The Athletic

Michigan Poggi hired as Charlotte head coach

Michigan football associate head coach Biff Poggi will join the Charlotte 49ers as head coach after this season, Charlotte announced Tuesday.

Poggi was an associate head coach at Michigan for two seasons. As detailed by Athleticism in November, Poggi played a vital role in Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines’ comeback 2021 season, which included a college football playoff bid. But the 62-year-old’s resume goes much further.

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Poggi was a high school superpower. The Baltimore local led his alma mater Gilman High School to 13 state titles in 19 years. He left in 2016 to spend a year in Michigan before returning to the high school ranks as the head coach of St. Frances Academy, a program he personally funded while coaching at Gilman. Poggi put St. Frances on the national recruiting map and produced products like Michigan running back Blake Corum. He also coached for a year at Brown, Temple and The Citadel early in his career.

“Joining the Charlotte 49ers is an incredible opportunity,” Poggi said in a statement. “We can build a championship program in Charlotte, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Harbaugh and Nick Saban were also quoted in the statement, expressing their approval of the hire.

“Congratulations to Mike Hill and the Charlotte 49ers on a great hire. Biff Poggi will generate excitement and success for the program. Players will love playing for him and coaches will love working with him. Get ready to win!” Saban’s statement said.


Charlotte fired former coach Will Healy on October 23 after a four-game losing streak and a 1-7 1-7 start to the season. He was 0-4 against Conference USA opponents this year.

The 49ers’ only win this season under Healy came in a stunning fourth-quarter comeback win over Georgia State in Week 4. Chris Reynolds threw a game-winning 2-yard touchdown pass to Grant DuBose with 17 seconds left for victory.

In more than three seasons with Charlotte, Healy has gone 15-24, with his only winning campaign (7-6) coming in 2019. That season set school records for most wins, most wins in the Conference USA (five) and most home wins (five). ) while winning a bid for the program’s first bowling game. The 49ers’ exciting season ended with a loss to Buffalo in the Bahamas Bowl.

Under interim head coach Pete Rossomando, the 49ers defeated Rice and lost to WKU and Middle Tennessee. Charlotte is heading to the American Athletic Conference next year.

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What this means for Charlotte

Poggi will be just the third coach in Charlotte’s revived short history, and the program has only had one winning season since he started playing in 2013. His first priority must be defense, which is currently ranking ranked 130th nationally out of 131 teams in scoring, allowing 41.1 points per game. This defense also ranked 114th in points last year. He will also need a new starting quarterback, as five-year-old starter Chris Reynolds is set to graduate.

The 49ers program will transition to the American Athletic Conference next season, bringing increased competition and a conference full of teams with more resources. This program has a lot of potential, located in a big city and area with good high school football, and it has a nice stadium on campus, but that’s just potential right now. The team is still behind in many infrastructure areas such as personnel and equipment. The good news is that there is a fan base and the 49ers have good crowds when they win. It will be up to Poggi to reach that potential. – Vanini

(Photo: David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated via Getty)

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