Photo of UAH basketball players
Athletics Department | UAH

Dr. Cade Smith, The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) Athletic Director, looks forward to a thrilling year as the athletic teams return to a full competition schedule and community events calendar.

“Our coaches and student-athletes are so excited to be playing in front of fans again ,and we are looking forward to getting involved with our community,” Dr. Smith says. He’s also got his eye on the future of UAH Athletics. “We are excited about the plans we have for the interior of Spragins Hall. The renovation will have an immediate impact on our fan and game experience, as well as the recruitment of student-athletes. We cannot wait to get started.”

“Make it Matter” Fosters Community Engagement and Drives Student Success

Dr. Smith’s “Make it Matter” philosophy is an integral part of the student-athlete experience at UAH, a part of The University of Alabama System, and his prime goal is to instill “work ethic, flexibility, success in the classroom, championships, and team successes.” This ethos is reflected in programs like ChargingOn, which inspires student-athlete personal and professional growth by offering live and virtual workshops on leadership, career development and character development. Chargers also participate in community activities on and off campus. Notable favorites include spending time with UAH’s youngest pupils at the Early Learning Center (ELC) and reading bedtime stories to Junior Charger Kids Club members.

This holistic approach to student growth and well-being leads to measurable student success in all areas. In the 2020-21 academic year, the Chargers posted an impressive department-wide 3.39 GPA, participated in 16 postseasons, winning five conference championships (with three runners-up), and participating in seven NCAA tournaments. Dr. Smith credits much of the “Make it Matter” groundwork and success to his coaches and staff and says this student-centered work wouldn’t be possible without them. He notes, “Last year, the staff, trainers, coaches, and managers went above and beyond to follow NCAA protocols for practice and competition so the student-athletes could safely play and have the best experience possible.”

Huntsville’s Home Team Hosts FREE Community Events and Games

There’s no doubt the UAH Chargers are Huntsville’s home team. Dr. Smith is excited about hosting the Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and co-hosting the Charger Tipoff at Campus 805 with the Office of Alumni Relations and Special Events.

Most of all, UAH Athletics is offering FREE admission for all regular-season events at Charger Park and volleyball games at Kelly Court in Spragins Hall, thanks to a generous corporate sponsorship from Alabama Credit Union.

Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Induction (Oct. 30) - A highlight of Homecoming celebrations, this newest addition to the week’s festivities will celebrate 10 Charger alumni who demonstrate remarkable dedication to their sport and community. The ceremony is open to the public and there is no cost to attend, although registration is requested.

Register for FREE

Charger Tipoff (Oct. 29) - A public, family-friendly event at Campus 805. Both Charger basketball teams will hold a demonstration on an outdoor court. Come see a competitive game of cornhole between UAH President Dr. Darren Dawson, City of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, City of Madison Mayor Paul Finley, and Madison County Commission Chair Dale Strong. Live musical performance by UAH alumni the Beasley Brothers. Lots of food trucks, rock climbing, and other family fun activities.

Event Details

Spragins Hall Facility Improvements in 2022

Some of the biggest changes are yet to come and will focus on improving the spectator experience and helping UAH to continue recruiting top student-athletes. While the exterior was modernized in 2021, the interior of Spragins Hall has remained largely untouched since its construction in 1977. Starting in mid-2022, it too is getting a makeover to include streamlining concessions, expanding the ticket lobby, upgrading locker rooms and expanding and modernizing the frequently-used Varsity Room hospitality suite. Following these substantial modifications to Spragins, Dr. Smith hopes to similarly overhaul Charger Park and add outdoor facilities. His vision includes a lacrosse and track complex, updates to current baseball and soccer fields, and new concessions and ticket booth facilities.

Photo of UAH Volleyball Players.
Athletics Department | UAH

In addition to existing corporate sponsorship opportunities, these new and enhanced facilities bring exclusive, high-visibility naming rights and opportunities. These key community partnerships will be crucial to offering students the NCAA experience they deserve.

Dr. Smith explains, “When our coaches don’t have to spend their time raising funds, they can be more present for our student-athletes and building our programs.” Citing the impact of philanthropic support as a catalyst for academic and athletic excellence, he notes, “Donations enhance our student-athlete experience, allow us to recruit top-notch student-athletes and improve competitiveness, both at the conference and national level.”

Last year, 275 student-athletes received scholarships totaling $3 million, allowing them to focus on what matters most to them: their education and their sport.

How to Support UAH Chargers - “Come see us play!”

With plenty of games offering free admission, come to Spragins and Charger Park to see the UAH Charger in action. “Fan support is vital for our home events. Without our fans, it just is not the same!” says Dr. Smith. “We want our events on campus to be something that builds community both at UAH and in our area. Fans help to create a great experience that positively impacts the student-athletes.” And turnaround is fair play; 70% of UAH graduates continue to live and work in Greater Huntsville.

Please consider supporting UAH Athletics. Your gift will make a real difference in the day-to-day life of our student-athletes. Gifts to support the athletics teams are integral to the teams’ and students’ success by providing funds for apparel, equipment, travel and facility improvements. Most of all, donations mean hard-working, dedicated Chargers receive the highest-quality NCAA experience.



Dr. Cade Smith

Jenn Memolo