Coaching legend Bartow passes away

Gene Bartow, the Hall of Fame coach and father of UAB Athletics, passed away Tuesday evening at his home in Birmingham.

The legendary former UAB basketball coach and athletic director was 81 years old. He had been battling cancer since being diagnosed in April 2009.

One of the most respected figures in intercollegiate athletics, Bartow served as UAB’s first athletic director from 1977 until his retirement in 2000, taking the Blazers from their infancy into a 17-sport athletic program. He coached the UAB men’s basketball team from its inception until 1996.

A 2009 inductee into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, Bartow led teams for more than 34 years, coaching at Central Missouri State, Valparaiso, Memphis State, Illinois, UCLA and ultimately UAB. He compiled 647 wins and coached his teams to 12 NCAA tournaments, a pair of Final Fours and one national championship game appearance. He was the national coach of the year with Memphis State in 1973.

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