TROY, Ala. – A 35-year coaching veteran, Wayne Bolt has been named Troy University’s defensive coordinator, head coach Larry Blakeney announced Wednesday. Bolt returns to Troy following a career that includes stops at Auburn, Clemson, Iowa State and UAB.
“Wayne is a premier guy for us,” Blakeney said. “He was the first guy I hired when I got the job at Troy, and he is a darn good football coach. I trust Wayne explicitly and he has played critical roles on some very good coaching staffs at Auburn, Clemson and Iowa State.”
“I am looking forward to joining the Trojan Family again,” Bolt said. “My wife Linda and I made a lot of great friends, including Larry Blakeney and (Troy Chancellor) Dr. (Jack) Hawkins, during our first 12 years in Troy. We had a lot of good times and won a lot of ball games the first time around, and I am looking forward to carrying the Troy tradition to the next level.
“Every day has been a learning experience for me and I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some great coaches including Gene Chizik, Ted Roof and Brian VanGorder. I am looking forward to getting back on the field and working hand-in-hand with the players.”
Bolt, who most recently served as the director of football relations at Auburn under Chizik, will replace Jeremy Rowell as Troy’s defensive coordinator. Rowell has been presented with the opportunity to stay with the Troy Athletics Department in a football operations role.
“I am very proud of Jeremy. He is a good football coach, a great man and one of the best players we’ve ever had at Troy,” Blakeney said. “Jeremy has done a lot for Troy University over his 20-plus years here.”
Bolt joined Chizik at Iowa State in 2007 where he coached the Cyclone linebackers for two seasons. He then moved with Chizik to Auburn prior to the 2009 season where he was part of the Tigers’ 2010 BCS NationalChampionship team.
Bolt’s resume includes more than 20 former players who have gone on to play in the NFL including Troy’s own DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora. Bolt’s initial tenure with the Trojans ran from 1991 to 2002; he coached the Troy offensive line his first six seasons before taking over as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach in 1997.
Bolt’s defenses dominated during Troy’s years in the Southland Conference and as a FBS Independent. His 2002 unit finished the year fourth in the nation in total defense (276.8) and 13th against the run (105.3).
In Troy's 67 games with Bolt as defensive coordinator, the Trojans allowed less than 110 yards rushing per game and just over 290 yards of total offense per contest. Under Bolt`s guidance, Troy dominated the Southland Conference each year from 1997-2000. During that time, his units either ranked first or second in the SLC in scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense.
“No question, being an old offensive lineman under Coach (Pat) Dye and then coaching the offensive line has helped me as a defensive coach,” Bolt said. “I learned a lot on the fly when I switched sides of the ball, but knowing what offenses are trying to do has really helped me understand how to attack them. However, it comes down to having the correct personnel and being around people you like to work with.”
Bolt was an All-American offensive lineman at East Carolina where he played under the legendary Pat Dye. Bolt then coached on Dye’s staff at Wyoming and at Auburn, where the Tigers played in the Sugar and Cotton Bowls among four bowl appearances and won a SEC title. Under head coach Danny Ford at Clemson, Bolt was a part of teams that won three Atlantic Coast Conference titles and played in four bowl games.
Bolt served as the defensive coordinator at UAB from 2003 to 2005 and coached the Blazers to their only bowl appearance in school history, the 2004 Hawaii Bowl.