Click here to Skip to main content
Troy University - Football
Troy University - Football

DEFENSIVE COACHING STAFF


Vic Koenning
Defensive Coordinator / Safeties

The architect of the some of the nation’s best defenses over the past decade, Vic Koenning returns for his fourth overall season with the Trojans and second during his current stint. Koenning previously served as Troy’s defensive coordinator from 2003-04.

His first season back at Troy produced one of the top defensive turnarounds in the country.

The Trojans finished the 2015 season with the second-best turnaround nationally in opponent 3rd-down percentage (14.62 percent), the fourth-best turnaround in yards per play allowed (-1.13), the fifth-best improvement in tackles for loss per game (2.59) and 16th-best improvement in total defense (-62.7).

Troy held opponents to 391.2 yards per game, an improved of 62.8 yards from the previous season and the first time under 400 yards since the 2008 season.

Troy scored five defensive touchdowns, the third most in the country and most by a Troy team since 2004, and finished fifth in the country with 13 fumble recoveries. The Trojans forced 16 turnover over the final six games of the season after just three in the first six games.

Bandit Tyler Roberts earned first team All-Sun Belt honors and finished sixth nationally with 1.55 tackles for loss per game, while ranking 41st nationally with 0.64 sacks per game.  Linebacker William Lloyd debuted with 15 tackles in the opener at NC State; the most ever by a Troy player in his debut.

Koenning returned to Troy after spending the past three seasons as the assistant head coach for defense at North Carolina. The 28-year coaching veteran also coached safeties and inside linebackers during his tenure in Chapel Hill.
Following a dominating run at Troy that led to the school’s first bowl appearance, Koenning produced four top-16 defenses at Clemson from 2005 to 2008 and orchestrated a pair of extreme turnarounds at Kansas State and Illinois. While at Clemson, he accomplished something no other Tiger defensive coordinator had achieved in the school’s history as each of his four defenses finished in the top 25 in scoring, total defense and pass efficiency defense.
 
Troy’s Koenning-led defense finished the 2004 season ranked sixth nationally in pass efficiency (100.6), eighth in rushing (100.9), 10th in scoring (16.7) and 16th in total defense (311.0). In the second game of the year, the Trojans defeated No. 19 Missouri as Koenning’s defense pitched a shutout over the game’s final 52 minutes.
 
He left Troy in 2005 to become the defensive coordinator at Clemson and had immediate success as the Tigers finished 11th in the nation in scoring defense (17.6) in his first season. Clemson went on to defeat Colorado 19-10 in the Champs Sports Bowl to cap an 8-4 season.
 
Koenning developed several Clemson players who went on to play in the NFL. In 2006, cornerback Tye Hill was a first round pick, while defensive end Gaines Adams was the No. 4 overall selection in 2007. Defensive end Phillip Merling was the No. 32 overall selection of the 2008 draft by Miami.
 
The 2007 defensive performance might have been the best of his tenure at Clemson. The Tigers had just one player make first or second team All-ACC despite leading the ACC in pass defense and turnover margin, and finishing second in total and scoring defense. Clemson was ninth in the nation in total defense (307.0) and 10th in scoring defense (18.7).
 
In 2008, Clemson’s defense led the ACC in scoring defense and ranked ninth in the nation by allowing just 16.6 points per game. The unit also was 12th in the nation in pass defense, 11th in pass efficiency defense, tied for eighth in interceptions and 16th in total defense.
 
Koenning left Clemson and spent one season at Kansas State under Bill Snyder and two seasons at Illinois under Ron Zook. He improved the Illini defense from 91st in the country in 2009 to 38th in 2010 and seventh in 2011. Illinois gave up just 291.8 yards per game and ranked fourth in the nation in pass defense, fifth in tackles for loss and ninth in sacks. Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus led the nation in sacks and was second in tackles for loss. Koenning led Illinois to a 2011 win over UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl as the team’s interim head coach.
 
Koenning’s first season with the Illini was an unquestioned success as he improved Illinois’ defense from 76th in the country in rushing defense to 32nd, 96th to 48th in scoring defense, 100th to 61st in passing defense and 83rd to 22nd in turnover margin while serving as defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
 
He helped Kansas State improve from 112th in the NCAA in rushing defense in 2008 to 16th in 2009, total defense from 117th to 40th and scoring defense from 110th to 48th. Kansas State allowed 140 yards fewer in 2009 than in 2008 and 12 points per game less than the previous year.
 
