Director of Operations / Director of High School Relations
Todd Watson, one of the state of Alabama’s most successful high school coaches, begins his second season as Troy's director of football operations and director of high school relations.
Watson compiled an 80-36 record in 10 seasons as the head coach at Foley High School and developed a number of players who went on to play at the collegiate and professional levels. Included in that group is Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, Carolina Panthers safety Robert Lester and San Diego Chargers offensive tackle D.J. Fluker.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Watson spent five seasons (2000-04) as the defensive coordinator at Hoover High School where he helped lead the Buccaneers to a 70-4 record and four Alabama 6A state titles. He compiled a 24-2 record in two seasons (1998-99) as the defensive coordinator at Bryant High School after five years (1993-97) as an assistant coach at Alba High School.
Watson’s teams at Foley made the playoffs each of the 10 years he was at the helm of the program and reached the third round of the playoffs twice. He guided his team to a 16-14 victory over rival Daphne in 2007 in a game that was televised live by ESPN.
A 1993 graduate of the University of Mobile with a bachelor’s degree in health & physical education, Watson is married to the former Christie Mallory of Mobile. The couple has two daughters, LeighAshton (22), who is currently a student at Troy, and Micah (14).
Assistant Operations/On-Campus Recruiting
Trey Dunbar begins his first season as the assistant director of operations for the Trojans. He is responsible for Troy’s on-campus recruiting efforts. Dubar served as the director of player personnel during the 2015 season.
Dunbar spent the 2014 season as an offensive analyst and the three prior seasons as a graduate assistant on the defensive staff. Dunbar began as an intern in the strength & conditioning program in 2010.
A native of Opp, Ala., Dunbar played baseball and football at Opp High School before attending the University of Alabama where he received a degree in exercise and sport science in 2010. He was on staff for Alabama’s 2009 BCS National Championship team.
Director of Player Development
Jamaal Smith begins his first season as Troy’s director of player development after he served as Troy’s director of football operations during the 2013-14 seasons and as the assistant director of player development in 2015.
Smith, who is currently in his 10th year working with the Troy football program, was a wide receiver for the Trojans from 2001-04. He returned to Troy as a graduate assistant in 2007 and worked with the Trojan wide receivers and running backs.
The Atlanta, Ga., native spent three years as the football video coordinator before taking over duties as the director of operations in Sept. 2013. Smith received his master’s degree from Troy in sport management in 2009.
Director of Player Personnel
Brian Bennett beings his second season as the director of player personnel for the Trojans following stints at Florida, Texas and Louisville under current Texas head coach Charlie Strong.
Bennett’s efforts helped Troy land one of its top recruiting classes in program history. The first full recruiting class under head coach Neal Brown ranked second in the Sun Belt by both 247Sports and Scout.
The Mobile, Ala., native has an impressive string of six straight bowl appearances (2009-14) on his resume as a quality control specialist, graduate assistant or student assistant coach.
Bennett joined the Troy staff following one season as a defensive quality control coach at Texas. He worked with the Longhorn defensive ends and linebackers in addition to helping with the coaching staff’s transition from Louisville to Texas.
He spent the previous four seasons at Louisville as a graduate assistant (three years) and student assistant coach on the defensive side of the football. The Cardinals posted a combined 23-3 record over his final two seasons with victories in the 2012 Sugar Bowl and 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl.
Bennett first joined Strong as a student assistant coach at Florida in 2009 after two years as a student assistant coach at Birmingham Southern. He moved into the coaching ranks after an injury ended his playing career during his freshman season at Birmingham Southern.
Bennett earned his bachelor’s of science in psychology from Louisville in 2001 and his master’s of science in sports administration from Louisville in 2013.
Strength & Conditioning
Rafael Horton begins his second season as Troy’s football strength & conditioning coach after two years at the University of Kentucky.
Before Kentucky, Horton spent five years at Fort Valley State University. He served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and linebacker coach for one year before being promoted to the strength and conditioning coordinator. As head of the department, he was responsible for supervising the strength and conditioning staff for all 11 varsity sports and cheerleading. He was also the university’s fitness instructor, developing fitness programs to help promote a healthier lifestyle for students, faculty and staff members.
In 2011, he created his own company, Grindtime Fitness and Performance, in which he provides personal training services. He has trained several professional athletes, including NFL players Jason Thompson (Green Bay Packers), Marquette King (Oakland Raiders), Dionte Dinkins (St. Louis Rams), Ricardo Lockette (San Francisco 49ers), Narda Williams (Detroit Lions) and Darnell Burks (New York Giants).
Horton has certifications with the United States Association of Weightlifting in sports performance, the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a performance enhancement specialist and the National Association of Speed and Explosion.
The Barnesville, Ga., native received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Fort Valley State in 2010 and his master’s degree in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2011.