The Charlotte 49ers have named Francis “Biff” Poggi (“POE-jee”), associate head coach of the undefeated Michigan Wolverines, as the 49ers’ third head football coach. A key architect behind the Wolverines’ 2021 Big Ten Championship and berth in the College Football Playoffs, Poggi has helped Michigan to a 10-0 start and a spot among the nation’s top four ranked schools this season.”We are extremely fortunate to welcome Biff Poggi as our head football coach,” said Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “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 is currently in his third season with the Wolverines and his second as associate head coach alongside head coach Jim Harbaugh. He was also on Michigan’s staff as the Wolverines advanced to the 2016 Orange Bowl.
Poggi was recently touted for his role in the Wolverines’ current undefeated season in an article written by Bruce Feldman for The Athletic. Prior to his tenure at Michigan, Poggi founded and led the football program at Saint Frances Academy, a private high school in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, to national prominence.
Poggi grew up in Baltimore and served on the board of Saint Frances Academy. Poggi, who achieved great success as a hedge fund manager, chose to invest a significant amount of personal money into Saint Frances, including funding 65 scholarships. Under his leadership, Saint Frances became a national power, able to land scholarship opportunities for its student-athletes with programs such as Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan and others. The story 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,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “Most importantly, he shares our values for ensuring a Gold Standard experience for our student-athletes both on and off the field.”
Prior to building Saint Frances Academy, Poggi led his high school alma mater, Gilman School, to thirteen Maryland state titles in nineteen seasons. Poggi played collegiate football at the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University, with coaching stops at Brown, Temple and The Citadel.
“Joining the Charlotte 49ers is an incredible opportunity,” noted Poggi. “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.”
An introductory press conference will be scheduled for next week.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:
“Biff has been a tremendous asset to our University of Michigan Football program, providing support and mentorship to our coaching staff and players. He has a great football mind, knows how to prepare a team during the week and on game day, and is a coach that aims to change the lives of his players in a positive way. Biff is a trusted agent and known friend, and I know that his leadership and ability to develop a team-first culture will be a huge asset to the Charlotte 49ers.”
Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan Head Football Coach
“Congratulations to Mike Hill and the Charlotte 49ers for a great hire. Biff Poggi will generate excitement and success for the program. The players will love playing for him and the coaches will love working with him. Get ready to win!”
Nick Saban, University of Alabama Head Football Coach
COURTESY CHARLOTTE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS