UAB assistant Sullivan named head coach at Samford

Alabama-Birmingham assistant Pat Sullivan was named head coach at Division I-AA Samford University on Thursday night, a few hours after a deal fell apart that would have made him the replacement for Blazers coach Watson Brown.

UAB officials met with Sullivan and Brown Wednesday, and it was thought a deal had been reached in which Watson would be named the school's athletics director and Sullivan would succeed him as football coach. However, the deal fell apart sometime Thursday, causing Sullivan to accept the job at nearby Samford University in Homewood, Ala., according to a source close to the situation.

The source said it was still unclear if Brown would remain UAB's football coach, become the school's athletics director or be released altogether.

Brown, the brother of Texas coach Mack Brown, served dual roles as UAB's football coach and athletics director from 2002-05. He stepped down as athletics director in December 2005 to concentrate on coaching. He has a 62-75 record in 12 seasons as UAB's coach. The Blazers finished 3-9, 2-6 in Conference USA this season.

Sullivan, the 1971 Heisman Trophy winner as Auburn's quarterback, coached the Blazers' running backs this season after working as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1999-2005. Brown coached the team's quarterbacks and called offensive plays.

Samford scheduled a news conference for Friday to name Sullivan its coach. Sullivan, 56, replaces Bill Gray, who was fired last month after six seasons.

Sullivan had a 24-42-1 record as TCU's coach from 1992-98.

Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at schlabachma@yahoo.com.