Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been a long offseason for UAB Head Baseball Coach Brian Shoop. Friday, the wait was over, as the sound of bats cracking filled the cold air of UAB’s Young Memorial Field.
“For me this is, gosh the 29th time in Birmingham, and the 11th time at UAB,” said Shoop. “It’s a great day the kids are excited, the coaches are excited even at 58 years old so here we go again.”
2016 was far from the season UAB had become accustomed to having. The Blazers ended the 2016 season with an overall record of 21-34, far below the mark the team had set the previous two seasons.
“After the two best years in the history of UAB baseball in the 2014-2015 last year left a real sour taste in my mouth,” said Shoop. “I’ve been chomping at the bit to get rid of it.”
While the Blazers begin the path to redemption, their head coach is on his path to history. Shoop is 18 wins away from 1,000 career victories, a milestone he’s not ready to think about just yet.
“I’m embarrassed to even talk about it, there’s a bunch of losses in there,” said Shoop “It just means I’m old.”
UAB opens their season on February 17th against Creighton at Regions Field.