UAB HC Trent Dilfer shares a personal story about why the Children’s Harbor game matters

UAB Children's Harbor
UAB Head Coach Trent Dilfer with Children’s Harbor child Eira Bruner (Children’s Harbor)

UAB Football Head Coach Trent Dilfer was passionate and emotional today at his weekly press conference while describing the importance of the annual UAB Children’s Harbor game.

UAB Children’s Harbor Game

A tradition like no other in college football, for seven years UAB football players have worn their jerseys with the name of a Children’s Harbor child stitched on the back.

Children’s Harbor’s mission is to strengthen the families of seriously ill children through respite and resources. The nonprofit works closely with Children’s of Alabama and has a full family center near UAB where they take care of families that have a seriously ill child. They also have a 66-acre pediatric medical camp in Elmore County on Lake Martin.

“One of best legacies in college football”

“I know how much this means to the kids—how much it means to the parents. We are eternally grateful for what Children’s Harbor does… I think it is one of the best legacies in college football,” said Dilfer, who also praised former UAB Head Coach Bill Clark, Athletic Director Mark Ingram and the Athletic Department.

Coach Dilfer’s story about caring for a critically ill child

The first-year coach then tearfully opened up to the media about his own family’s experience with a critically ill child. 

“I was in the hospital for 40 days when my son was sick. He was on life-support for 40 days and we lived in the hospital. My wife and I slept there every night, my young daughters were there, but more importantly my extended family showed up. They called it Camp Trevin (Dilfer’s son’s name). And I would have done anything to have a Children’s Harbor come and serve our family at that time of need.”

Below is a video from WVTM of the press conference. Coach Dilfer talks about Children’s Harbor during the first 2:40.

UAB v. South Florida game on Saturday

This year’s Children’s Harbor game will be played on Saturday October 7, 3:00 at Protective Stadium. The Blazers will take on the University of South Florida.

Our children absolutely love this game. We love having all these wonderful football players have the last names (of the children) on their jerseys showing their support for Children’s Harbor, and the patients and everything that they go through,” said Children’s Harbor CEO Cat Outzen.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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