TROY, Ala. – Long time Alabama coaching veteran Al Pogue has been hired to coach the Troy cornerbacks, head coach Larry Blakeney announced Thursday. Pogue has spent the last 16 years working in the state, including the last three years at Auburn.
“I’ve known Al for nearly 10 years and the main thing I like about him is that he’s been at some good places, but he’s been a high school head coach at three different schools,” Blakeney said. “(Auburn head coach) Gus (Malzahn) had nothing but high praise for him. Al is well thought of by many people for his character and his ability to coach football.
“I’m excited about Al joining our staff and I’m ready for him to get on the road and start recruiting,” Blakeney said. “He knows a lot of the high school coaches in this state from his time coaching and from his time at Auburn last year where he was in charge of high school relations – you don’t put someone in that position unless he has certain capabilities in that regard.”
Pogue most recently served as Auburn’s Director of High School Relations after working on the field as a quality control assistant the previous two years. Prior to arriving at Auburn, Pogue spent 13 years as a high school coach in the state of Alabama.
“I’m really excited to have this opportunity to work for Coach Blakeney and Troy University,” Pogue said. “I am really thankful to Coach Malzahn and his staff for giving me the opportunity to work at Auburn the past three years. It’s a new chapter in my life and I’m looking forward to it. I’m really excited to have my own position and be in control of my own room. That’s why I got into coaching, to use my influence in a positive manner.”
Pogue, who spent 12 of his 13 years coaching in the high school ranks in Montgomery, Ala., was the head coach at Carver High School from 2008-10 where he produced the program's first-ever undefeated regular season in 2008. He was the head coach at St. Jude High School from 2006-07 after serving as the defensive coordinator for Sidney Lanier High School (2003-05).
“It’s going to help me a lot and I’m definitely going to be able to use it to my advantage,” Pogue said of his high school coaching experience when it comes to recruiting. “I’ve made some great relationships along the way. Also, as the high school relations guy at Auburn I was able to establish some relationships in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and many other states. I’m looking forward to use that to my advantage.”
Pogue's first head coaching position was at Calhoun High School in Lowndes County in 2002. He began his career coaching defensive backs at Lee High School (1998-01).
At Auburn in 2011, Pogue served as an offensive quality control assistant under Malzahn, who was the offensive coordinator at the time. In 2012, Pogue worked as a special teams quality control assistant for the Tigers.
As a college football player at Alabama State from 1993-96, Pogue was a three-year starter at defensive back, earning All-America and All-SWAC honors at free safety; he began his career as a cornerback for the Hornets.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Pogue earned a bachelor's degree in special education from Alabama State in 1998. He and his wife Nikita, who also attended Alabama State, have two children, Allison (18) and Nasir (10).