (8) since 1975 and defeated the number one football team in the country (UNA in 2009). The 2009 football Tigers also had a dramatic first round road playoff victory versus Albany State, and finished the 2009 campaign ranked 19th in the final Division II football poll. Additionally, the football Tigers won seven or more games in back-to-back seasons (2009 and 2010) for the first time since the 1991 and 1992 campaigns. The 2010 team also defeated seventh-ranked Valdosta State for the first time since 1985. Football attendance also rose significantly during Brophy’s tenure, as the Tigers were ranked in the top 25 nationally in home attendance four of his five years leading the department.
UWA made the NCAA men’s tennis tournament for the first two times in school history (2009, 2010) while setting the program record for wins (23 in 2010), and also tied the school record for softball wins with 42 (2009). Additionally, the Tiger volleyball team was the last team in America to lose a match in 2007, posting a stellar 18-0 start en route to a 27-6 final record and a top 25 ranking. The 2009 volleyball squad won 30 matches, captured its first ever Gulf South Conference East Division crown and finished as the Gulf South Conference Runner-Up. Women’s tennis also set school records for wins in consecutive seasons with 16 (2010) and 17 (2011) respectively.
Brophy served as a member of the NCAA Division II Regional Baseball Committee from 2007-2010, and was a member of the NCAA Division II National Men’s Basketball Committee in 2009-2010. He is currently a member of the Gulf South Conference Expansion Committee.
Brophy, who has more than 19 years of experience as a professional athlete, collegiate coach and university athletic administrator, joined the UAB athletic department in January 2003 as Assistant Director of Athletic Development. A Montgomery, Alabama, native, Brophy was responsible for athletic fundraising, day-to-day operations of the Blazer Club scholarship organization, game-day hospitality for donors at Blazer football and basketball games and various other duties. In March 2005 Brophy was named Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs and continued heading the Blazer Club Scholarship Fund and all basketball and football priority seating.
After an all-conference baseball career at UAB from 1989-1992, Brophy was drafted as a 37th-round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies and spent four seasons in their minor league system, reaching the Triple-A level in 1995. At the conclusion of his playing career, Brophy was named assistant baseball coach at Samford University in 1996 and held the same post at the University of Montevallo in 1998. He was the head baseball coach at Wallace Community College in Selma, Alabama, from August 1998 until January 2003. In recognition of his 100th collegiate coaching victory in 2002, he was named to the Alabama and American Baseball Coaches Century Club.
Brophy graduated from UAB in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Physical Education from UAB in 1998. He received a Ph.D. from UAB in Educational Leadership in August 2009.
Brophy is married to the former Cindy Wooten of Birmingham. They have two children. Son Brooks, 11, and daughter Bailey, 9.