Blazers make it official; Bolt new coordinator

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Sports Editor

After saying Monday no defensive coordinator had been named, UAB officially hired former Troy State defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt Tuesday.

Although Bolt said he enjoyed his time at Troy State, he said he needed to make a change for the best interest of his family.

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"Linda and I sat down and decided this was the best thing for us," Bolt said. "Larry Blakeney was a great friend and a great boss, but sometimes you have to make these decisions."

Bolt will not be entering unfamiliar territory when he goes to UAB. Blazer coach Watson Brown was the tight ends coach at East Carolina when Bolt played football.

"I've know coach Brown for many years," Bolt said. "He was on staff at East Carolina under coach (Pat) Dye. I've been impressed by what they've been able to accomplish at UAB and am excited about the opportunity."

Brown, for his part, said he was excited about Bolt coming to Birmingham.

"We are very excited to have Wayne coming on board as a member of our coaching staff," Brown said. "He has proven to be one of the best defensive coaches in the country and I am confident he will be a great asset to our program."

Bolt said his decision to leave was purely one he felt he needed to do for the sake of his family. He said he still viewed Blakeney as a friend and that he had no problems with anyone at Troy State.

"This was simply something I had to do that I thought was the best thing for my family," Bolt said.

He admitted he might have mixed emotions Sept. 13 when he faces many of his former players in Birmingham.

"I told the kids yesterday, I hope Troy State wins every game except that one," Bolt said.

Bolt begins work today and will help UAB

during the recruiting season.

Blakeney has not named a successor but he said he hoped to have one in place as soon as possible.