DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF
DAVID REEVES | DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
David Reeves was named UAB’s Defensive Coordinator in June of 2016. He was previously the Blazers’ defensive line coach.
Reeves was an integral part of UAB’s remarkable turnaround in 2014 in which the Blazers finished 6-6 after being 2-10 the year prior.
The Blazers improved 44 spots in total defense in 2014, spearheaded by the defensive line. Reeves’ unit helped UAB tally 34 sacks in his first season, which was 16 more than the year before. The Blazers also finished with 81 TFLs with Reeves, a +21 difference from the 2013 campaign.
At the conclusion of 2014, the UAB defense allowed 29.9 points against, which was an average of 14 points better from 2013 when UAB allowed 43.8 points against.
Leading the way for the defensive front was senior end Diaheem Watkins who was named a First Team All-Conference USA selection for tallying a team-high 10 sacks. Additionally, Interior lineman Chris Walton earned C-USA Honorable Mention.
Reeves joined the Blazers in 2014 following a year-long stint at Jacksonville State where he also coached the defensive line.
In 2013 at JSU, Reeves’ unit ranked first in the Ohio Valley Conference in sacks (52) and third in the league in scoring defense (23.6 ppg). Under Reeves' guidance, two Gamecocks earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors, including second team selection defensive lineman Caleb Lawrence. Jacksonville State defensive end Chris Landrum was named to the OVC Newcomer squad.
Reeves was the secondary coach at UT Martin in 2012, after coaching the previous five seasons at Southern Arkansas where he was the defensive coordinator his final two years. Reeves was a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama from 2005-06 and was the defensive coordinator at Athens (Ala.) High School from 2000-05.
He is a 1991 graduate of Athens State University.
KYLE TATUM | DEFENSIVE LINE
In Kyle Tatum’s first year as the defensive line coach in 2017, he guided a unit that featured two All-Conference USA performers and a group which ranked in the top 50 nationally in tackles for loss.
As a defensive unit, UAB collectively had 84 tackles for loss for a combined 288 yards, which was paved by the defensive line. The Blazers had no less than three TFL in every game during the 2017 campaign, including reaching double digit TFLs twice (Alabama A&M – 12, UTSA – 10).
Senior tackle Teko Powell and sophomore tackle Garrett Marino were each Honorable Mention All-Conference USA. Powell was huge for UAB in stopping the run, while Marino became a starter halfway through the season and finished with 8.0 TFL, while fellow nose tackle Anthony Rush had 9.0 TFL. On the edge, junior Stacy Keely had a team-best four sacks.
Overall, Tatum helped UAB return from a two-year hiatus in 2017 to set the program record for FBS wins in a season (8), Conference USA wins (6) and finished with a perfect 6-0 record at home for the first time ever. The Blazers’ appearance in the Bahamas Bowl was just the second bowl game in program history.
Tatum was named UAB’s defensive line coach in February of 2017 following his time as the Blazers’ strength and conditioning assistant since the Fall of 2016.
Tatum began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Texas State from 2011-2012 under the direction of head coach Dennis Franchione. In 2012 he coached tight ends and was subsequently promoted to defensive tackles coach from 2013-2015.
During the 2013 season, defensive lineman Michael Odiari was named Third Team All-Sun Belt. Odiari tripled his sack output between his junior and senior seasons, finishing with 9.0, and was recognized as a unanimous First Team All-Sun Belt Conference defensive lineman.
The Bobcats’ defense finished the year with 28 sacks, averaging 2.25 per contest, good for 61st nationally. The 2014 unit also boasted linebacker David Mayo, who was honored as the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to second team selections Craig Mager (linebacker) and David Mims (defensive back).
Prior to entering the coaching profession, Tatum was a four-year varsity football letterman at the University of Alabama from 2002-2006, contributing his efforts to both the offensive and defensive lines. For his standout efforts in the classroom, he earned 2003 Academic All-SEC honors. After racking up 14 tackles during his redshirt freshman year, Tatum transitioned to the offensive line in 2004, starting nine games and 739 snaps at right tackle.
He proceeded to start all 12 games in 2005, again at right tackle, which included a 13-10 victory over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl, and was recognized as an honorable mention All-SEC offensive lineman. Tatum finished with 16 knockdown blocks during the 2006 season.
