UAB athletic director Brian Mackin expects quick strides in foot - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

UAB athletic director Brian Mackin expects quick strides in football, basketball

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UAB head football coach Garrick McGee. (abc3340.com) UAB head football coach Garrick McGee. (abc3340.com)

By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - UAB athletic director Brian Mackin believes fans will see much improved football and basketball teams next season.

The Blazers went through some growing pains in the first seasons under football coach Garrick McGee and basketball coach Jerod Haase in 2012.

Mackin says they laid foundations "that a lot of people didn't see in public."

He says McGee, a former Arkansas offensive coordinator, recently spent a week working with the Pittsburgh Steelers to bone up for some defensive changes. The AD says McGee realized he needs to adapt defensively to the spread offenses of Conference USA.

The Blazers went 3-9 last season.

Haase adds six newcomers to a returning group that includes his two leading scorers. He says UAB has upgraded in both talent and depth.

UAB head basketball coach Jerod Haase. (abc3340.com)