E.J. Brophy looks for his next professional challenge
If the world hadn't changed and the sports world hadn't stopped thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, E.J. Brophy would've been all about baseball Saturday.
He could've been watching his son, Brooks, pitch for the University of Alabama in Huntsville in a double-header against Mississippi College at Charger Park. Or he could've been providing commentary on the ESPN3 baseball broadcast of Mercer at Samford.
Brophy may have retired Feb. 1 after 25 years in public education in Alabama, 13 of those years as athletics director at West Alabama and UAH, but at age 49, he hadn't exactly "retired." Far from it. He was broadcasting Samford and UAB baseball and softball games, staying involved in the world he loves, looking for his next professional challenge.
"As much as I have enjoyed spending time with my beautiful family during the virus quarantine, I am looking forward to hopefully getting back on a college campus soon in some capacity," Brophy said. "I'll turn 50 next Friday, and I've still got a lot of gas left in the tank. I'm definitely ready to get back in the game."
Brophy has a lot to offer, combining the relentless energy of a former all-conference catcher at UAB and Triple-A player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization with a quarter century's experience in teaching, coaching and leading at every level of education.
He starred on the 1991 UAB baseball team that reached the NCAA Tournament and the 1992 team that won the Great Midwest Conference title. He eventually earned three degrees from UAB, a bachelor's, a master's and a doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership.
He was the head baseball coach at Wallace Community College in Selma and an assistant coach at Montevallo and Samford. He moved from coaching into athletics administration at his alma mater, UAB, where he served as assistant athletic director of development and assistant AD for external affairs. His good work there led him to AD jobs at West Alabama for five years and UAH for eight years.
At both schools, student-athletes performed in the classroom and on the field, teams competed for and won championships and fundraising efforts reached new levels of success. At UAH, he was elected chair of the Gulf South Conference athletics directors. His overall resume of accomplishments stretches from his hometown of Montgomery to his home in Helena.
The quarantine has changed Brophy's schedule, but it hasn't altered his desire to get back to the kind of work that's defined his career. He's more than ready to discover "my next challenge in the Birmingham area."