Troy Trojans football

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Troy Trojans football
2017 Troy Trojans football team
Troy University logo.gif
First season 1909
Athletic director Jeremy McClain
Head coach Neal Brown
3rd season, 18–13 (.581)
Other staff Kenny Edenfield (Co-OC)
Matt Moore (Co-OC)
Vic Koenning (DC)
Stadium Veterans Memorial Stadium
(Capacity: 30,402)
Field surface ProGrass
Location Troy, Alabama
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Sun Belt Conference
Division East
All-time record 522–402–28 (.563)
Bowl record 3–3 (.500)
Claimed nat'l titles 3 (1 NAIA, 2 Division II)
Conference titles Alabama Intercollegiate: 3
Alabama Collegiate: 3
Mid-South: 1
Gulf South: 5
Southland: 3
Sun Belt: 5
Rivalries South Alabama
(Battle for the Belt)
Jacksonville(Jax) State
(Battle for the Ol' School Bell)
Middle Tennessee
(Battle for the Palladium)
UAB Blazers
Consensus All-Americans 6 NAIA
10 Div-II
13 FCS
Current uniform
Troy Trojans Football Uniforms.png
Colors Cardinal, Silver, and Black[1]
Fight song "Trojans One & All"
Mascot T-Roy
Marching band The Sound of the South
Outfitter Adidas

The Troy Trojans football program represents Troy University in Troy, Alabama, in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A, of which it has been a member since 2001. The current head coach of the team is Neal Brown. The football program joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2004.


Early History (1909–1965)[edit]

1909 Troy University football team

Troy University has fielded a football team continuously since 1946. Prior to that year, the team was fielded with many interruptions from 1909 to 1942. Eight years were skipped due to lack of participation and later World War I from 1913–1920, while the Wall Street Crash of 1929 kept the team from playing that year.

Coach George Penton led the Troy Trojans for two seasons, 1911 and 1912. Under his tutelage, the Trojans completed their only undefeated season, a 3–0 record.

George Penton c. 1911.

Albert Elmore began coaching Troy in 1931. Elmore, who was a University of Alabama alumni, is credited with changing the team mascot to "Red Wave" (this was a variation of Alabama's "Crimson Tide", and the current nickname is "Trojans").[2] Elmore left Troy after the 1937 season. In seven years at Troy State, five of which were winning seasons, Elmore compiled a 35–30–3 record.[3]

In 1947, Fred McCollum took the head coaching position at Troy State. From 1947 to 1950, he compiled an overall record of twenty wins, eighteen losses and three ties (20–18–3) with the Red Wave, which included back to back six-win seasons in 1948–1949.[3]

Bill Atkins era (1966–1971)[edit]

Bill Atkins

On January 8, 1966, Bill Atkins was named the head coach of the Troy football team.[4] In 1968, he coached Troy State to the NAIA National Championship and was named the NAIA Coach of the Year.[4] Atkins finished at Troy State with a 44–16–2 record before leaving in 1971.[4] He is the second-most winningest coach in Troy history, only behind Larry Blakeney. Atkins was inducted into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Tom Jones era (1972–1973)[edit]

Tom Jones

The file above's purpose is being discussed and/or is being considered for deletion. See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do.

Tom Jones was hired as Troy State's head coach in 1972.[5] He served as the head football coach from 1972 to 1973, compiling a record of 11–7–2. In addition to his head coaching duties Jones also served as the Troy University Athletic Director from 1972-1974.

Byrd Whigham era (1974–1975)[edit]

Byrd Whigham led the Troy Trojans football program for two seasons and his teams compiled a 12–8 record in his two seasons. Whigham departed after the 1975 season.[6]

Charlie Bradshaw era (1976–1982)[edit]

Former Kentucky head coach Charlie Bradshaw came out of retirement in 1976 to accept the position of head coach for the Trojans,[6] which had become the school's nickname just a short time earlier. Under Bradshaw's tutelage, the Trojans compiled a 41–27–2 record, which included three eight-win seasons and one conference championship.[7] However, a 3–7 campaign in 1981 and a 2–8 season in 1982 ended Bradshaw's tenure at Troy State.