In 2013, North Carolina improved dramatically over the second half of the season, securing wins in six of its last seven contests. In five of those games, North Carolina held its opponents to less than 20 points, including the 39-17 win over Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl.
 
In 2012, North Carolina finished third in the nation in tackles for loss with more than eight per game. Koenning’s pupil, middle linebacker Kevin Reddick, led the ACC and was 12th in the country with 18.5 tackles for loss. Reddick also had 85 tackles, 6.5 sacks and forced two fumbles en route to first team All-ACC honors.
 
Prior to his first stint at Troy, Koenning was the head coach at Wyoming from 2000-02 after three years as defensive coordinator. In 1997, Wyoming led the nation in interceptions and was second in sacks.
 
Koenning served as a full-time assistant coach working with the defensive backs at Memphis from 1991-96. His second season there saw the defense finish third in the nation in total defense and 15th in scoring defense. In 1994, the Tigers were third in the nation in total defense and eighth in scoring defense. His final year at Memphis was highlighted by a 21-17 upset of No. 6 Tennessee.
 
A three-year starter, team captain and 1983 graduate at Kansas State, Koenning was the recipient of the Paul Coffman Award, presented to the Wildcat who displays the most outstanding leadership.
 
Koenning and his wife Tracey have four children, Kimberly, Brady, Camden and Jackson.

Jon Sumrall
Assistant Head Coach / Linebackers / Special Teams Coordinator


Jon Sumrall begins his second season as the assistant head coach at Troy University. Sumrall works with Troy’s linebackers and will serve as the special teams coordinator beginning with the 2016 season.

In his first season, the Trojans finished the year with the second-best turnaround nationally in opponent 3rd-down percentage (14.62 percent), the fourth-best turnaround in yards per play allowed (-1.13), the fifth-best improvement in tackles for loss per game (2.59) and 16th-best improvement in total defense (-62.7).

Troy held opponents to 391.2 yards per game, an improved of 62.8 yards from the previous season and the first time under 400 yards since the 2008 season.

Troy scored five defensive touchdowns, the third most in the country and most by a Troy team since 2004, and finished fifth in the country with 13 fumble recoveries. The Trojans forced 16 turnover over the final six games of the season after just three in the first six games.

Linebacker William Lloyd debuted with 15 tackles in the opener at NC State; the most ever by a Troy player in his debut. Lloyd would go on to be named to the Sun Belt Conference All-Newcomer Team.

Sumrall joined the Troy staff after spending the previous three seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at Tulane.

Sumrall’s defense was a crucial part of Tulane’s run to the New Orleans Bowl in 2013 as the Green Wave finished second in the nation with 35 forced turnovers. It was Tulane’s first bowl game since 2002 and just its third since 1988. Tulane finished fourth nationally with 16 fumble recoveries and sixth with 19 interceptions that year.

In addition to ranking among the nation’s best in forcing turnovers, Sumrall’s 2013 defense finished 22nd nationally in total defense (352.1), 13th in sacks per game (2.92) and 11th in red zone defense (73.5 percent). That season he was named a finalist for FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year along with coaches from Michigan State, Stanford and Missouri.

Sumrall coached the defensive line during his first two seasons at Tulane before coaching the linebackers in 2014.

Sumrall’s defensive line had a fantastic year in 2013, as Julius Warmsley earned first team All C-USA honors after leading the team with 18.5 tackles for loss. In his first season at Tulane, Sumrall’s defensive line accounted for 27.5 tackles for loss, including 13.5 sacks, recorded 11 quarterback hurries, forced four fumbles and recovered two.

Prior to his arrival at Tulane, Sumrall spent five seasons in various positions at the University of San Diego, including as the defensive coordinator during his final two seasons. He spent his first three seasons as the defensive line coach, recruiting coordinator and camp coordinator before assuming the defensive coordinator and linebackers coaching role in 2010. During his final season with the Toreros, Sumrall was promoted to assistant head coach.

In 2011, the Toreros chalked up a 9-2 campaign including a 7-1 conference mark. The squad ranked 15th nationally in run defense (113 ypg), 13th in pass efficiency defense, fourth in sacks (3.64 spg), and 16th in third-down defense (32.2 percent).

