Joe Cradock coming home to coach at UAB

Published 1:19 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020


BIRMINGHAM – UAB head football coach Bill Clark has announced the hiring of former Arkansas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Joe Craddock as UAB’s new tight ends coach.

Craddock is a local native of Chelsea and is a graduate of Briarwood Christian School where he played and coached as an assistant. He has had coaching stints at Clemson (2012-14), SMU (2015-17) and Arkansas (2018-19).

“Joe is an outstanding offensive mind with a fantastic track record,” Clark said. “He will bring a unique and innovative scheme to the entire offense and specifically the tight ends room. We are excited to get started with Joe and we look forward to him leading a veteran tight ends unit.”

Craddock inherits a group highlighted by Hayden Pittman and Gerrit Prince, who each have played major roles within the offense. Pittman is a three year starter and had 21 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns in 2019, while Prince contributed four catches for 23 yards and a touchdown last year.

Craddock spent the last two years as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. In his first season with the Razorbacks, he engineered one of the most productive tight end units in the nation as they ranked second nationally in tight end touchdowns and fourth in tight end first downs.

Prior to Arkansas, Craddock became the youngest offensive coordinator in the country at the time, joining SMU in 2015 and leading the Mustangs’ offense for three years.

With the Mustangs, Craddock guided quarterback Ben Hicks to numerous SMU passing records, including career passing yards (9,081), TD passes (71), TDs responsible for (74), completions (718) and 300-yard games (12).

Over his three seasons with the Mustangs, Craddock’s offense produced a 3,000-yard passer (Ben Hicks, 2017), two 1,000-yard rushers (Xavier Jones, 2017; Braeden West, 2016) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Courtland Sutton, 2017 and 2016; Trey Quinn, 2017).

During the 2017 regular season, Craddock’s unit ranked No. 8 in the FBS in scoring offense (40.2 points), No. 13 in total offense (493.8 yards) and No. 16 in passing yards (308 yards). SMU was one of just two teams in the country that featured a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and multiple 1,000-yard receivers in All-Americans Sutton and Quinn.

For his efforts, Craddock was named a nominee for the Broyles Award, which is annually presented to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Before his time in Dallas, Craddock coached at Clemson for three seasons as an offensive graduate assistant (2013-14) and a player development coach (2012).

During his time at Clemson, Craddock assisted in the development of current NFL star Deshaun Watson. In 2014, the Tigers’ averaged 448.2 yards of total offense per game, ranked No. 21 in scoring offense (35.4) and was one of just 14 teams in the FBS to average both 200 yards rushing and passing per game.

Craddock played quarterback at Middle Tennessee from 2004-08. Upon graduating with a degree in liberal arts, he spent two years playing professionally in the Italian Football League from 2009-10. While playing for the Parma Panthers, Craddock guided his team to the Superbowl Italiano, defeating the Catania Elephants 56-26 in the championship game.

Prior to his collegiate coaching career, Craddock was the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Briarwood Christian, from 2010-11. Briarwood went 25-4 during Craddock’s tenure and finished as the state runner-up in 2010.

Craddock and his wife, Abby, have a daughter Charlie Kathryn, and a son Joe Cain.