If Charlotte’s football capability is anything like its new head coach’s personality, then 49er fans are in for a wild, wild ride this season.
63-year-old Francis Xavier “Biff” Poggi attended his first AAC Media Days last week in exactly the fashion you would expect from the idiosyncratic coach – pinstripe suit draping his imposing frame, cigar casually dangling from his mouth, eyes keenly observing the room. He kept mostly to himself, his passion bridled by a devil-may-care exterior that cracked only when media didn’t ask enough questions during his platform time, prompting the prickly coach to pound the podium in protest of the perceived disrespect. He defended his team and mocked the media in one breath, a move that would make Regina George proud.
“I don’t sit on my thoughts unfortunately and it’s served me well and poorly both, but no I don’t sit on any thoughts,” Poggi told Underdog Dynasty.
With Poggi, you get what you see. It’s the same with his social media presence – the former Michigan Associate Head Coach recently sparred with an App State coach on Twitter just because he could.
“My children always tell me to never get on social media with a stream of consciousness, but I do,” explained Poggi. “So when the App State guy – I don’t know him, I wasn’t even talking to him and when he came in over the top and wanted to talk about whatever horse shit he wanted to talk about, I told him, first of all who are you, nobody gives a crap what you think, you coach at App State, I’m not talking to you.”
You coach at app state. No one gives a crap what you think— Biff poggi (@BiffPoggi) June 30, 2023
The tweets from the App State coach have since been deleted, but Poggi’s response stands tall on his X (formerly Twitter) page. He said what he said. Poggi is a “man of principal,” which apparently is why his Twitter photo is just a shot of him holding an actual egg.
“When Twitter started, the placeholder for a photo was the egg and then you would put whatever picture you wanted to put there,” Poggi revealed. “And I never did it, I had that original egg forever. Then my five children started giving me a lot of heat like ‘dad, you don’t know what you are doing, you shouldn’t be on Twitter, you gotta put a picture up there, you’ve got a dumb egg up there and everybody asks us about that.’ So, I said, ‘I need to put a picture up’ and they were like ‘yes’ so, I went to the refrigerator, took out an egg out and took a picture of it and that’s my picture.”
Poggi has no intention of ever changing his photo.
“I did it to harass them,” assured the Duke alum. “I’m never taking it down. I could be the President of the United States and I would not change it.”
When it comes to social media advice for his players however, Poggi adopts a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality.
“Don’t do what I do, do the opposite of what I do,” warned Poggi. “And the reason I would tell them that is because they are young and unfortunately when you are young, what people think about you can matter in your life. I’m an old fart and I don’t need it, so I don’t care what people think.”
As a man of powerful few words, X (Twitter...whatever) remains his go to medium...for now.
“I think I have an Instagram account; I think my kids set one up for me, I should look into that,” mused Poggi. “I will never do Tik Tok, no Chinese-owned technology. My wife has Facebook but I think that’s mainly for old people who want to talk about their kids, and I have no interest in doing that.”
On a lighter note, the Baltimore-born coach has been using his social media to promote his Charlotte cookie reviews, inspired by Dave Portnoy’s pizza reviews for Barstool Sports. His go-to confection? Homemade, peanut butter chocolate chip. But Poggi admits he leaves the baking to his wife and daughters.
“I can make fresh pasta though and original sauce and it’s damn good,” boasts Poggi. “I can make anything – tagliatelle, fusilli, linguine.”
The first-time college head coach already has expansion plans for his food reviews.
“I may branch out to ice cream reviews, but just chocolate ice cream - I want to be a specialist,” said Poggi.
He even went so far as to challenge world champion eater and college football enthusiast Joey Chestnut to a chocolate ice cream eating contest during the team’s bye week, calling Chestnut an athlete while sharing his thoughts on competitive eating.
“He is amazing, but I have a theory about sports – I think there are sports and then there are athletic events,” said Poggi. “All of them are athletes, all of them are elite athletes but a sport is something that has a ball in it. If it doesn’t have a ball in it, it’s an athletic event. I would say that Joey Chestnut is an athlete, but eating contests are athletic events.”
The Poggi era of Charlotte football kicks off at home against South Carolina State on September 2.