(WTVM) - It's hard to miss the smile on Brian Blackmon's face at practice.
"I'm having a ball, I'm back on the field coaching kids with a great staff so it's been a lot of fun," he said.
Blackmon joins the Trojan staff as Tight Ends and S-Backs coach. In a way, it's a move home. The former Opelika coach graduated from Troy in 1996.
"To be able to come back here and coach and be part of a football program with such rich tradition and a program that's really on the rise and then work with people like coach Brown and his staff, it's really been a blessing," he said.
Now two years removed from his time in the red and black, he found similarities between the staff at Troy and the guys at Opelika.
"Everybody's tight-knit, it's a family atmosphere. We're a developmental program," he said. "We're trying to get our players to understand we're about character first. We develop them as a person it's not just about football."
He went on to say it's been a whirlwind experience since his days at Opelika. Blackmon spent time as an offensive analyst at Auburn last year before getting the job at Troy. He learned a few things under coach Gus Malzahn that he took with him to the Trojans.
"I was blessed to be with coach Malzahn," Blackmon said. "I learned a little bit more about the college game and other than what you see from the high school coaches aspect of it."
But there's still a bit of high school coach in him. Even though there are some differences, his focus in college is the same as it was at Opelika.
"I think if you understand that what your job is is to serve the young man that you've been trusted to coach, then it doesn't matter whether it's a 16-year-old kid in Opelika, Alabama or a 21-year-old kid in Troy, Alabama."
With his first season at Troy around the corner, Blackmon's going to keep smiling and leading young men toward bright futures.