Chan Gailey era (1983–1984)[edit]

In 1983, Chan Gailey took over the head coaching duties at Troy State, where he led the Trojans to a 12–1 record in 1984 en route to the Division II championship.[8] Gailey departed Troy State after two seasons to accept the position of tight ends coach and special teams coordinator with the NFL's Denver Broncos.[9]

Rick Rhoades era (1985–1987)[edit]

Rick Rhoades, previously the Trojans' defensive coordinator, was the head coach at Troy State from 1985 to 1987.[10] In 1987, he led the team to the NCAA Division II Football Championship.[10] Rhoades left Troy State after three seasons.

Robert Maddox era (1988–1990)[edit]

At Troy State, head coach Robert Maddox inherited a team which the previous season had gone 12–1–1, winning the NCAA Division II Football Championship. Despite this, in 1988, Troy State had its first losing season since 1982, going 4–6. The following season, the team showed little improvement, finishing with an identical 4–6 record. In 1990, Troy State improved slightly to 5–5, and Maddox resigned following a season-ending 24–23 win over Nicholls State.[11]

Larry Blakeney era (1991–2014)[edit]

Troy Trojans wide receiver Eric Thomas during a game against Tennessee in 2012.

Larry Blakeney became the twentieth head football coach at Troy State University[12] on December 3, 1990. The program was officially still a Division II program, but were already approved to transition to Division I-AA the following season. He took over a program that had won two national championships the previous decade, but were 13–17 the previous three years.

The first full year at Division I-AA, the Troy State Trojans made it to the semifinal game and finished 12–1–1, 10–0–1 in the regular season. This marked the first undefeated, regular, full season of Troy State Trojans football and they finished ranked first in the end of season poll by Sports Network. In 1995, the team improved on that record finishing 11–0 in the regular season for the first undefeated and untied season in history. During the eight seasons the team was a member of I-AA football, they made the playoffs seven seasons and won the Southland Conference championship three times and made the playoff semifinals twice.

Troy State transitioned to Division I-A in 2001. During that season they defeated three Division I-A schools, including their first win over a BCS conference school, Mississippi State. The transition makes Blakeney one of two coaches to ever take a football team from Division II to I-A (the other is UCF’s Gene McDowell).

In 2004, Troy's first year in the Sun Belt Conference, Blakeney coached his team to one of the biggest victories in the school's and the Sun Belt's history after defeating then #17 ranked Missouri 24–14 at home, in front of a national audience on ESPN2. He once again coached his team to a victory over a BCS school in 2007 at home, routing Oklahoma State 41–23 on ESPN2.

Blakeney would earn his first bowl win in 2006, beating the Rice Owls football team 41–17 in the New Orleans Bowl. The team won their first Sun Belt Conference title that year. After losing the 2008 New Orleans Bowl in overtime against Southern Miss and losing the 2010 GMAC Bowl in double-overtime against Central Michigan, Blakeney would get his second bowl victory in the 2010 New Orleans Bowl, defeating Ohio 48–21.

ESPN recognized Blakeney as one of the top 5 non-AQ recruiting closers in 2009.[13] Blakeney retired at the end of the 2014 season after serving twenty three years as Head Coach for Troy University.[14]

Troy University football began playing in the NCAA's Division I-A in 2001, became a football only member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2004, and joined that conference for all other sports in 2005. In 2001, Troy defeated Mississippi State University at Scott Field in Starkville, Mississippi, by a count of 21–9 to notch the Trojans' first victory over a BCS level program. The Trojans began their 2004 campaign with a win over Marshall, and then garnered the program's largest win one game later as the Trojans defeated then #17 ranked Missouri, 24–14, in front of a Movie Gallery Stadium record crowd. The Trojan football team made its first bowl game appearance in the Silicon Valley Football Classic on December 30, 2004 that same season, but lost to Northern Illinois, 34–21. In 2006, Troy won the Sun Belt Conference for the first time after defeating Middle Tennessee in dramatic fashion in the last game of the 2006 season in a game that is now referred to as "The Miracle in Murfreesboro". As the 2006 Sun Belt Conference champions, Troy played in the New Orleans Bowl on December 22, 2006 against Rice University, routing the Owls of Conference USA by a score of 41–17. The New Orleans Bowl victory was Troy's first bowl victory in history.

