UNA names former player as defensive line coach

UNA head coach Bobby Wallace converses with assistant coach Gabe Poe during a game in 2014 at Braly Stadium. Poe will be promoted to defensive line coach for the 2015 season.

UNA promoted former linebacker and graduate assistant coach Gabe Poe to defensive line coach Aug. 5, according to head football coach Bobby Wallace.

Poe played linebacker for the Lions in 2013 and received All-Gulf South Conference honors. He coached the following season as a defensive graduate assistant.

“I’m really excited to get started,” Poe said. “It is a change of scenery working with a new position, but I’m looking forward to working with the guys. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions.”

Poe replaces Harold Wisdom, who recently accepted the defensive coordinator position at Deshler High School in Tuscumbia.

Poe said while switching positions presents a new challenge for him, he believes playing and coaching in the same system will give him an advantage.

“It’s good knowing the terminology and the system,” Poe said. “I feel like all I have to do is keep it rolling because we are heading in a good direction.”

UNA defensive coordinator Chris Willis, who coached Poe in 2013 and mentored him as a coach in 2014, said he thinks Poe is a good fit for the position.

“I think Gabe will do a good job,” Willis said. “Gabe is considered an alum like Coach (Blake) Farris. Both of those guys had success playing here and are now coaching here, which is good to have.”

With Poe’s promotion, UNA will hire Tony Davis as a defensive graduate assistant. According to Willis, Davis will assist Poe with the defensive line.

Davis played defensive tackle at the University of Troy from 2008-11 and was an All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention in 2011. He worked as a graduate assistant at Troy in 2014 helping the defensive line.

“He knows his football and is really experienced,” Poe said. “I feel like we will work together well and get the best out of our guys.”