NEW COACH: Michigan associate head coach Francis “Biff” Poggi hired as Charlotte 49ers head football coach
By Richard Walker
The Charlotte 49ers have a new head football coach.
The school announced Tuesday afternoon that University of Michigan associate head coach Francis “Biff” Poggi has agreed to become the school’s fourth football and third fulltime hire.
Poggi, pronounced POE-jee, is currently in his third season with the unbeaten Wolverines and is considered a key part of head coach Jim Harbaugh’s coaching staff. Michigan is currently 10-0 overall and ranked No. 3 in the country in the Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association polls.
Poggi, who is slated to be officially introduced as head coach next week, will remain with Michigan until the end of its current season, according to The Athletic.
“We are extremely fortunate to welcome Biff Poggi as our head football coach,” Charlotte Director of Athletics Mike Hill said in a school news 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. But he is much more than that. He has demonstrated it by pouring himself into young men and communities, and the results have been spectacular. We are thrilled to have Biff and his wife, Amy, join Niner Nation and the Charlotte community.”
Poggi also was on the Michigan staff for its 2016 Orange Bowl team.
Prior to coming to Michigan, Poggi founded and coached the football program at Saint Frances Academy, a private high school in his hometown of Baltimore, Md.
Poggi, who achieved great success as a hedge fund manager, invested his personal money into the Saint Frances program, including the funding for 65 scholarships. Under his leadership, Saint Frances became a national power and sent its players to such national powers as Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan and others. The story of the Saint Frances program was recently captured in the HBO documentary “The Cost of Winning”.
“Biff is a unique leader who shares our vision for success for our football program and University as we join the American Athletic Conference,” Charlotte Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber said in a news release. “Most importantly, he shares our values for ensuring a Gold Standard experience for our student-athletes both on and off the field.”
Before building the program at Saint Frances, Poggi coached his high school alma mater Gilman School to 13 Maryland state titles in 19 seasons.
Poggi, 62, played collegiately at Pittsburgh and Duke and also coached at Brown, Temple and The Citadel.
“Joining the Charlotte 49ers is an incredible opportunity,” Poggi said in a Charlotte news release. “The great momentum created by the leadership of this University and its athletics program gives us every opportunity to build a successful pathway for so many young men in our region. For me, this is a full circle moment, a chance to pay forward the wonderful opportunities that were given to me as a young man. We can build a championship program at Charlotte, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Charlotte enters its 2022 season finale on Saturday with interim coach Phil Rossomando at home against Louisiana Tech at 3:30 p.m. The 49ers are 2-9 overall and 1-6 in Conference USA in a season in which fourth-year head coach Will Healy was fired one day after a 34-15 homecoming to Florida International on Oct. 22. Healy guided Charlotte to a 15-24 record and the school’s lone postseason bowl game in 2019.
Brad Lambert, now defensive coordinator at Wake Forest, was the 49ers’ first head coach and he guided Charlotte to a 22-48 record in six seasons as head coach from 2013 to 2018.