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Appalachian State extends Scott Satterfield’s contract through 2021

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Appalachian State rewarded head coach Scott Satterfield with a contract extension this week, with the formal approval of the board of trustees making it official. Appalachian State’s contract extension for Satterfield keeps him under the contract through the 2021 season.

“Scott Satterfield continues to take App State football to new heights,” Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a released statement. “In four seasons at App State, he has orchestrated one of the most successful transitions to FBS football and continues to build App State football for long-term sustainable success on a national level. Under Scott’s leadership, our football program is 27-5 over the last 32 games, which ranks among the nation’s best.”

Appalachian State shared the Sun Belt Conference championship with Arkansas State last season (the teams had identical conference records and did not play head-to-head for a tiebreaker), and the Mountaineers finished in second place in the Sun Belt with a 7-1 record in 2015 (trailing only undefeated Arkansas State). Appalachian State also finished in third place in the Sun Belt in 2015, their first year in the conference, but were ineligible for postseason play despite a record of 7-5 due to playing in a transition year after making the move up from the FCS. Appalachian State started their first year in the FBS with a 1-5 record that included a home loss to FCS Liberty, but the program then went on a run to close out the season on a six-game winning streak.

Satterfield is pretty much Mr. Appalachain State. The 44-year old coach from Hillsborough, North Carolina got his coaching career underway at Appalachian State in 1998 a few short years after wrapping up his college career with the program as a quarterback. Satterfield played and coached for legendary Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore and was a part of the coaching staff with the program when the former FCS juggernaut upset Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2007. Satterfield held various assistant coaching roles with the Mountaineers from 1998 through 2008, including wide receivers coach, running backs coach, and quarterbacks coach. He took an opportunity to coach Toledo in 2009 as part of the staff led by former Toledo coach Tim Beckman. After one year with the MAC program, Satterfield headed south to take on the role of offensive coordinator at FIU under former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal, where he worked with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

After two seasons at FIU, Satterfield returned home to Appalachian State to be the program’s offensive coordinator in 2012, and he took on the role of head coach the following season for his first head coaching opportunity. Under Satterfield, Appalachian State has completed the transition from the FCS to the FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. In three seasons in the Sun Belt, Appalachian State has played in, and won, two bowl games and had no worse than a seven-win season. Appalachian State has gone 28-10 in its first three years in the Sun Belt.

“Appalachian is home and it continues to be a dream realized to be the head coach at my alma mater, a place at which I have spent most of my life,” Satterfield said in a  statement. If he continues to produce wins at Appalachian State, his name will begin to float around in the rumor mill during coaching carousel season, which is why the contract extension is a comforting piece of news for Appalachian State for now.

Oregon LB arrested for removing parking boot dismissed by Ducks

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In April, Fotu Leiato was arrested on a couple of charges related to the illegal removal of a parking boot from his vehicle.  A month later, we’ve learned Leiato was given the boot from his current football program for good measure.

247Sports.com was the first to report that Leiato has been dismissed by first-year Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal.  Further to the point, the linebacker’s dismissal came a day after his April arrest but the news didn’t surface until Thursday.

In the April incident, Leiato was arrested on charges of second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree theft and criminal trespassing.  That was actually his second arrest this year as he was charged with misdemeanor trespassing in January.

The combination of the two arrests led Cristobal to pull the trigger on a dismissal.

Coming to Eugene as a three-star safety, Leiato played in 37 of 38 games the past three seasons.  The Washington native earned the first start of his collegiate playing career during the 2017 season.

The senior had been in line to earn a starting job exiting spring and heading into the summer phase of the offseason.

LB Darrin Kirkland announces transfer from Tennessee

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Darren Kirkland‘s injury-plagued time on Rocky Top has come to an end.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday evening, Kirkland announced that he has decided to transfer out of first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt‘s Tennessee football program.  The linebacker gave no specific reason for his decision to move on from the Volunteers.

“Tennessee will always hold a special place in my heart,” Kirkland wrote. “These moments have been priceless and I’m a better player and man from this experience.”

As a graduate transfer, Kirkland would be eligible to play for another FBS program in 2018.  Not only that, but he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining counting this year.

A four-star 2015 signee, Kirkland started 10 games as a true freshman and then another six in a sophomore campaign marred by a high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss four games.  In summer camp last year, he suffered a knee injury severe enough to sideline him for the entire 2017 season.

The rehab from that injury kept Kirkland from being a full participant in Pruitt’s first spring practice this year.

North Texas dropping $625,000 to install new turf that naturally includes new design

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Seth Littrell has done a great job turning around the program at North Texas but fans getting a look at the 2018 edition of his team will notice something right away that’s different when they take the field for the home opener: new turf. The Denton Record Chronicle reports that UNT is ponying up $625,245 for the latest “FieldTurf CoolPlay” turf at Apogee Stadium.

“We are excited about the turf,” Littrell said recently, according to the paper. “It was much needed. That turf has been used a lot and has gotten worn down. The new field will improve safety and will be a great resource for our kids.”

The old turf had a good run at the stadium after being installed back in 2011 but obviously the summer heat and 300+ pound bodies playing football will cause a little wear and tear. The Record Chronicle says that “North Texas” and “Mean Green” will be the end zones text while the midfield school logo will include a “dark green outline of the state of Texas.”

Completion of the project is expected to be done well in time for the first game against SMU in September. The school has released some shots of Apogee Stadium without the old turf and it certainly looks kind of wild to see a stadium sans a playing field:

Kansas State AD open to scheduling Nebraska in the future

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Conference realignment ended a bunch of big rivalries, from the major (Texas-Texas A&M) to the mundane. Former Big 8 and Big 12 rivals Kansas State and Nebraska were somewhere on the middle of that scale after playing each other in football for decades. While nobody is clamoring for the two to get together quite like they are the Longhorns and Aggies, there’s plenty who would still love to see them schedule a non-conference series given how close Lincoln and the Little Apple are to each other (135 miles across the border).

Wildcats athletic director Gene Taylor has been in the job just over a year and it seems like he’s very aware of the scheduling situation between the two schools and is open to getting something done eventually. He was asked about adding the Cornhuskers to the slate in a Q&A on the school’s website and had this to say:

“That is a school that makes a lot of sense,” said Taylor. “We are pretty well-scheduled out in football with our one Power Five opponent, but we do play them in baseball and have had conversations in men’s basketball. If the opportunity were to arise, they are someone we would certainly entertain if it made sense for us.”

KSU is fully booked on the scheduling front through 2022 but have been open to adding home-and-homes with former Big 12 opponents with Missouri on tap for 2022/23 and Colorado on 2027/28. They’ve got a Power Five opponent on the docket until 2031 so it seems like the team wouldn’t be able to get something done with Nebraska until after then. That is, to say the least, a long ways away.

Who knows, maybe they’ll be able to meet in a bowl game at some point over the next few years. The Cornhuskers and Wildcats last met in 2010 in a series that is heavily weighted to Big Red. At least Taylor is leaving the door open and leaving a chance of the two programs hooking back up on the gridiron.