BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Georgia offensive coordinator Neil Callaway was hired Sunday as the football coach at UAB, which went 3-9 this season under Watson Brown.

Callaway, the third football coach in UAB history, returns to the state where he once worked as an assistant at Alabama and Auburn. Brown left Dec. 9 after 12 seasons to coach Tennessee Tech.

Georgia (8-4) practiced twice Saturday in preparation for the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Callaway attended both sessions before traveling to Birmingham.

UAB interim athletic director Richard Margison said at a news conference Sunday that Callaway brings a “hard-nosed attitude, both on the field and in the classroom.” He added that Callaway “knows how to win,” and he expects the coach to strengthen the Conference USA school.

Callaway said UAB has a solid foundation in creating and developing a football program.

“I’m looking forward to building on what exists and taking it farther than people can imagine,” Callaway said. “There are many people who are dedicated to this team, and that is so important in building championships. We have some work to do to get where we want to be, and where we expect to be in the very near future.”

Callaway has been the offensive coordinator at Georgia the past six seasons. He was the offensive line coach at Alabama in 1997 and line coach and offensive coordinator from 1998-00.

Before joining the Crimson Tide, he was an assistant at Houston from 1993-96. He was the longtime offensive line coach at Auburn under Pat Dye from 1981-92.

AP-ES-12-17-06 1602EST

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