Charlotte hires Michigan’s Poggi as head football coach

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte 49ers have named Michigan associate head coach Francis “Biff” Poggi as their head football coach.

Poggi is set to replace Will Healy, who was fired earlier this season. Pete Rossomando has been serving as the interim coach and will finish out the season.

Poggi inherits a team that has struggled in 2022, going 2-9 entering the season finale Saturday against Louisiana Tech. He will begin coaching the 49ers next season, but his duties with the school will begin following next week’s introductory news conference.

Poggi is Charlotte’s third head football coach since the school’s FBS football program started in 2015.

He helped Michigan to the 2021 Big Ten championship and a berth in the College Football Playoffs. This season, Michigan is 10-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country.

“We are extremely fortunate to welcome Biff Poggi as our head football coach,” Charlotte director of athletics Mike Hill said in a release. “He is a transformational leader and has a sterling reputation as a coach, having had phenomenal success at the highest levels of college and high school football.”

Prior to joining the Wolverines, Poggi led the high school football program at Saint Frances Academy in his hometown of Baltimore to national prominence. Several of his players landed scholarships with powerhouse schools such as Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Michigan.

“Biff has been a tremendous asset to our program, providing support and mentorship to our coaching staff and players,” Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “He has a great football mind, knows how to prepare a team during the week and on game day, and is a coach that aims to change the lives of his players in a positive way. Biff is a trusted agent and known friend, and I know that his leadership and ability to develop a team-first culture will be a huge asset to the Charlotte 49ers.”

Poggi called joining the 49ers an incredible opportunity and said this is a “full circle” moment for him.

“This is a chance to pay forward the wonderful opportunities that were given to me as a young man,” Poggi said. “We can build a championship program at Charlotte, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”