Blakeney to retire at end of season

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Troy head football coach Larry Blakeney made it official Monday morning at a press conference that he will be retiring at season’s end.

Blakeney is currently in his 24th season and ranks seventh among active coaches with 175 victories over his career.

According to a news release, Troy Athletic Director John Hartwell will begin a national search to hire the school’s 21st head coach.

While Blakeney has worn the head set for the Trojans, he has helped lead the program to five consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships, eight conference titles, 15 winning seasons, five bowl games, seven NCAA FCS Playoff appearances in eight years and 18 players selected in the NFL Draft, including a pair of first rounders.

Blakeney is a member of the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He had the playing surface in Veterans Memorial Stadium named in his honor in 2011.

Prior to his arrival in Troy, Blakeney had a variety of roles in his 14 seasons at Auburn.  He began his coaching career as the assistant offensive line coach during the 1977 and 1978 seasons. That was followed by stints with the Tigers’ tight ends and wide receivers coach from 1978 until 1980, and then a focus strictly on wide receivers from 1981 until 1990. He also coached in the prep school ranks for seven seasons.

At the press conference, Blakeney opened his statements by recounting how he got to where he is now.

“If you add all that up, it’s 45 yards, any way you cut it,” the Troy coach said. “So, it’s time for me to move on. The opportunity to finish coaching this team, especially where we are now in the season, is join got be one that I hope we can make a rewarding one.”

Blakeney said he will remain a part of the Trojans program, assisting Hartwell and Chancellor Jack Hawkins in anyway that he can.

“We are proud of our family and we will continue to be proud of Troy University and what we have been able to do here,” he said.