Tatum attended Prattville High School in Prattville, Ala., where he had a stellar prep career under the leadership of Bill Clark. Tatum, considered a high school All-American according to numerous publications, was a Birmingham News Dandy Dozen pick his senior year in addition to receiving honorable mention All-State honors. He led the Lions to the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state playoffs his senior year, which ended in a 17-14 defeat to eventual state champion Daphne.
He graduated from Alabama in 2006 with a degree in Business Management.
BLAKE SHRADER | DEFENSIVE BACKS
This is Blake Shrader’s second stint with the UAB football program and he serves as the cornerback’s coach.
Shrader was a part of UAB’s remarkable turnaround in 2014 as he helped first year head coach Bill Clark and the Blazers reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2004. Shrader served as the director of player personnel that season.
Prior to his return to Birmingham, Shrader spent the 2015 season as a quality control coordinator at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs were 10-3 in 2015 and capped their season with a 24-17 victory over Penn State in the Taxslayer Bowl.
Shrader’s first full-time appointment came in 2013 as the cornerback’s coach at Jacksonville State. In his lone season with the Gamecocks, JSU went 11-4 and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs, marking the school’s first-ever victories in the NCAA Division I playoffs.
Before JSU, Shrader was a part of Bill Clark’s defensive staff at South Alabama from 2010-12 as a graduate assistant. In 2012, USA’s first year in Sun Belt, the Jaguars ranked second in the league in total defense.
Shrader got his coaching start at his alma mater of Auburn University as a defensive quality control assistant from 2008-09.
A highly touted recruit out of Stevenson, Ala., Shrader played safety at Auburn from 2004-07 and graduated in 2008 with a degree in health promotion. He was an all-state performer for North Jackson High School both as a junior and senior.
Shrader is married to Bridgeport, Ala. native Shanda Shrader.
XAVIER ROBINSON | ASSISTANT OF ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Xavier Robinson was named UAB’s defensive backs coach in June of 2016. He joined the Blazers in 2014 as a strength and conditioning coach.
Prior to arriving in Birmingham, Robinson spent the previous 10 years coaching at powerhouse Prattville High School from 2005-14.
Robinson spent his final three years (2011-14) as the varsity defensive backs coach, while he was also the head coach of the freshman team from 2010-12.
During his time at Prattville, Robinson coached many players who went on to have successful Division I careers, including Nick Perry (Alabama), Justin Thomas (Georgia Tech) and Justin Shanks (Florida State).
When Robinson arrived at Prattville in 2005, he was the assistant varsity defensive backs coach and was also the head junior varsity basketball coach from 205-07. In 2008 he was named Prattville’s varsity head basketball coach and held that position until 2014.
As head coach for the Lions’ basketball team, Robinson led Prattville to three consecutive 6A Area Championships (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11), and was named the Autauga County Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in each of those seasons.
Robinson has one daughter, Dominique.
BRIAN WILLIAMS | LINEBACKERS
Brian Williams is in his first year at UAB and is responsible for coaching the linebackers.
Prior to UAB, Williams was most recently at the University of Georgia in 2015 as the player relations director for the Bulldogs’ defense. Before that, he was on staff at Florida State for two years as a defensive analyst and was a part of the Seminoles’ 29-game winning streak which included capturing the 2013 National Championship.
Williams had a highly successful high school coaching career before jumping to the collegiate level. His first coaching stop was at Rickards High School in Tallahassee. He then returned to his alma mater of Miami Carol City High School where he spent seven years coaching football and teaching math and special education.
After one year in Georgia, Williams moved back to Tallahassee to begin a three-year stint at Godby High School as the Defensive Coordinator. Williams helped Godby win the Florida state title in 2012.
Williams played high school ball at Miami Carol under legendary Florida high school coach Walt Frazier. He earned a scholarship at Albany University in New York and then transferred to Florida A&M where he finished his college degree. Injuries cut his playing career short for the Rattlers.
JOHN JONES | DEFENSIVE GRADUATE ASSISTANT
Bio Coming Soon!
JAY SIMPSON | DEFENSIVE ANALYST
Bio Coming Soon!