With just one press conference in the books, new Troy University head football coach Chip Lindsey is already winning with students and alumni.
Lindsey introduced himself to Trojan fans last Friday, and current Student Government Association President Gus McKenzie left the room impressed.
“He’s a super likeable guy, very easy to talk to, and he was very interested in my background,” McKenzie said. “He asked if I played football, and it turns out he knew my high school coach, which was cool. This was the first time we’d ever talked, and he found the common ground between us. He’ll be the same with other students, I think, and will end up just as beloved as Neal Brown.”
With three consecutive 10-or-more-win seasons, Brown left big shoes to fill, but Trojan supporters are excited for the future.
“Neal did such a great job, and we’re at an all-time high, but I believe Chip will carry on the tradition that Coach Larry Blakeney and Coach Brown established,” said TROY Trustee Gibson Vance. “I’m very excited to welcome Coach Lindsey back home. I’d never met him until Friday, but I was very impressed by all the positive information I heard about him, and I was equally impressed by what he had to say.”
In particular, Vance liked hearing Lindsey talk about his respect for the TROY family.
“He has been here before, and he realized how special TROY is as both a university and a community,” Vance said. “Chip is from Alabama and has established great relationships with the high schools, and I think this will put him in a position to relate to our current players and recruit great student-athletes going forward.”
Fans are also excited due to Lindsey’s reputation as an innovative play caller on offense.
“I was most excited to hear that he will be leading the offense,” said Dawn Railey, one of the 2018 Alumni of the Year. “I was also excited to hear him say he’s continuing to build on what’s here — not rebuilding the wall, but building on what we already have, and that’s a great situation to come into. I think he is the right next step.”
McKenzie was less concerned about TROY hiring the right coach on the field than hiring the right coach for the campus, but he’s happy Lindsey got the nod.
“I trusted the athletics department would make a good decision from a football standpoint, but from a student standpoint, I wanted a guy who would come out and get to know students who weren’t his players,” McKenzie said. “Neil was great with that. You’d see him in the dining hall or Trojan Center just talking to people, and now I’m sure we’ll see Coach Lindsey out and about here once he gets his staff rounded out.”
A photo gallery of Lindsey’s first days on campus can be found here.