GoMocs.com is profiling the six members of the Class of 2009 inductees into the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame. We have already featured women's tennis All-American Billie Abney and now we turn our attention to football great Troy Boeck.
Boeck is one of the most decorated defensive players in UTC football history and is one of just three Mocs to be named Southern Conference Player of the Year. A defensive end from Evans, Ga., Boeck was a four-year letter winner at UTC from 1987-90, but he almost didn't make it to Chattanooga.
A standout at Evans High School, Boeck blocked a punt and played well in the Georgia All-Star game following his senior year. After the game, he received calls from some of the biggest schools in the region offering him a football scholarship. Fortunately for the Mocs, he had already signed with UTC and stuck with his first choice to come to Chattanooga.
"After the all-star game, Bill Curry (Alabama) and Vince Dooley (Georgia) both called my house and offered me a scholarship, but I had just signed at UTC with Buddy Nix," explained Boeck. "I was a little remorseful for having signed there, but it was really the best thing for me. It allowed me to be a big fish in a small pond, but more importantly I met my wife there and we both got excellent educations at UTC."
A 1991 graduate with a degree in Business Administration, Boeck is currently the head football coach and assistant principal at Marion County High School in Jasper, Tenn. He is married to former Lady Mocs women's basketball player Dr. Karin Beightol, who is a family physician. The couple has two children, Emily (11) and Ty (9).
Boeck started as a true freshman in 1987 and recorded 19 tackles in his first year at UTC. He was a mainstay on the top-ranked defense in the Southern Conference that year. Chattanooga allowed a league-low 279.5 yards-per-game during his first season.
The Mocs were again a strong defense in 1988 when Boeck led the team with six sacks and 11 tackles-for-loss. He recorded 10 or more tackles four times during the year, including a season-high 14 against Tennessee Tech. He also had three sacks against the Golden Eagles and finished the season with 77 tackles. Against Georgia Tech, Boeck had six tackles and a sack to keep the Mocs within striking distance until late in the game. The Yellow Jackets' lead was only 17-10 with four minutes left before a late touchdown pushed the final score to 24-10.
As a junior, Boeck was second on the team with three sacks and led the Mocs with eight tackles in the backfield. His ability to bust through opposing offensive lines helped UTC lead the SoCon in passing defense. Chattanooga allowed just 104.4 yards-per-game and nine touchdowns through the air in 1989. He posted 73 tackles on his way to earning All-SoCon honors.
Team captain as a senior, Boeck guided Chattanooga to a 6-5 record and a third-place finish in the SoCon. He had a breakout season, leading the team with 15 tackles-for-loss and recovering two fumbles. Early in the season, the Mocs again faced Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Boeck sacked quarterback Sean Jones twice in a closer-than-the-score indicates 44-9 loss. The Yellow Jackets went on the share the Division I-A National Championship that season.
"Anybody who has played defense knows that to get a sack like that, you have to have a lot of talent working on the field at the same time," added Boeck. "You can't just have one guy. You have to have coverage and other people forcing the pocket to close in. I was really fortunate play on some very good football teams."
Boeck was named the 1990 Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches after posting 87 tackles during his senior campaign. That same season, he earned All-America honors from both the Associated Press and the Sporting News. He is joined by Junior Jackson (1989) and Josh Beard (2009) as the only Mocs to earn Player of the Year honors in the Southern Conference.
He started all 44 games of his career and finished with 276 tackles and 12 sacks. He is No. 8 on the Mocs' career tackles list and ranks seventh on the all-time sack list. Boeck was a two-time All-SoCon selection. He was named the Mocs' most valuable defensive lineman his junior and senior seasons and won the team's Iron Man Award as a junior.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Buddy Nix," continued Boeck. "He put together some great teams during my time and I was just lucky to be on the field."
The Hall of Fame call was unexpected to the humble and appreciative Boeck, despite his long list of accomplishments during his playing days. "It is really a surprise," said Boeck. "I didn't expect anything like that."
Fans can come out and enjoy the Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2010, at the Chattanooga Country Club. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) with the dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to all Mocs fans with a cost of $25 per person while seating is available. Contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (423) 425-4785 for more information or to order tickets.
The inductees and award winners will also be honored at halftime of the men's basketball Furman game on Feb. 13. For tickets to the basketball game, call the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).