Fresh off a trip to the BCS National Championship Game, Al Pogue decided to bring his talents to Troy.
Pogue, a former quality control assistant for the Auburn Tigers, was named the new defensive backs coach at Troy Thursday morning.
Pogue is a veteran of the Alabama coaching scene, having been the head coach at three different high schools, Calhoun. St. Jude and Carver-Montgomery.
“The decision to come to Troy was easy,” Pogue said. “I’m a football coach, and coaching is my passion. Troy have given me the opportunity to do what I really want to do, and that is to coach kids and be a mentor.”
Before becoming a coach, Pogue spent four years at Alabama State and earned All-American and All-SWAC honors as a free safety.
Pogue also played semi-pro football in Mobile after leaving ASU.
He most recently served as Auburn’s Director of High School Relations, and built a strong relationship with high school coaches and players across the state.
“Guys know me here in the state from my high school ties,” Pogue said. “I have had the opportunity to meet with coaches from a lot of different states, and I am hoping to use that to my advantage.”
Troy ranked 96th nationally in total defense in 2013, and intercepted just six passes, tied for fourth least in the FBS last year.
Pogue said one of the biggest issues with the defensive backs at Troy is confidence.
“I had meeting with one of the guys, and told him that is obvious he is talented, because if he wasn’t, then he wouldn’t be here. I am looking to build on some things, and hopefully we can get better on the back end and have the best pass defense in this conference.”
Pogue will coach corners, per head coach Larry Blakeney. Troy lost safeties coach Benjy Parker earlier in the off-season.
Blakeney feels Pogue will have an immediate impact for the Trojans.
“Al Pogue is a guy that will make us better,” Blakeney said. “He will makes us better on the field, and off the field too.”