Jon Sumrall reset expectations for Troy Trojans football last fall after leading the program to the Sun Belt title in his first season at the helm. Although there have been some departures, the Troy coaching staff retains some of the key components of that success as they gear up for another assault on the conference crown this fall.
Troy Trojans Coaching Staff
Head Coach, Jon Sumrall
Sumrall’s appointment as the Troy head coach for the 2022 college football season was like a breath of fresh air flowing through the Trojans football program. The defensive mastermind pumped new life into a team that had mustered no more than five wins in the previous three seasons, delivering a first-ever 12-win campaign and bringing a Sun Belt title to southeast Alabama.
In his first head coaching role, Sumrall was unsurprisingly named the Sun Belt Conference Head Coach of the Year. While the Trojans had offensive success, an 11-game win streak was built on the back of suffocating defense, led by linebacker Carlton Martial. Somewhat poetically, Sumrall had been a standout linebacker during his own playing career with Kentucky.
It wasn’t the first time that Sumrall had a profound impact on the Trojans, however. He was the LB coach under Neal Brown, the last time that Troy was a nationally ranked team. Between stints on the Troy coaching staff, he sharpened his coaching toolbox in the SEC with Ole Miss and his alma mater as part of an impressive coaching résumé that you can find below.
- Kentucky (graduate assistant, 2005-2006)
- San Diego (DL coach and recruiting coordinator, 2007-2009; co-DC and LB coach, 2010-2011)
- Tulane (co-DC and DL coach, 2012-2013; co-DC and LB coach, 2014)
- Troy (LB coach and special teams coordinator, 2015-2017)
- Ole Miss (LB coach, 2018)
- Kentucky (ILB coach, 2019-2020; co-DC and ILB coach, 2021)
- Troy (HC, 2022-2023)
Offensive Coordinator, Joe Craddock
Former Super Bowl Italiano-winning quarterback Joe Craddock joined the Troy coaching staff as part of head coach Sumrall’s initial intake and instantaneously had an impact on the Trojans’ offensive firepower, averaging over three points and 20 yards per game more on offense than they had during their five-win 2021 season while producing several all-conference honorees.
Craddock began his career at the high school level, working as the offensive coordinator for his alma mater, Briarwood Christian, upon his return from playing in the Italian Football League for the Parma Panthers. After guiding the team to a 25-4 record and state title game in a two-year stint, he entered the college coaching realm with an offensively dynamic Clemson team.
During his college coaching career, the résumé of which you can find below, Craddock has earned national attention on several occasions. In 2015, he became the youngest offensive coordinator in the nation as he led an SMU offense featuring Xavier Jones and Courtland Sutton. For his efforts in Dallas, he was nominated for the prestigious Broyles Award.
- Clemson (player development, 2012; graduate assistant, 2013-2014)
- SMU (OC and QB coach, 2015-2017)
- Arkansas (OC and QB coach, 2018-2019)
- UAB (TE coach, 2020-2021)
- Troy (OC and QB coach, 2022-2023)
Defensive Coordinator, Greg Gasparato
Greg Gasparato was named as the defensive coordinator in March, 2023 following the departure of Shiel Wood to Tulane. In addition to his role as the defensive coordinator for the Trojans, Gasparato will also serve as the safeties coach on the Troy coaching staff — a role that he has several years of experience at from working at programs across the college football landscape.
In his first full-time role coaching safeties — at Appalachian State — he was named the Football Scoop Defensive Backs Coach of the Year. He carried that success with him into his first appointment as a defensive coordinator at Army. Serving as the co-defensive coordinator, his unit led the nation in total defense in 2020 while allowing just 14.8 points per game.
A former safety at FCS powerhouse Wofford from 2005-2008, Gasparato earned his first coaching role at Richland Northeast High School before transitioning to the college level in 2011. He arrives in Alabama after engineering the Louisville defense for the last two seasons, mentoring standouts like Kenderick Duncan Jr. and Qwynnterio Cole. His full college résumé is below.
- Juniata College (DB coach, 2011)
- Brevard College (OLB coach, 2012)
- Appalachian State (defensive graduate assistant, 2013-2014)
- Wofford (ILB coach and special teams coordinator, 2015-2017)
- Appalachian State (safeties coach, 2018-2019)
- Army (co-DC and safeties coach, 2020)
- Louisville (safeties coach, 2021; OLB coach, 2022)
- Troy (DC and safeties coach, 2023)
Inside Linebacker Coach, Tayler Polk
After propelling linebacker Carlton Martial to become the all-time leading tackler in FBS history in his first season as ILB coach for the Trojans, Tayler Polk returns to the Troy coaching staff with additional responsibility in 2023. He’ll work alongside Gasparato as co-defensive coordinator, just six years removed from playing for Ole Miss, where he got his coaching start as a grad assistant.
Outside Linebacker Coach, Bam Hardmon
The Trojans’ stable of destructive edge players is led by OLB coach Bam Hardmon. A former SEC captain at Florida and three-year NFL linebacker, Hardmon joined the Troy coaching staff in 2015 after successful stints at Idaho, Charleston Southern, and Illinois. He also took time away from the game in the late 2000s, establishing a presence in real estate and trucking.
Wide Receiver Coach, Gary Banks
WR coach Gary Banks needs little introduction to Trojans fans. A former three-time All-Sun Belt wide receiver as a Troy player, his name features prominently in the program record book.
After establishing himself as a multi-role and multi-sport coach at the high school level, Banks joined the Troy coaching staff in 2021, helping multiple pass catchers to standout seasons.
Offensive Line Coach, Joe Bernardi
A new addition to the Troy coaching staff for the 2023 college campaign, Joe Bernardi takes over as the Trojans’ offensive line coach after working at Auburn in multiple roles during the 2022 season. His previous experience coaching the offensive line comes from a three-year stint at San Jose State, where three of his players went on to garner NFL attention.
Running Back Coach, Brock Hays
One of the most highly regarded young coaches in college football, Brock Hays joined the Troy coaching staff in 2022 and delivered a 1,000+ rushing yard season for Kimani Vidal, only the 11th such performance in Trojans program history. In his previous employment at Louisiana Tech, he delivered the same for running back Justin Henderson.
Defensive Line Coach, Eric McDaniel
Former Purdue player Eric McDaniel joined the Troy coaching staff in 2022 as the defensive line coach, having previously served on the staff at Army, Louisville, Appalachian State, and at DIII Muskingum. In addition to helping neutralize some of the most potent offenses in college football last season, McDaniel mentored Will Choloh and T.J. Jackson to all-Sun Belt honors.
Tight End Coach, Evan McKissack
A 5’10”, 256-pound O-lineman who overcame the odds to become the starting center at Troy, Evan McKissack rejoined the program as the tight end coach for the Trojans in 2022. Following his playing career, McKissack cut his coaching teeth at the high school level before becoming a graduate assistant at Kentucky. He returns to Alabama after two years at Murray State.
Cornerback Coach, Travis Pearson
After serving as a defensive coordinator at Alabama State, Alabama A&M, and South Alabama in recent years, Travis Pearson joined the Troy coaching staff as the cornerback coach ahead of the 2022 college season. In addition to coaching and playing the game at various levels, Pearson was the Director of Football Operations for two seasons between 2007 and 2008.