UWA expected to announce Brett Gilliland as head football coach


The University of West Alabama is expected to announce alumnus Brett Gilliland as its new head football coach Monday during a 3 p.m. press conference.

Gilliland spent the 2013 season as the quarterbacks coach at fledgling program Kennesaw State University.

A four-year letter winner at quarterback for West Alabama from 2000-03, Gilliland was a regional finalist for the Harlon Hill trophy in 2003. He earned All-Gulf South second team honors (2002) as well as all-region recognition from the Football Gazette (2002). Gilliland concluded his career as the Tigers’ single-season (3,213) and career passing yards (6,689) record holder. He completed his West Alabama career with a record 6,847 total offensive yards while playing in 42 games and starting 27. In 2012, he was inducted into the UWA Athletic Hall of Fame.

A two-time member of the All-Gulf South Conference Academic list, he won the Asa Green Scholar-Athlete Award, an award presented to the student-athlete with the highest grade-point average on the football team, winning it in 2001 and 2003. Gilliland, the offensive team captain, was selected by his teammates as the recipient of the Phil Puccio Leadership and Dedication Award in 2001 and 2003.

AOEUQPKGGGWXHYZ.20100118013052In addition to the awards presented to him for his athletics achievements, Gilliland earned numerous accolades for his academic work. A 2003 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District IV selection, he also was honored twice with the Gulf South Conference “Top Eight” award.

After his collegiate career, Gilliland began climbing the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech before moving on to Georgia Southern.

While at Georgia Tech, Gilliland was a part of three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal Division Championships (2006, 2008 and 2009) and was a member of the 2009 ACC Championship team (vacated) and Orange Bowl Participant.

In 2007, Gilliland worked with offensive coordinator John Bond and the Yellow Jacket quarterbacks after assisting with the receiving corps in 2006, including Biletnikoff Award winner Calvin Johnson. Gilliland coached the B-backs for two seasons at Tech, a group which included Doak Walker semi-finalist Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer was the ACC rushing leader and Player of the Year in 2008.

During his three seasons at Georgia Southern, Gilliland worked with the B-backs (2010), tight ends and tackles (2011) and wide receivers (2012). He also took over the recruiting coordinator duties following the conclusion of the 2011 season. The Eagles posted a 31-12 (.721) overall record, captured two Southern Conference titles (2011, 2012) and made three consecutive NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) semifinal appearances during Gilliland’s time in Statesboro, Ga. The kickoff return unit also led the Southern Conference and was ranked in the top 15 nationally during each of Gilliland’s three seasons with the Eagles.

Gilliland graduated magna cum laude from West Alabama in 2004 with a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education with an emphasis in Sport Management and minor in business administration.

Gilliland and his wife, Amanda, were married in Gulf Shores in 2005. The couple has a son, Rece Elijah.

As a UWA senior, Gilliland lost out in the 2003 regional Harlon Hill voting to North Alabama quarterback and eventual trophy winner Will Hall. The UWA head coaching job became vacant in November when Hall departed after three seasons to take the same job at West Georgia.