Biff Poggi, freshman head coach for the Charlotte 49ers, has appointed University of Buffalo defensive backs coach Rod Ojong to his burgeoning staff as defensive backs coach. Ojong joins the 49ers from a unit that produced the top-ranked recruit class in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and earned bowl eligibility in 2022.
“Rod is a wonderful man,” said Poggi. “Our players will love his mentoring and the special bonds he forms with young people. He’s an incredibly knowledgeable coach who knows the whole scheme. We are blessed to have Rod.”
“I’m thrilled to be working here at Charlotte,” said Ojong. “This is a program I have long admired from afar and to now have the opportunity to work with Coach Poggi and his staff is an exciting opportunity for me. Charlotte has everything you need to succeed both on and off the field, and I look forward to helping the young men we recruit discover that for themselves. I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome my family and I have experienced since taking on these new responsibilities. I look forward to seeing all of you at Jerry Richardson Stadium next fall.”
SUCCESS IN THE SECONDARY
Ojong joins the 49ers from Buffalo, where he coached the safeties in 2021 and defensive backs in 2022. Buffalo, who became Bowl eligible with their win in the 2022 season finale, led the MAC with 12 interceptions and ranked fifth nationally in turnovers caused. The defensive secondary only allowed 216.2 passing yards per game. Safety Marcus Fuqua led the team with seven INTs and he and fellow safety Keyshawn Cobb both recorded 60 or more tackles. In 2021, Buffalo ranked fifth in the MAC and allowed 221.2 passing yards while safeties Fuqua and Cory Gross finished second and third on the team in tackles.
Prior to his two years at Buffalo, Ojong served as a defensive analyst at Georgia in 2020 when the Bulldogs won 8-2 with a Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati.
Ojong has spent the last two seasons in the FCS ranks coaching cornerbacks at Furman in 2019 and Austin Peay in 2018. He helped lead Furman to an eight-win season and a place in the FCS playoffs in 2019 to lead.
He was a defensive assistant at North Carolina in 2016 and 2017 and was part of the Memphis defensive staff that helped the Tigers post a 9-4 record and appear in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl. In 2014, he served as an assistant coach at West Georgia, working with the strong security forces as Wolves progressed to the Super Sectionals.
Ojong coached full-backs and was also assistant strength and conditioning coach at Lindsey Wilson College in 2013. The Blue Raiders ranked 18th in the most recent NAIA poll in only their fourth season of football.
He began his coaching career at Monmouth (Illinois) College, his alma mater, as a student assistant linebacker coach.
Ojong was a two-year letter winner and team captain at Monmouth College. He was a 2011 All-Conference linebacker and a member of two Midwest Conference championship teams.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, he graduated from Monmouth College in 2012 with a BA in Physical Education. He and his fiancé, Molly Penland, are getting married in the summer of 2023.