The San Diego defense had numerous players receive accolades. Defensive end Blake Oliaro was named Pioneer Football League (PFL) Defensive Player of the Year, Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) second team All-American and first team all-conference.

In Sumrall’s first season as defensive coordinator in 2010, the defense ranked first in scoring defense (16.1 ppg), total defense (265 ypg), run defense (67.1 ypg), and third-down defense (31.7 percent) in league play, and was also ranked second in pass defense (197.9 ypg).

Following the 2010 season, defensive end Mario Kurn was named a Ted Hendricks Award finalist, Buck Buchanan Award Finalist, first team All-American by Phil Steele and The Sports Network, second team All-American by the Associated Press and first team all-conference.

In 2007 Sumrall coached defensive end Eric Bakhtiari, who was a 2007 Walter Camp first team All-American and an Associated Press first team All-American. Bakhtiari also earned honors as a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award and as the PFL Defensive Player of the Year. Bakthiari finished the season with 76 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss and an FCS-best 20 sacks.

Sumrall spent two seasons (2005-06) serving as the defensive graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky. In 2006, Kentucky recorded an 8-5 record and finished the season with a victory over Clemson in the Music City Bowl. While at Kentucky, he worked with the linebackers and the secondary.

As a collegiate player, Sumrall was a three-year letterman at middle linebacker for Kentucky from 2002-04. He started every game as a senior and led the Wildcats with 72 tackles. Sumrall was a two time all-state performer and a four-year letterman at Grissom (Ala.) High School.

A native of Huntsville, Ala., Sumrall completed his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2005 and has completed coursework on a master’s degree in sports leadership. While in college he was a member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll and was selected for the Frank G. Ham Society of Character by Kentucky Athletics.

Sumrall is married to the former Ginny Nixon of Huntsville, and the couple has two-year-old twins, Samuel George and Sadie Gayle, and welcomed a new baby, Stella, born June 16, 2016.


Al Pogue
Cornerbacks / Recruiting Coordinator


Longtime Alabama coaching veteran Al Pogue begins his third season coaching the Troy cornerbacks. Pogue has spent his entire 18-year career working in the state of Alabama, including three years at Auburn prior to joining the Troy staff.

The Troy secondary has been among the best in the country during his two seasons coaching the cornerbacks. The Trojans ranked 29th nationally against the pass in 2015 and 36th in 2014; the season prior to Pogue’s arrival Troy ranked 123rd nationally. The Trojans have improved their pass defense by 113.6 yards per game over his two seasons on staff.

Overall, Troy’s defense finished the 2015 season with the second-best turnaround nationally in opponent 3rd-down percentage (14.62 percent), the fourth-best turnaround in yards per play allowed (-1.13), the fifth-best improvement in tackles for loss per game (2.59) and 16th-best improvement in total defense (-62.7).

Troy scored five defensive touchdowns, the third most in the country and most by a Troy team since 2004, and finished fifth in the country with 13 fumble recoveries. The Trojans forced 16 turnover over the final six games of the season after just three in the first six games.

During Pogue’s first season at Troy, the Trojans improved their pass defense by 105.7 yards per game from the previous season. Troy finished the 2014 season with 11 interceptions, which was the most by a Troy team since 2010.

Prior to coming to Troy, Pogue served as Auburn’s Director of High School Relations after working on the field as a quality control assistant the previous two years. Prior to arriving at Auburn, Pogue spent 13 years as a high school coach in the state of Alabama.

At Auburn in 2011, Pogue served as an offensive quality control assistant under Gus Malzahn, who was the offensive coordinator at the time. In 2012, Pogue worked as a special teams quality control assistant for the Tigers.

During his tenure at Auburn, the Tigers played in the 2013 BCS National Championship game against Florida State, defeated Missouri in the 2013 SEC Championship Game and defeated Virginia in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Pogue, who spent 12 of his 13 years coaching in the high school ranks in Montgomery, Ala., was the head coach at Carver High School from 2008-10 where he produced the program’s first-ever undefeated regular season in 2008. He was the head coach at St. Jude High School from 2006-07 after serving as the defensive coordinator for Sidney Lanier High School (2003-05).

Pogue’s first head coaching position was at Calhoun High School in Lowndes County in 2002. He began his career coaching defensive backs at Lee High School (1998-01).

