Football coaches throwing temper tantrums on sidelines is nothing out of the ordinary. But UAB coach Trent Dilfer’s nuclear meltdown Saturday on his coaching staff was particularly ugly enough to warrant a question about it on Monday, prompting him to express his regret over the incident. He, however, did not apologize for it after the loss.
“I’m regretful about it. I’m a passionate guy,” Dilfer told reporters Monday. “Anybody that’s ever been around me as a player, as a coach, at ESPN . . . I mean, my kids will tell you this, I am a passionate, passionate person. Sometimes, that passion comes out in ways that I am not proud of. And that’s a moment that I am not proud of. One, I wasn’t just mad at that singular coach. We do have headphones on, so every person—22 people—were getting the message that that was unacceptable.”
UAB was down 28–20 with 11:58 left in the fourth quarter with Tulane on offense. While set to defend on fourth-and-2, UAB was flagged for an illegal substitution, and the penalty gave the Green Wave a first down. Dilfer absolutely blew up and started ripping an assistant coach with every inch in of his body and even followed him onto the field. After that, he continued to rip more of his assistants and on Monday he said he wanted to relay that message to ever single one of them.
PHEW Trent Dilfer is HEATED— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 30, 2023
“Now, I could’ve done that in a better way, and I’ll learn from it, like I’ve learned from my mistakes in the past,” Dilfer continued. “I don”t really get caught up in what people say. I’ve woken up to a lot worse things to that. I’ve been booed out of stadiums. I’ve had people lie about my character multiple times. I don’t get too caught up in that stuff, but I’m very concerned about the 200 people in this building [and] about the people we represent in the city of Birmingham, and that’s not what I want their head coach to be remembered for. Now, I am going to be passionate, and there may be other times that I’m stern, but that one was over-the-top, and I regret it.”
UAB went on to lose 35–23 to fall to 1–4 on the year.