July 28, 2009
BALTIMORE, MD -- Gordy Combs, the second-winningest coach in the history of the Towson University football program, has joined the Johns Hopkins University staff as a volunteer assistant it was announced today by Jim Margraff, head coach of the Blue Jays. Combs, who will coach the strong safeties (OLBs) in JHU's 4-4-3 defensive alignment, spent 17 years as the head coach at Towson and departed after the 2008 season with a career record of 92-90.
"Gordy and I have been friends for many years and I look forward to working with him this season," Margraff noted. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program and we look forward to the coaching insight he will provide our players and staff. He is highly respected in the coaching profession and has built fantastic relationships with high school coaches throughout the Mid.-Atlantic region."
A 1972 Towson graduate, Combs joined the Tigers' staff immediately after graduation and served as an assistant coach until being elevated to the head coaching spot in 1992. He guided the Tigers through several conference changes in his 17 years as head coach and recently transitioned the team from non-scholarship status to full scholarship status as Towson moved from the Patriot League to the Atlantic 10 (now CAA) in 2004. The CAA is arguably the top FCS conference in the nation as three of its teams have won the national championship since 2003.
Combs led the Tigers to nine winning seasons and twice (1993, 1994) his teams were nationally ranked at the end of the season. He was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 1999, garnered the National Football Foundation's Special Achievement Award in 1994 and 2000 and received the Baltimore Touchdown Club's George Young Lifetime Achievement Award and the All-American Football Federation's Johnny Vaught Award in 2003.
With the team success came individual accolades for Combs' players at Towson. A pair of Tigers, Tony Vinson (RB 1994) and Jermon Bushrod (OL 2007), were selected in the NFL draft and five players were consensus First Team All-Americans under his guidance.
Combs' tenure at Towson was also marked by a record of academic success matched by few at the FCS level. Eight of his players were named to the NCAA's FCS All-Academic Team, two were selected as National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes and one - wide receiver Adam Overby - garnered First Team Academic All-America accolades. In addition, 108 of his players were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll during Towson's time in the league, while 47 more were named to the Atlantic 10/CAA Academic All-Conference Team from 2004-08.
Combs joins a Johns Hopkins program that will enter the 2009 season as one of the favorites in the Centennial Conference. The Blue Jays posted an 8-3 record last season and advanced to the ECAC Southeast Championship game. JHU is ranked among the top 25 in the preseason by both the Sporting News (18th) and Lindy's (24th) and will open the season with one of the top non-conference games in school history as the Blue Jays travel to Delaware Valley on September 5. The Aggies are ranked in the top five nationally by the Sporting News (5th) and Lindy's (4th).
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