By Chelsa Messinger
Sometimes with all the news about Auburn and Alabama, Troy's powerhouse sports programs are often overlooked.
For instance, the third-winningest coach in college football (behind Frank Beamer and Bill Snyder) coaches in the state of Alabama.
His name is not Nick Saban.
Troy Head Football Coach Larry Blakeney has lead the Trojans to 8 conference titles, 4 Bowl games, and a successful leap to Division I.
This year on the inaugural run of the "Trojan Tour", Troy coaches & administration hope to spread awareness of the program's success and create connections around the south.
"We try to get out this time of year and make sure everybody knows where we are," said Blakeney.
Boosters help sell tickets, but Blakeney says these events also help out with recruiting.
"Alabama, Georgia, Florida are our primary recruiting areas. And certainly Columbus is important to us," said Blakeney. "We have always had good players from here."
Blakeney's football program isn't the only program doing big things.
Just a few weeks ago, it was Bobby Pierce's Troy baseball team that beat in-state rival Alabama, not once, but twice in the NCAA Regional.
Despite competing for talent with SEC schools, like Alabama, Auburn and Georgia, Pierce says he's found a way to sell his program to the best recruits in the area.
"We hang our hat on development," said Troy Head Baseball Coach Bobby Pierce.
"A lot of the stats will prove that with the number of guys going to professional baseball, and playing well in professional baseball," said Pierce.
"So with many of [recruits] having that dream, I think that our development of players tends to sell our program very well.
Speaking of recruiting, this year Pierce signed two of the Chattahoochee Valley's top players: Smiths Station Pitcher Marc Skinner and Russell County Pitcher Jesse Nelson.
"I see them both coming right in & doing big things early," said Pierce.
Blakeney says Skinner and Nelson will be competing for midweek starting and bullpen spots.
"We return 3 starting pitchers, but in the future we see Marc Skinner & Jesse Nelson as our main guys," said Pierce.
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