The Charlotte 49ers welcomed its third head football coach, Biff Poggi, to Niner Nation in a press conference Monday morning at Jerry Richardson Stadium.
“My number one job is to love (the players),” Poggi said to the crowd. “Their job is to love each other. That’s how we’re going to build our culture – through authentic relationships. We are going to start telling each other the truth all the time. We’re going to build our culture on that. When you do that you have a team and a team is simply this, it is a series of authentic relationships where the members have a common goal.”
The Associate Head Coach at Michigan, Poggi has been instrumental in the Wolverines success over the last two seasons, which includes a 2021 Big Ten Championship, a berth in the 2021 College Football Playoffs and an unbeaten 11-0 start and top four national ranking this season.
ALL THE BOXES
“The first thing that was most important to us was that we find someone who was a great leader of young men,” said 49ers’ Director of Athletics Mike Hill, “someone who is a person of high character and understands what it takes to lead young men during this important part of their lives. Second, we wanted to identify someone who is a great recruiter and developer of talent – coach Poggi has done that throughout his entire career. Someone who has demonstrated a consistent level of competitive excellence across the course of his career. Lastly, someone who has the executive skills to understand how to build and run a football organization. It requires someone who understands what it takes to build the right culture. Biff checked all of those boxes.”
SNIPPET OF HIS STORY
Poggi is in his third season with the Wolverines and his second as associate head coach alongside head coach Jim Harbaugh. He was previously on Michigan’s staff as the Wolverines advanced to the 2016 Orange Bowl. Prior to his tenure at Michigan, Poggi founded and led the football program at Saint Frances Academy, a private high school in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, to national prominence.
Poggi grew up in Baltimore and served on the board of Saint Frances Academy. He achieved great success as a hedge fund manager and chose to invest a significant amount of personal money into Saint Frances, including funding 65 scholarships. Under his leadership, Saint Frances became a national power, able to land scholarship opportunities for its student-athletes with programs such as Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan and others. The story was recently captured in the HBO documentary “The Cost of Winning”.
Prior to building Saint Frances Academy, Poggi led his high school alma mater, Gilman School, to thirteen Maryland state titles in nineteen seasons. Poggi played collegiate football at the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University, with coaching stops at Brown, Temple and The Citadel.
“We are here to introduce a new leader to our Niner family – one who can take our program to the next level,” said Chancellor Sharon Gaber. “We are a university that is continuing to rise. The move to the American (Athletic Conference) illustrates this. Our ability to compete with class and distinction in football sets the bar for our athletics program and has an incredible impact on the quality of campus life. I believe we found someone who shares our values both on and off the field. I think you’ll find his story as exceptional as we have.”
“I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity. It took guts – it’s a little bit outside the box. I am so excited. We can’t wait to get started,” Poggi added. “Our common goal is to be really good people. We’re going to be great students. We’re going to treat people great on this campus. We are going to have very high character. We are going to learn to work really hard and we’re going to do the little things. If you do the little things, the big things take care of themselves.”