Al Pogue named defensive assistant coach at Auburn


AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) —Former Auburn football staff member Al Pogue has been named a defensive assistant coach, Gus Malzahn announced Friday. Pogue spent the past season as outside linebackers coach at West Virginia after five seasons coaching cornerbacks at Troy.

Prior to Troy, Pogue spent three years at Auburn as the offensive quality control coach (2011), special teams quality control coach (2012) and director of high school relations (2013).

“I’m so excited to be returning to Auburn. It’s a homecoming of sorts for me,” Pogue said. “Auburn is the school that gave me my first collegiate job in this great profession and I can’t thank Coach Malzahn enough for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, doing whatever I can to help this program continue to achieve greatness.”

While Pogue was with the Tigers, Auburn played in the 2013 BCS National Championship game, won the 2013 SEC Championship, and won the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl.

“We’re very excited to bring Al back to Auburn. He has been a very successful coach on and off the field during his career, “Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn said. “He has spent a lot of time coaching in the state of Alabama and has great ties and is well respected. Al is a great fit with our staff and will bring tremendous value as a coach and a recruiter.”

During a three-year window from 2016-18, Pogue helped a Troy defense allow 20.8 points per game, ranking No. 4 nationally among non-power 5 schools. During his four years, the Trojans were No. 2 nationally among FBS schools in takeaways (106) and tied for No. 7 nationally with 63 interceptions.

In 2018, Troy’s defense gave up 22.0 points per game, ranking No. 28 nationally and was No. 3 nationally in turnovers gained (31), No. 5 in interceptions (18) and fumbles recovered (13), and No. 11 in turnover margin (0.77). Troy also led the Sun Belt Conference in sacks, interceptions, turnovers, red zone defense and was No. 2 in rushing defense, total defense and No. 3 in scoring defense.

The Trojans led the nation in red zone defense in 2017 as the Trojans set a school record for wins, won the Sun Belt Championship and ended LSU’s 49-game non-conference home winning streak. Troy was No. 3 in tackles for loss (8.6), No. 7 in sacks (3.23) and rushing defense (105.7). The Trojans were No. 15 nationally in interceptions (17), No. 16 in turnovers gained (26) and No. 26 in turnover margin (0.54).

The 2016 Trojans posted a 10-3 record and earned a victory in the Dollar General Bowl, the first top-25 ranking in school and conference history and tied for the best win-improvement in the country.

Troy finished No. 2 nationally in passes intercepted, No. 4 in turnovers forced, No. 9 in passes defended per game (5.9), No. 17 in rushing defense, No. 21 in scoring defense (22.1) and No. 28 in third-down defense.

The 2015 defense finished with the No. 2-best turnaround nationally in opponent third-down percentage, No. 4-best turnaround in yards per play allowed, No. 5-best improvement in tackles for loss and No. 16-best improvement in total defense.

Troy scored five defensive touchdowns, third-most in the country and most by a Trojan team since 2004 and finished No. 5 in the nation with 13 fumble recoveries. Troy forced 16 turnovers over the final six games of the season after registering just three in the first six games.

In 2014, the Trojans finished with 11 interceptions, most by a Troy team since 2010 and improved its pass defense by 105.7 yards per game from the previous season.

Pogue spent six years as a high school head coach at Carver High School in Montgomery, Alabama, from 2008-10, St. Jude High School in Montgomery from 2006-07 and at Calhoun High School in Montgomery in 2002. He oversaw Carver’s first undefeated season in 2008.

Pogue was a three-year starter as a safety and cornerback at Alabama State from 1993-96, earning All-America and All-SWAC honors at free safety.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Pogue earned his bachelor’s degree in special education from Alabama State in 1998. He, and his wife, Nikita, also a graduate from Alabama State, have two children, Allison and Nasir.


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