Troy Trojans football
|Troy Trojans football|
|Athletic director||Jeremy McClain|
4th season, 30–15 (.667)
Matt Moore (Co-OC)|
Vic Koenning (DC)
Veterans Memorial Stadium|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|Conference||Sun Belt Conference|
|All-time record||534–403–28 (.568)|
|Bowl record||4–3 (.571)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||3 (1 NAIA, 2 Division II)|
Cardinal, Silver, and Black|
|Fight song||"Trojans One & All"|
|Marching band||The Sound of the South|
The Troy Trojans football program represents Troy University in Troy, Alabama, in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, of which it has been a member since 2001. The head football coach is Neal Brown. The football program joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2004.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early history (1909–1965)
- 1.2 Bill Atkins era (1966–1971)
- 1.3 Tom Jones era (1972–1973)
- 1.4 Byrd Whigham era (1974–1975)
- 1.5 Charlie Bradshaw era (1976–1982)
- 1.6 Chan Gailey era (1983–1984)
- 1.7 Rick Rhoades era (1985–1987)
- 1.8 Robert Maddox era (1988–1990)
- 1.9 Larry Blakeney era (1991–2014)
- 1.10 Neal Brown era (2015–present)
- 2 Head coaches
- 3 FBS Records
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Traditions
- 6 Championships
- 7 Postseason results
- 8 Top 25 finishes
- 9 Award Winners
- 10 All-Americans (FBS)
- 11 NFL players
- 12 Rivalries
- 13 Future non-conference opponents
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Early history (1909–1965)
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.
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"). 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.
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.
Bill Atkins era (1966–1971)
On January 8, 1966, Bill Atkins was named the head coach of the Troy football team. In 1968, he coached Troy State to the NAIA National Championship and was named the NAIA Coach of the Year. Atkins finished at Troy State with a 44–16–2 record before leaving in 1971. 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)
Tom Jones was hired as Troy State's head coach in 1972. 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)
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.
Charlie Bradshaw era (1976–1982)
Former Kentucky head coach Charlie Bradshaw came out of retirement in 1976 to accept the position of head coach for the Trojans, 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. 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)
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. 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.
Rick Rhoades era (1985–1987)
Rick Rhoades, previously the Trojans' defensive coordinator, was the head coach at Troy State from 1985 to 1987. In 1987, he led the team to the NCAA Division II Football Championship. Rhoades left Troy State after three seasons.
Robert Maddox era (1988–1990)
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.
Larry Blakeney era (1991–2014)
Larry Blakeney became the twentieth head football coach at Troy State University on December 3, 1990. The program was officially still a Division II program, but were already approved to transition to NCAA Division I-AA the following season. He took over a program that won two national championships the previous decade, but were 13–17 the previous fifty 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
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.
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. 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 campaign, 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.
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.
Neal Brown era (2015–present)
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. In 2015, Brown's Trojans posted a 4–8 record. 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. Troy capped of the 2016 season by defeating Ohio in 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. Ironically LSU's last non-conference home loss came to another Alabama school UAB 13-10 back in 2000. The Trojans would wind up winning the Sun Belt title after defeating Arkansas State in a thriller, 32-25. Afterward, Troy met North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl, with Troy defeating the Mean Green by a score of 50-30. Troy's 11-2 overall record is the programs best season finish since joining the FBS in 2001.
|Virgil P. McKinley||1909||1909||1||0||2|
|Professor J. W. Campbell||1921||1923||12||13||1|
|Ross V. Ford||1924||1924||2||1||4|
|Fred McCollum||1947||1950||21||17||3||1948 Paper Bowl|
|Billy Atkins||1966||1971||44||16||2||1968 NAIA National Champions|
|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|
|Larry Blakeney||1990||2014||178||113||1||2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 Bowl Appearances; 2006, 2010 Bowl Wins|
|Neal Brown||2015||Present||25||14||0||2016, 2017 Bowl Appearances; 2016, 2017 Bowl Wins|
| colspan="7" | "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
Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:
|Appalachian State||3||3||0||.500||Won 1||1940||2016|
|Arkansas State||6||10||0||.375||Won 1||1950||2017|
|Coastal Carolina||2||0||0||1.000||Won 2||2017||2018|
|Georgia Southern||11||6||0||.647||Won 1||1934||2017|
|Georgia State||5||1||0||.833||Won 3||2013||2018|
|South Alabama||3||3||0||.500||Lost 1||2012||2017|
|Texas State||7||1||0||.875||Won 6||1996||2017|
Larry Blakeney Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium is nicknamed "The Vet" and has a seating capacity of 30,000. The stadium was originally dedicated to the Troy State Teachers College students and Pike County residents who had died in World War II. The stadium solely consisted of a small, 5,000-seat grandstand on the west side of a running track, and was built into the natural slope of the ground. It was expanded several times, including the addition of upper deck in 1998 that brought capacity up to 17,500, until receiving a large addition of seating in 2003 which expanded the capacity of the stadium to 30,000. After the addition of the north endzone facility in 2018, the capacity once again expanded to 30,402.
The north endzone facility at the stadium is the largest featured endzone facility in the Sun Belt Conference and features a 3,150 sq.ft. Daktronics 15HD video board, which is also the largest in the conference, and the 6th largest among Group of Five schools.
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
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.
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.
One of the more popular traditions of gameday, during the pre-game show the band marches onto the field to prepare for the football team to run out of the gates. The band falls silent, and the announcer then recites the phrase from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Fans in the stadium will yell out "Havoc!" in unison along with the announcer before the last line of the phrase:
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 "Havoc!" is also used as a motto or battle cry among Trojan fans.
