UWA coach Brett Gilliland talks Tiger football to Rotarians
Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Brett Gilliland, record-setting quarterback and head football coach at the University of West Alabama (UWA), was the speaker for the Sept. 6 Rotary Club meeting. Gilliland is going into his ninth season as the UWA coach and has high expectations for the Tigers this year.
At the time of writing, UWA had a 1-1 record with a loss to Angelo State and a win against Limestone. Gilliland said this year’s schedule for the Tigers is probably the most difficult one since he was named head coach in 2014.
“We’ve got 10 really good opponents. It’s going to be a strong task,” said Gilliland. “I like our team and how they get along. I like how they’ve come together. I really think we can be something special.”
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Gilliland also said this year’s team is “thin in some areas,” a fact which could contribute to potential injuries later in the season.
According to the coach, the team’s expectations are the same as they always are; expect to win every game they line up in.
“Whether we’re playing the number one team in the country or not, we expect to win every game we line up in,” said Gilliland. “Are we going to do that? No, obviously not, but that’s our expectation going in. And we know that after every ball game, good and bad, we have to fix mistakes.”
Gilliland also spoke on upgrades to the football facilities at UWA, including renovations to the stadium. The home side of the stadium has been “wrapped” with a new facility called the Tiger Room. The Tiger Room goes around the upper portion of the stands with suites on either side of the press box.
“It makes for a cooler atmosphere and it’s a really good look,” said Gilliland.
The new facility also houses an academic center for football players. The center is closely monitored by the athletic department and players who need more individualized attention can visit the center throughout the week.
“It’s not just a facility that’s going to be used for home games. It’s going to be used everyday to carry on the mission we have as a program, football and athletic-wise,” said Gilliland. “We’ll use the center to recruit guys and ladies to UWA. The academic center is meant to help retain them and develop them while they are there to get a degree.”
As a football program, Gilliland said they have graduated just over 32 people per year over the last five years.
That’s a stat I’ll put up against anybody. The reason for that is that Mike Jones, our Assistant Athletic Director for Academics, does a great job in his position,” said Gilliland. “Our coaches also do a great job in understanding that their job isn’t just schematics and x’s and o’s on the field. They’re job is to make sure these young men who come through our program are set up for success when he leaves.”
The UWA Tigers will be making another trip to South Carolina to take on North Greenville on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. The game can be watched on FloSports and will be broadcast on SlyRock 104.9 FM or the SlyRock App.