Brown Announces The Addition Of Pogue To WVU Coaching Staff
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia University football coach Neal Brown has announced that Al Pogue will join the Mountaineer coaching staff as an assistant coach on the defensive side. Brown will announce staff assignments at a later time.
“Al was a valuable member of our defensive staff during our time at Troy, and I am excited that he and his family will be part of Mountaineer Football,” Brown said. “Our defensive goals are to force interceptions and get takeaways. At Troy, his players were opportunistic and helped us achieve our goals there.”
Pogue (pronounced ‘poag’) comes with Brown and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning after serving as the cornerbacks coach at Troy. He has served as the cornerbacks coach with Brown and Koenning since 2015 and has been at Troy since 2014.
“West Virginia has a storied history in college football,” Pogue said. “My family and I are excited to come to West Virginia University with Coach Neal Brown and become part of the Mountaineer Football family. I look forward to being part of Coach Brown’s vision and purpose of molding the lives of these young men on and off the field. I can’t wait to get started. It’s going to be fun. Let’s go Mountaineers!”
From 2016-18, Troy’s defense allowed 20.8 points per game, ranking No. 4 nationally among non-power 5 schools. From 2015-18, the Trojans were No. 2 nationally among FBS schools in takeaways (106) and tied for No. 7 nationally with 63 interceptions. One of Pogue’s defensive backs, Blace Brown registered 12 interceptions over the last three years, tying for No. 3 nationally for active career interceptions.
In 2018, Troy’s defense gave up 22.0 points per game, ranking No. 28 nationally and 347.9 yards per game, ranking No. 31 in the nation. The Trojan defense was No. 3 nationally in turnovers gained (31), No. 5 in interceptions (18) and fumbles recovered (13), No. 11 in turnover margin (0.77), No. 16 in tackles for loss (7.6), No. 21 in red zone defense and tied for No. 28 in first-down defense (240).
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.
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).
While Pogue was with the Tigers, Auburn played in the 2013 BCS National Championship game, won the 2013 SEC Championship and defeated Virginia in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
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.