Troy football makes pair of offseason hires

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

Following its 11-win season in Head Coach Neal Brown’s third year at the helm, the Troy football program kicked off the offseason with a pair of key hires in Mark Perry and Brian Blackmon.

On Monday, Brown announced that Perry, his former teammate at Kentucky, would be joining the Trojans as the team’s new director of operations. Two days later, published a story saying that Brown and co. had made another hire in Blackmon to take on the tight ends coaching job.

Perry, who has coached high school football for the past 14 years in the state of Kentucky following one year stints as a graduate assistant at Kentucky and Baylor, will also be taking on the responsibility of the team’s high school relations.

“We are excited to have Mark join our program,” Brown said in a statement. “We were teammates at Kentucky, and I’ve seen firsthand not only his great football mind but more importantly the kind of person he is.

“Mark is an extremely organized and detail-oriented individual which is absolutely necessary in this position. His experience at both the high school and collegiate levels is going to be a valuable benefit for our program.”

Since being hired for the first of three high school head coaching positions in 2004, Perry has amassed nine district coach of the year awards.

“Coach Brown and I have known each other for many years, and this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Perry said. “Troy has been one of the most successful programs in the country the last two seasons, and you can definitely feel that buzz and level of commitment from the staff and players when you walk through the doors.”

Also new to the program is Blackmon, who will be transitioning from his former position as an offensive analyst under Head Coach Gus Malzahn at Auburn. Before his one-year stay with the Tigers, Blackmon spent 21 years coaching at Opelika High School.

Eight of those years were spent as the program’s head coach where he led the Bulldogs to a 69-25 record and a pair of Class 6A state championship games.

The news comes per’s Tom Green and would mean that the Trojans would seemingly add a new coach to its roster. Currently, the team does not have a coach dedicated specifically to tight ends.

These new hires, along with new high school signees during the NCAA’s new early signing period and national signing day looming on Feb. 7, bodes well for a Trojan team that looks to replace graduating talent and build on its best season in its FBS history.   

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