Trent Dilfer has his work cut out for him as the first-time coach of any college, let alone as head coach of UAB. But he's starting to assemble his staff, starting with a longtime ally.
According to Steve Irvine of 1819news.com and FOX's Bruce Feldman, Dilfer is expected to bring on Sione Ta'ufo'ou as his defensive coordinator. Ta'ufo'ou has served as his defensive coordinator at Lipscomb Academy in Tennessee for the past three seasons, with strong results.
In three years at Lipscomb, Ta'ufo'ou orchestrated 14 shutouts. He is also an experienced high school head coach in his own right, leading Menlo Atherton High to the CIF Central Coast championship game in 2011.
Much like Dilfer, this will also be the first college job for Ta'ufo'ou.
Last week Dilfer hired longtime Alabama assistant Alex Mortensen as his new offensive coordinator. So there will be some college coaching experience among the top coaches on gameday.
It's rare enough that a high school coach can get any college football head coaching job, let alone one in FBS, without any prior college coaching experience.
Deion Sanders might have broken the mold by getting hired at Jackson State back in 2020. But even then, the move was seen as a massive Hail Mary.
Trent Dilfer has managed to get what is arguably an even more lucrative job with the same lack of college coaching experience.
But if he can replicate Coach Prime's success at UAB somehow, maybe we all need to start rethinking how we evaluate head coaching candidates.