As a college football player at Alabama State from 1993-96, Pogue was a three-year starter at defensive back, earning All-America and All-SWAC honors at free safety; he began his career as a cornerback for the Hornets.

A native of Mobile, Ala., Pogue earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from Alabama State in 1998. He and his wife Nikita, who also attended Alabama State, have two children, Allison (20) and Nasir (12).


Bam Hardmon
Defensive Line


Byron ‘Bam’ Hardmon, an All-SEC linebacker and three-year NFL veteran, begins his second season as Troy’s defensive line coach. In his first season, Hardmon helped transform the Troy defense into one of the top units in the Sun Belt Conference and the country.

The Trojans finished the 2015 season with the second-best turnaround nationally in opponent 3rd-down percentage (14.62 percent), the fourth-best turnaround in yards per play allowed (-1.13), the fifth-best improvement in tackles for loss per game (2.59) and 16th-best improvement in total defense (-62.7).

Troy scored five defensive touchdowns, the third most in the country and most by a Troy team since 2004, and finished fifth in the country with 13 fumble recoveries. The Trojans forced 16 turnover over the final six games of the season after just three in the first six games.

Bandit Tyler Roberts earned first team All-Sun Belt honors and finished sixth nationally with 1.55 tackles for loss per game, while ranking 41st nationally with 0.64 sacks per game.

Hardmon joined the Troy staff after two seasons as the defensive line coach at Idaho. While with the Vandals, Hardmon helped transform defensive tackle Quayshawne Buckley into a force behind the line of scrimmage. In 2014, Buckley ranked 17th nationally with 1.4 tackles for loss per game after checking in at 25th in the country following the 2013 season.

The native of Jacksonville, Fla., was a four-year letterwinner as a linebacker at Florida and was the team’s captain in 2002 as a senior. During that season, Hardmon was named second team All-SEC and helped lead the Gators to the Outback Bowl. Hardmon not only excelled on the field but also off it as well. He was a three-time Academic All-SEC honoree and won the Betty Capaldi GPA Award. He ranked second in the SEC and fourth in the nation in tackles and set a Florida single-season tackle record. Hardmon also won Florida’s coveted Ferguson Leadership award in 2002.

Hardmon spent the 2003-06 seasons on three NFL rosters: the Miami Dolphins (2003), the Seattle Seahawks (2004) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2005). He also played three seasons in NFL Europe, winning a World Bowl title in 2007 with Hamburg.

Hardmon returned to football in 2009 after two years in the private business sector. He worked as the co-owner of S & S Trucking in Jacksonville, Fla., while also establishing a very successful real estate career.

He spent three seasons (2009-11) as a graduate assistant at Illinois, including the final two years under Vic Koenning, who is Troy’s defensive coordinator.

In 2011, Hardmon helped tutor a defensive line that broke the school record with 41 sacks and ranked fourth nationally in tackles for loss (7.9 per game) and sixth nationally in sacks (3.2 per game). Defensive end Whitney Mercilus had a breakout year, earning consensus first team All-America honors after leading the nation in sacks (16.0) and forced fumbles (9). Mercilus was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.

Hardmon helped guide a budding star in 2010 in defensive tackle Corey Liuget, who was a first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Liuget and Akeem Spence combined for 108 tackles, the most by a pair of Illini defensive tackles since 1993, and Phil Steele and Rivals.com named Spence a Freshman All-American.

Prior to his stint at Idaho, Hardmon served as the special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Charleston Southern. Hardmon helped transform the Buccaneers from an 0-11 team to the prior year to a 5-6 squad.

Hardmon graduated from the University of Florida in 2003 with a degree in sociology and earned his master’s degree in organizational leadership from the University of Illinois in 2011. He is married to the former Danerica Wright and the couple has one son, Bryson (2).


Jordan Lesley
Defense Tackles


Former Trojan standout Jordan Lesley begins his first season as an assistant coach at Troy following three seasons as the defensive coordinator at East Mississippi Community College.
 
To say that Lesley’s defenses at East Mississippi were dominant would be an understatement as the Lions won a pair of NJCAA National Championships during his tenure and twice held opponents to under 10 points per game over the course of a season.
 
