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University of West Alabama - Football

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Head Coach Brett Gilliland

Brett Gilliland
Head Coach

Record setting quarterback and University of West Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame member Brett Gilliland is the 21st head football coach at his alma mater. The winningest coach in school history, Gilliland is 37-21 in charge of the Tiger program and showing no signs of slowing down.

Now entering his sixth season as the Tigers head coach, Gilliland returned to West Alabama from Kennesaw State, where he was coaching quarterbacks. Previous coaching stops include Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern.

In just his fourth year as head coach at UWA he led the Tigers to a 10-3 record and the 2017 Gulf South Conference championship and a third round trip in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Under Gilliland, the Tigers became just the third team in school history to win at least 10 games and the first since 1975. He followed that with an 8-4 mark in 2018 and another playoff trip.

Following his playing days at UWA, Gilliland began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech before moving on to the offensive staff Georgia Southern. While at Georgia Tech, Gilliland was a part of three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal Division Championships (2006, 2008 and 2009). In 2007, Gilliland worked with Yellow Jacket quarterbacks after assisting with the receiving corps in 2006, including Biletnikoff Award winner and current Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson. Gilliland coached the running backs for two seasons at Tech, a group that included Doak Walker semi-finalist Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer was the ACC rushing leader and player of the year in 2008.

In three seasons at Georgia Southern, Gilliland worked with the running backs (2010), tight ends and tackles (2011) and wide receivers (2012). He took over the recruiting coordinator duties following the conclusion of the 2011 season. With Gilliland on staff, Georgia Southern posted a 31-12 (.721) overall record, won two Southern Conference titles (2011, 2012) and made three consecutive NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) semifinal appearances during Gilliland’s time as an Eagle.

Gilliland was a regional finalist for the Harlon Hill trophy in 2003. He earned all-region recognition from the Football Gazette (2002). He concluded his career as the Tigers’ single-season (3,213) and career passing yards (6,689) record holder.

In 2012, he was inducted into the UWA Athletic Hall of Fame. At the conclusion of his playing career, Gilliland had posted four of the top 10 single game passing performances in school history, including a then school-record 470 yards against Valdosta State in 2002.

A two-time member of the All-Gulf South Conference Academic list, he was a two-time winner of the Asa Green Scholar-Athlete Award, an award presented to the UWA student-athlete with the highest grade-point average on the football team, winning it in 2001 and 2003.

A 2003 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District IV selection, he also was honored twice with a Gulf South Conference “Top Eight” award before graduating magna cum laude from UWA in 2004.

Gilliland and his wife, Amanda, are the parents of a son, Rece (8), and a daughter, Ella Kate (3). His father, Ronnie, was a member of the UWA 1971 National Championship Football team.