Under Blakeney's tutelage, many quarterbacks at Troy University broke school records and some national records. From 2010 to 2013, Corey Robinson broke the school record for career passing yards and currently is ranked #11 in the NCAA for all-time career passing yards with 13,477. One of his more memorable performances came the first game of his senior year when he rallied his team from a 31-17 deficit vs. UAB to a 34-31 OT win, in the process breaking Steve Sarkisian's record for highest completion percentage in a game with a minimum of 30 attempts. Robinson completed 30 of 32 attempts for a new record of 93.8%.

Upon Robinson's graduation, new freshman quarterback Brandon Silvers stepped in and set yet another national record in 2014. During Silvers' freshman campagin, he broke Sam Bradford’s (Oklahoma) NCAA record for completion percentage by a freshman as he completed 70.5 percent of his passes (191-of-271); Bradford completed 69.5 percent of his attempts in 2007.

Troy football former head coach Larry Blakeney officially retired at the end of the 2014 season. He led the program to three Southland Football League titles and five straight Sun Belt Conference titles, as well as guided the Trojans to seven FCS playoff appearances and four FBS bowl games. Blakeney finished with an overall record of 178–113–1 as head coach at Troy. Blakeney is the winningest coach in the Troy University history and he is the 4th winningest collegiate coach all-time in the state of Alabama, only behind greats Paul "Bear" Bryant, Cleveland L. Abbott, and Ralph "Shug" Jordan. Blakeney is just one of two coaches to ever take a football program from Division II to I-A (the other is UCF’s Gene McDowell).[15]

Troy's only perfect regular season record in football came at the conclusion of the 1995 season as the Trojans finished 11–0 and were crowned champions of the Southland Football League heading into the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.

Neal Brown era (2015–present)[edit]

Neal Brown

Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown, who had served in the same capacity at Troy from 2008–2009, was named the Trojans head coach in November 2014.[16] In 2015, Brown's Trojans posted a 4–8 record.[17] Troy was ranked for the first time in the AP top 25 on November 13, 2016, they became the first team from the Sun Belt Conference to be ranked in the Top 25 and finished the year with a record of 10–3.[18] Troy capped of the 2016 season by winning the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

In Brown's third season at the helm in 2017, he led Troy to a fast 3-1 start to begin the season. In the fifth game of the season on September 30, Troy faced #25-ranked LSU. After leading in the 3rd quarter by a score of 24-7, the LSU Tigers began to mount a comeback in the 4th quarter by scoring 14 unanswered points and trailing just 24-21 with less than 30 seconds left in the game. LSU began to move the ball down-field before having only 8 seconds left on the clock. The very next play wound up being an interception for Troy, which sealed the upset victory. The win over LSU snapped the Tigers' 46-game non-conference home winning streak, which was the longest such streak in the country at the time.

Head coaches[edit]

Name From To Record Postseason
Virgil P. McKinley 1909 1909 1 0 2
Dan Harren 1910 1910 1 1 2
George Penton 1911 1912 7 1 1
Professor J. W. Campbell 1921 1923 12 14 1
Flivver Ford 1924 1924 2 1 4
Otis Bynum 1925 1926 12 4 1
Gladwin Gaumer 1927 1928 6 7 0
No Coach 1930 1930 1 2 0
Albert Elmore 1931 1937 33 25 3
Albert Choate 1938 1942 28 25 1
Buddy McCollum 1947 1950 20 18 3 1948 Paper Bowl
Jim Grantham 1951 1954 11 23 1
William Clipson 1955 1965 26 68 0
Billy Atkins 1966 1971 44 16 2 1968 NAIA National Champions
Tom Jones 1972 1973 11 7 2
Byrd Whigham 1974 1975 12 8 0
Charlie Bradshaw 1976 1982 41 27 2
Chan Gailey 1983 1984 19 5 0 1984 NCAA Division II National Champions
Rick Rhoades 1985 1987 28 7 1 1987 NCAA Division II National Champions
Robert Maddox 1988 1990 13 17 0
Larry Blakeney 1990 2014 178 113 1 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 Bowl Appearances; 2006, 2010 Bowl Wins
Neal Brown 2015 Present 18 13 0 2016 Bowl Appearances; 2016 Bowl Wins
Composite Record 1909 2015 496 377 27


