Troy Abbs was named head coach of the Trine football program on Jan. 13, 2015 and became the fourth head coach in the program’s history. In three seasons, he has totaled a career record of 33-10 (.767 winning percentage).
Trine ended the 2018 season with its second-straight undefeated regular season (10-0) and back-to-back MIAA Championships (fifth title overall in school history). The Thunder concluded the 2018 campaign with a 10-1 overall record and a repeat trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Nationally, Trine ranked fourth in rushing offense (304.8 yards per game), 13th in scoring (42.6 points per game) and 42nd in total offsense (434.4 ypg.). Defensively, the Thunder ranked 11th in passing yards allowed (147.5 ypg.) and was sixth in punt return average (18.9 yards per return) and 12th in kick return average (24.1 ypr.). At the end of the season, 14 All-MIAA Awards were handed out as well as four players named All-region, and three players garnered multiple All-American honors. The Thunder also swept both the conference special awards with the Offensive and Defensive “Players of the Year.” In addition, Trine had a finalist for both the Gagliardi Trophy and Cliff Harris Award. Off the field, Trine was recognized for its success in the classroom with three players earning Academic All-Region status with two of those players going on to All-American recognition.
In 2017, Abbs led Trine to an undefeated regular season on its way to capturing the MIAA Championship. The Thunder also made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round, finishing with an overall record of 11-1. A total of 15 All-MIAA Awards were handed out at the end of the season, including both the MIAA Offensive and Defensive “MVPs.” Five players went on to earn All-Region accolades as well as one All-American. Quarterback Evan Wyse was selected as a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy and cornerback Marcus Winters was a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award. Abbs also earned national recognition as the Division III Region 4 “Coach of the Year” by the AFCA. Abbs’ team led the nation in turnovers gained (37), was third in turnover margin (1.5), tied for sixth in defensive interceptions (23), fourth in rushing (329.6 yards per game) and recorded numerous school records. In addition, the Thunder defense led the MIAA in scoring defense (allowing just 12.8 points per game) during the regular season.
Abbs guided the Thunder to a 6-4 record in his second season at the helm of the program. Six All-MIAA performers combined for seven all-league honors, including four first-team efforts. Zachary Denig earned the Pete Schmidt Memorial Scholar Award, the conference’s highest scholar-athlete honor for football. Under Abbs’ guidance, the team set a program record for rushing yards per game. Cornerback Marcus Winters finished the season second in the nation in interceptions and third in passes defended.
In his first season, Abbs led Trine to a 6-4 overall record and a tie for second in the MIAA. Among the team’s wins was a comeback victory over No. 21 Albion. The Thunder set eight team-game and six individual-game records during the season. Abbs coached 10 players to All-MIAA recognition, including five First Team performers. The team produced one D3Football.com All-Region performer. Thunder players won five conference player of the week awards and made one appearance on the D3Football.com Team of the Week.
Abbs joined the Thunder coaching staff in 2006 as defensive coordinator. Before joining the Thunder, Coach Abbs worked with the Fort Wayne Freedom Professional Indoor Football Team as the defensive line coach. Prior to his time with the Freedom, Abbs coached for eight years at Fort Wayne Carroll High School and one year at East Noble High School.
As defensive coordinator, Abbs coached Trine to finishing in the top three in the MIAA in scoring defense six times. The Thunder had the top scoring defense in the conference in 2009. Abbs’ defensive schemes helped produce 18 First-Team All-MIAA defensive performers, including three defensive league MVP, and 15 second-team honorees.
Coach Abbs was a member of both the baseball and football teams while working on his bachelor’s degree at Hanover College and earned a Scholar Athlete Award in 1998. In 2006, Abbs earned his Master of Science in educational leadership from Indiana University.