Koening gets nod to coach TSU #039;D#039;

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2003

The Troy State football program lost a key figure in the coaching ranks earlier in the off season when defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt left for UAB.

The day after signing day, the Trojans announced Bolt's replacement.

Thursday, Troy State officially announced the hiring of Vic Koening to the position.

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"Vic Koening will make us better than we've been," Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney said. "He understands what we want to do and how to coach these players."

Koening was most recently the head coach at Wyoming. He posted a 5-29 record in three seasons in Laramie.

"The past three years did not go as well as I would have liked," Koening said. "But I told the players in a team meeting today, 'You have to be happy where you are.' There's no place I would rather be right now."

Vic Koening served as the defensive coordinator for three years at Wyoming before becoming the head coach in 2000. During his six seasons at Wyoming, the Cowboys ranked near the top of the nation in defense.

His 1997 defense ranked second nationally in sacks, sixth in pass defense, 17th in scoring defense and 23rd in total defense.

"I really enjoy being a coordinator," Koening said. "I think even Larry will tell you, as a head coach you often don't get to have as much fun as the other coaches."

As well as having more fun, Koening said he could use the new position to focus on some other priorities.

"This is a chance to be a husband and a father again," Koening said. "The last few years I poured everything I had into a situation. I don't think I could have done anymore."

Before his stay at Wyoming, Koening was the secondary coach at Memphis from 1991-96. He was at Memphis when the Tigers upset Tennessee 21-17 in 1993.

"I got to see a lot of SEC teams during that period," Koening said. "We were competitive in many of them."

Koening did not say what kind of defense he was planning to run. Instead, he said recruiting was the key to a good defense.

"I'm not trying to put it all on the players," he said. "But you can be pretty vanilla on defense, as Troy State was, rushing only four, or run a cover-two, like Miami does, and if your players are better athletes than the offense, you can be successful. I watched the Troy State game against Arkansas and Troy State had much better athletes on defense than Arkansas did on offense."

Koening is a 1982 graduate of Kansas State, the Trojans' first opponent in 2003. He then spent the next four seasons in the NFL and USFL before going to Memphis as a graduate assistant.