Troy has won 20 total conference championships to go along with 3 national championships. The program won the 1968 NAIA National Championship against Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville). Troy beat North Dakota State in 1984 to win their first Division II national title. They won their second Division II national title in 1987 after defeating Portland State.

1968 NAIA National Championship Team.
Conference Year Overall Record Coach
Alabama Intercollegiate Conference 1939 7–4–0 Albert Choate
1941 5–4–0
1942 4–3–0
1967 8–2–0 Billy Atkins
1968 11–1–0
1969 8–1–1
Mid-South Athletic Conference 1971 6–3–0
Gulf South Conference 1973 7–2–1 Tom Jones
1976 8–1–1 Charlie Bradshaw
1984^ 12–1–0 Chan Gailey
1986 10–2–0 Rick Rhoades
1987^ 12–1–1
Southland Conference 1996 12–2 Larry Blakeney
1999 11–2
2000 10–2
Sun Belt Conference 2006 8–5
2007 8–4
2008 8–5
2009 9–4
2010 8–5

Bold indicates national championship.
Denotes NAIA National Championship.
^ Denotes NCAA Division II National Championship.

FBS Records (2001–Present)[edit]

Troy Trojans football seasons

Year Record Conference Finish Coach Bowl Poll
Troy State Trojans (I-A transition) (Independent) (2001)
2001 7–4 Larry Blakeney
Troy State Trojans (Independent) (2002–2003)
2002 4–8 Larry Blakeney
2003 6–6 Larry Blakeney
Troy Trojans (Sun Belt Conference) (2004–Present)
2004 7–5 5–2 2nd Larry Blakeney Silicon Valley Bowl
2005 4–7 3–4 T-4th Larry Blakeney
2006 8–5 6–1 T-1st Larry Blakeney New Orleans Bowl
2007 8–4 6–1 T-1st Larry Blakeney
2008 8–5 7–1 1st Larry Blakeney New Orleans Bowl
2009 9–4 8–0 1st Larry Blakeney GMAC Bowl
2010 8–5 6–2 T-1st Larry Blakeney New Orleans Bowl
2011 3–9 2–6 7th Larry Blakeney
2012 5–7 3–5 6th Larry Blakeney
2013 6–6 4–3 3rd Larry Blakeney
2014 3–9 3–5 T-7th Larry Blakeney
2015 4–8 3–5 T-5th Neal Brown
2016 10–3 6–2 T-3rd Neal Brown Dollar General Bowl
2017 4–2 1–1 1st Neal Brown - -
All-time 104–89 60–33 All-time 2 coaches 6 Bowl Games AP
"Poll" indicates team ranking at end of season from the Associated Press Poll.
*Ranked by the AP Poll for Division I-A Football.

All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Appalachian State 3 3 0 .500 Won 1 1940 2016
Arkansas State 5 10 0 .333 Lost 4 1950 2016
Coastal Carolina 0 0 0
Georgia Southern 10 6 0 .625 Lost 4 1934 2016
Georgia State 3 1 0 .750 Won 1 2013 2016
Idaho 3 1 0 .750 Won 1 2004 2016
Louisiana–Lafayette 8 11 0 .421 Won 1 1946 2015
Louisiana–Monroe 9 7 1 .559 Won 1 1970 2015
New Mexico State 4 1 0 .800 Won 4 2004 2017
South Alabama 3 3 0 .600 Won 1 2012 2016
Texas State 6 1 0 .857 Won 5 1996 2016
Totals 54 43 1 .562


Trojan Walk[edit]

Before each Troy home football game, hundreds of Troy fans and students line University Avenue on campus to cheer on the team as they march with the Sound of the South band and cheerleaders from the Quad to Tailgate Terrace, surrounded by fans who pat them on the back and shake their hands as they walk toward Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Band Show on University[edit]

Before each home game, the Sound of the South marching band performs a pre-game show on University Avenue in between all of the tailgating areas before the Trojan Walk begins.