Over his three years as defensive coordinator, East Mississippi allowed an average of just 10.3 points and 232.1 yards per game as the Lions posted a combined 32-1 record with national titles in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the Lions tallied 149 quarterback sacks and 57 interceptions in his three seasons.  
 
In his first season at East Mississippi, the Lions recorded an NJCAA-best 67 sacks and finished second nationally with 30 interceptions and by allowing just 9.8 points per game. The 2013 squad held opponents to just 144.3 passing yards and 74.2 rushing yards per game, while scoring eight touchdowns as a defensive unit.
 
In 2014, East Mississippi’s defensive unit topped the NJCAA by allowing an average of only 7.6 points per game and ranked third with 58 sacks and 21 interceptions. The Lions posted five shutouts for the second consecutive year and went the entire nine-game regular season without allowing a rushing touchdown.
 
East Mississippi held opponents to just 58.5 rushing yards and 139.6 passing yards, while scoring 10 defensive touchdowns. Even more impressive, the Lions recorded 133 tackles for loss (11.1 per game), 58 sacks (4.8 per game), 21 interceptions (1.8 per game), and 14 forced fumbles.
 
The top three tacklers from that team – William Lloyd, Justin Lucas and Demetrius Cain – signed with Troy prior to the 2015 season and all played key roles in the Trojans impressive defensive turnaround in their first season with the Trojans.
 
In his final season at East Mississippi, the Lions held opponents to just 295.6 yards and 14.8 points per game. In nine games, East Mississippi allowed just five rushing touchdowns and recorded 24 sacks.
 
Heading into the 2016 National Signing Day, 25 East Mississippi defensive players under Lesley signed National Letters of Intent with four-year schools including Lorenzo Phillips (Florida State), Jarran Reed (Alabama), D.J. Pettway (Alabama), D.J. Jones (Ole Miss) and Christian Russell (Ole Miss).
 
Lesley joined the East Mississippi staff after six seasons at a pair of nationally prominent junior colleges. He spent the 2010 and 2012 seasons as the defensive line coach at Northwest Mississippi Community College around a pair of stints at Kilgore College, where he was the defensive coordinator in 2011 and the linebackers coach from 2007-09.
 
During his two seasons at Northwest Mississippi, Lesley was instrumental in helping guide the Rangers to an 8-2 record in 2012 and a 9-1 mark in 2010.  The 2012 NWCC squad claimed the school’s first bowl victory in 20 years and earned a No. 9 NJCAA final ranking.  The 2010 Northwest team posted an undefeated regular season on the way to finishing with a No. 6 national ranking.  Lesley’s two seasons at Northwest helped produce four NJCAA All-Region 23 players on defense.
 
Lesley helped lead Kilgore to the 2007 Southwest Junior College Football Conference Championship en route to an appearance in the Heart of Texas Bowl.  During his four seasons at Kilgore, Lesley helped direct the Rangers to three consecutive playoff appearances while helping tutor 11 players that went on to sign at four-year schools, including six NJCAA All-Americans.
 
He began his coaching career at Troy as a graduate assistant on the 2006 Sun Belt Conference championship team. The Trojans won seven of their last eight games that season, including a 41-17 victory over Rice in the New Orleans Bowl.
 
Lesley was a versatile player for the Trojans and was a key part of teams that successfully made the transition to the FBS ranks.  A two-year starter at tight end, Lesley helped lead Troy to the 2004 Silicon Valley Bowl and was named a team captain.
 
A native of Fulton, Miss., Lesley was a three-time all-district performer at Itawamba Agricultural High School.  He was selected to the 1999 Class 4A All-State Second Team as a senior.


Web Hamilton
Defense Graduate Assistant


Webb Hamilton begins his third season as a graduate assistant on the Troy staff; he will work with the Troy defense.

Hamilton graduated from Mississippi State in 2010 with a degree in kinesiology. He served as a student coach in 2009 after walking on to the football program.

Hamilton coached the outside linebackers at East Mississippi Community College in 2013. He coached a pair of all-state linebackers and All-American Christian Russell. EMCC won the NJCAA National Championship with Troy quarterback Dontreal Pruitt also on the team.  

Hamilton began his career at East Central Community College in 2010 where he coached a pair of all-state safeties. A native of Starkville, Miss., Hamilton attended Starkville Academy and won a state title in 2005 as a defensive end.