Post-game Celebration & Band Show
After Troy wins a home game, the players will go to the corner of the stadium where the Sound of the South marching band is and will sing the fight song, alma mater, and sometimes do chants with them.
There is also a post-game band show after every home football game, where the Sound of the South marching band sets up to perform on the football field in the south endzone, and performs a final show for all remaining fans still in attendance.
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.
NAIA National Championships
Troy (then known as Troy State) won one NAIA championship in 1968.
|1968||NAIA||Billy Atkins||11–1||43–35||Texas A&I|
NCAA National Championships
In their tenure in NCAA Division II, Troy won two national championships.
|1984||NCAA Division II||Chan Gailey||12–1||18–17||North Dakota State|
|1987||NCAA Division II||Rick Rhoades||12–1||31–17||Portland State|
Troy has won 21 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.
|1939||Albert Choate||Alabama Intercollegiate Conference||7–4|
|1967||Billy Atkins||Alabama Collegiate Conference||8–2|
|1971||Gulf South Conference||6–3|
|1996||Larry Blakeney||Southland Conference||12–2|
|2006||Sun Belt Conference||8–5|
Since moving up to FBS, Troy is 4–3 all time in bowl games with the Trojans' latest bowl win in 2017.
|2004||Larry Blakeney||Silicon Valley Football Classic||Northern Illinois||L 21–34|
|2006||Larry Blakeney||New Orleans Bowl||Rice||W 41–17|
|2008||Larry Blakeney||New Orleans Bowl||Southern Miss||L 27–30|
|2009||Larry Blakeney||GMAC Bowl||Central Michigan||L 41–44|
|2010||Larry Blakeney||New Orleans Bowl||Ohio||W 48–21|
|2016||Neal Brown||Dollar General Bowl||Ohio||W 28–23|
|2017||Neal Brown||New Orleans Bowl||North Texas||W 50–30|
Troy made seven appearances in the I-AA/FCS playoffs from 1993 to 2000. They had a 5–7 record.
|Stephen F. Austin
|1994||First Round||James Madison||L 26–45|
|1995||First Round||Georgia Southern||L 21–24|
|1998||First Round||Florida A&M||L 17–27|
|2000||First Round||Appalachian State||L 30–33|
Division II Playoffs
Troy made three appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs, winning the national championship twice.
Championship (Palm Bowl)
North Dakota State
In their time in the NAIA, the Trojans played once in the playoffs, having a record of 2-0, with one NAIA national championship.
Championship (Champion Bowl)
When Troy was a member of the Alabama Intercollegiate Conference (which not affiliated with an athletic organization such as the NCAA), they played in the inaugural Paper Bowl in Pensacola, Florida in 1948.
|1948||Paper Bowl||Jacksonville State||L 0–19|
Top 25 finishes
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.
|Year||Record||Sports Network Rank||USA/ESPN Rank|
Division II/College Division
|Year||Record||Committee Poll||AP Poll||UPI Coaches' Poll|
- Al Lucas – 1999
- 2002 - Osi Umenyiora, AP Honorable Mention
- 2002 - Thomas Olmsted, Sporting News Freshman
- 2007 - Leodis McKelvin, First-Team - Rivals, Sporting News, Pro Weekly
- 2009 - Bryan Willis - Sporting News Freshman
- 2013 - Jordan Chunn, CFN Freshman Honorable Mention
- 2017 - Marcus Jones - FWAA Freshman, CFN Honorable Mention, ESPN Freshman, Phil Steele Third-Team
|Trojans in the NFL|
|NFL Draft selections|
- DeMarcus Ware
- Osi Umenyiora
- Lawrence Tynes
- Bubba Marriott
- Matt Allen
- Kerry Jenkins
- Al Lucas
- Jerrel Jernigan
- Jimmy McClain
- Rayshun Reed
- Shawn Stuckey
- Dion Gales
- Rod Walker
- Pratt Lyons
- Michael Moore
- Jonathan Carter
- Perry Griggs
- Titus Dixon
- Clifford Ivory
- Mareno Philyaw
- Jack Smith
- Davern Williams
- Willie McCray
- Willie Tullis
- Virgil Seay
- Brannon Condren
- Levi Brown
- Jack Smith
- Anthony Henton
- Derrick Moore
- Jonathan Carter
- Chris Bradwell
- Kanorris Davis
- Boris Lee
- Bear Woods
- Alfred Malone
- Marcus Spriggs
- Corey Robinson
Troy has an annual intra-conference rivalry with in-state foe South Alabama, known as the Battle for the Belt. The two schools first met on the gridiron in 2012, and have played every year since. Even though both schools are in separate divisions in the Sun Belt Conference, they have a protected rivalry and play each other annually. The rivalry is currently tied 3-3.
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.
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.
Troy vs. UAB
The Troy–UAB football rivalry is another in-state rivalry for Troy.[non-primary source needed] The rivalry with the UAB Blazers started in 1993. The Blazers are members of Conference USA, but the two teams have scheduled each other over the years due to their close proximity as non-conference opponents. The two schools have played each other 12 times between 1993 and 2014, up until UAB disbanded their football program after the 2014 football season. Troy holds the lead in the rivalry 7–5, which is currently inactive. There are currently no future games scheduled between Troy and UAB.
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of June 12, 2018.
|Southern Miss||at Massachusetts||Liberty||at Ole Miss||Western Kentucky||at Memphis||Memphis||at Mississippi State||Mississippi State||Utah State|
|at Akron||NC State||at South Carolina||at Western Kentucky||at Kansas State||at Clemson||at Utah State|
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- [dead link]
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