A rumor began circulating on a local high school message board over the weekend that St. Frances coach Biff Poggi would take over the Concordia Prep football program, but Poggi and Concordia officials denied the rumor Monday.
“No way,” Poggi said in an email response.
Poggi has built St. Frances (6-0) into a national powerhouse ranked No. 6 this week in USA Today’s Super 25. The Panthers are trying to schedule some of the other top teams in the country for next fall.
Josh Ward, in his second season at Concordia, has built a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference front-runner at the Towson school, formerly Baltimore Lutheran. The Saints (8-2) intend to move up to the B Conference next season.
Ward, a St. Frances assistant in 2015 and 2016 before Poggi arrived, said he wants to quash the rumors so they don’t interfere with his ability to recruit young players and keep the ones he has.
Ward said he has gotten many calls in the past few days from coaches, parents and recruits.
“It bothers me that people think I would try to build something to just give it up,” Ward said.
“It’s this whole world of social media that we live in. I leave dinner with my wife on Saturday night and I look at my phone and I have five missed calls and a bunch of text messages asking me if Biff Poggi’s coming to Concordia. I was at the BTC [Baltimore Touchdown Club] all-star selections last night and people are asking me about that. I don’t want my kids thinking that, I don’t want my parents thinking that, I don’t want my coaches thinking that and I don’t want recruits thinking that because it’s not the case.”
Concordia Prep headmaster Brent Johnson said: “I have a lot of respect for Biff Poggi, but we have a good football coach already. Josh is doing a great job.”
Ward took over a Saints program that did not field a team in 2016 because of a lack of participants. This season, with a young squad of 46 players, the Saints are 6-0 in the C Conference and headed to the title game Nov. 10.