Trojan Fanfare[edit]

During the pre-game show at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Sound of the South will perform what is known as the "Trojan Fanfare." It is a favorite among most fans and energizes the fanbase leading up to kickoff.

Cry Havoc![edit]

One of the more popular traditions of gameday, during the pre-game show the PA announcer will recite the phrase from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:

And so, with mighty warriors clad in strongest armor
and well prepared to receive the lot dealt by fate
the contest is at hand.
And the commander's spirit, ranging for revenge
shall in a monarch's voice cry, 'Havoc!'
and let slip the dogs of war.

The phrase "Cry Havoc!" is also used as a motto or battle cry among Trojan fans.

Post-game Band Show[edit]

After every home football game, the Sound of the South marching bands performs a final show for fans in attendance.

Players/Band Celebration[edit]

After Troy wins a home game, the players will go to the corner of the stadium where the Sound of the South is and will sing the fight song, alma mater, and sometimes do chants with them.

Trojan Warrior[edit]

Before every game and after every touchdown, the Trojan Warrior or Trojan Princess would blaze down the football field on a horse named "Big Red." This tradition is no longer used because the football field turf was changed from grass to artificial grass. There has been recent talk of bringing the tradition back.

Postseason Results[edit]

FBS Bowl Results[edit]

Since moving up to FBS Troy is 3-3 all time in bowl games with the Trojan’s latest bowl win in 2016.

W/L Date PF Opponent PA Bowl
L 12-30-2004 21 Northern Illinois 34 Silicon Valley Classic
W 12-22-2006 41 Rice 17 New Orleans Bowl
L 12-21-2008 27 Southern Mississippi 30 New Orleans Bowl
L 01-06-2010 41 Central Michigan 44 GMAC Bowl
W 12-18-2010 48 Ohio 21 New Orleans Bowl
W 12-23-2016 28 Ohio 23 Dollar General Bowl

FCS Playoff Results[edit]

Troy made seven appearances in the I-AA/FCS playoffs from 1993 to 2000.

Year Round Opponent Result
1993 First Round
Stephen F. Austin
McNeese State
W 42–20
W 35–28
L 21–24
1994 First Round James Madison L 26–45
1995 First Round Georgia Southern L 21–24
1996 Quarterfinals
Murray State
W 31–3
L 7–70
1998 First Round Florida A&M L 17–27
1999 First Round
James Madison
Florida A&M
W 27–7
L 10–17
2000 First Round Appalachian State L 30–33
Playoff Record 5–7

Division II Playoff Results[edit]

Year Round Opponent Result
1984 First Round
Championship (Palm Bowl)
Central State
Towson State
North Dakota State
W 31–21
W 45–3
W 18–17
1986 First Round
Virginia Union
South Dakota
W 31–7
L 28–42
1987 First Round
Championship (Palm Bowl)
Winston-Salem State
Central Florida
Portland State
W 45–14
W 31–10
W 31–17
Playoff Record 7–1

Division II Bowl Results[edit]

W/L Date PF Opponent PA Game
W 12-08-1984 18 North Dakota State 17 Palm Bowl
W 12-12-1987 31 Portland State 17 Palm Bowl
  • Palm Bowl is NCAA Division II National Championship.

NAIA Bowl Results[edit]

W/L Date PF Opponent PA Game
L 12-18-1948 0 Jacksonville State 19 Paper Bowl
W 12-14-1968 43 Texas A&M-Kingsville 35 Championship Bowl
  • Championship Bowl is the NAIA National Championship game.

Top 25 Finishes[edit]


Year Record Sports Network Rank USA/ESPN Rank
1993 12–1–1 #1
1994 8–4 #10
1995 11–1 #3
1996 12–2 #5
1998 8–4 #11 #11
1999 11–2 #6 #6
2000 10–2 #9 #3



Since 2001 when Troy joined the FBS, the Trojans have not finished a season ranked in the Top 25.

Troy spent one week ranked in the AP Poll in 2016, debuting at #25 after defeating Appalachian State and having a record of 8-1. Troy is the first football program in the Sun Belt Conference's history to be ranked in the Top 25 in either the AP Poll or the Coaches' Poll.

NFL players[edit]

Trojans in the NFL
NFL Draft selections
Total selected: 35
1st Round: 2
2nd Round: 2
3rd Round: 3

Current players[edit]

Former players[edit]


Battle for the Belt[edit]

Troy has an annual intra-conference rivalry with in-state foe South Alabama, known as the Battle for the Belt. Troy leads the series 3–2 after winning the 2016 game, while South Alabama won the inaugural Battle For The Belt in 2015.

Troy vs. UAB[edit]

Troy enjoys another in-state rivalry with UAB. Troy's rivalry with UAB started in 1993. UAB was in Conference USA and the two teams had scheduled each other due to their close proximity as non-conference opponents for several years. The two schools have played annually since 2009 until 2014, when UAB disbanded their football program. Troy holds the lead in the rivalry 7–5, which is currently inactive. There are currently no future games scheduled between Troy and UAB.

Battle for the Palladium[edit]

Troy's rivalry with Middle Tennessee, now dormant following Middle Tennessee's 2013 move to Conference USA, is known as the Battle for the Palladium. Troy and Middle Tennessee first played each other in 1936, but it wasn't until 2003 that the schools started playing annually for the Palladium Trophy.

Battle for the Ol' School Bell[edit]

When Troy was a member of Division I-AA in football, they played Jacksonville State almost annually in the Battle for the Ol' School Bell rivalry. The idea for a school bell trophy stemmed from the two schools' common origins as teachers' colleges from the late 1800s to the 1930s. The last meeting between Troy and Jacksonville State was in 2001, with Troy (then known as Troy State) winning 21–3.

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of August 24, 2017.[20]

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 TBA
at Boise State vs Boise State vs Southern Miss at Massachusetts vs Liberty at Ole Miss at Mississippi State vs Mississippi State vs Utah State
vs Alabama State vs Presbyterian at Akron vs NC State at Utah State
vs Akron at Nebraska at Missouri
at LSU at Liberty


  1. ^ "2015 Troy Football Media Guide" (PDF). July 7, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Troy University Football." Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference CFDW was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b c "Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum - Birmingham, Alabama". 
  5. ^ "Gadsden Times - Google News Archive Search". 
  6. ^ a b "Troy fortunate to have a long line of successful coaches - The Troy Messenger". 
  7. ^ "All-Time Coaching Records by Year". 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Chan Gailey Bio -". 
  10. ^ a b " - Alabama High School Football Coaches". 
  11. ^, Troy State Yearly Results 1980–1984 Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine., 1985–1989 Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine., 1990–1994 Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved March 2, 2008; "Colonels lose; Troy coach quits", The Advocate, November 11, 1990.
  12. ^ The school did not become Troy University until 2004.
  13. ^ "Top non-AQ recruiting closers". ESPN. 
  14. ^ Journal, Bret Strelow Winston-Salem. "Close call at Clemson set up Troy as a top challenger to App State". 
  15. ^ "Troy unveils $24M stadium expansion". 
  16. ^ Thamel, Pete. "Troy hires Kentucky's Neal Brown to be next football head coach". 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  18. ^ "Troy becomes first Sun Belt team ever in AP Top 25". 13 November 2016. 
  19. ^ "Troy State In the Polls". 
  20. ^ "Troy Trojans Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2017-08-24. 

External links[edit]