Scott Satterfield

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Louisville wraps spring with improved attitude and effort

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The page has been turned at Louisville with the first spring under new head coach Scott Satterfield now in the books. After 14 spring practices, Louisville brought a close to their spring practice schedule Thursday night with a practice open to the fans. Satterfield had some typical coach things to say afterward, which was to be expected, but hearing the new head coach of the Cardinals say he feels comfortable with the improvement he has seen within the program this spring should be an encouraging sign for Louisville fans.

Because Louisville’s spring practice schedule was able to wrap up earlier than usual, Satterfield now has some extra time to do the things he needs to do to evaluate the team going forward ahead of the summer workouts and his first season on the sidelines with the Cardinals.

“It’s a lot of great film to coach off of,” Satterfield said this week. “We played a lot of guys in places we normally wouldn’t [Thursday night[ because we’re just trying to look at certain guys in scenarios to see how they are going to react and then we’ll coach through that. But overall, I am just very pleased at how the spring went.”

The sentiment seemed to resonate with some players as well.

“The biggest improvement for us is attitude and effort,” Louisville linebacker C.J. Avery said. “We are just focusing on getting to the football with violent intentions, and not worry about making mistakes.”

Louisville is coming off a dreadful 2-10 season, which led to the dismissal of Bobby Petrino as head coach. It should not take much to improve on last season, although it should take a little longer to get Louisville back to the level they appeared to be just a few short years ago with Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals one of the top contenders in the ACC along with Clemson and Florida State. A clean slate with a new head coach with an accomplished record coming in may have been just what the doctor ordered for Louisville.

Satterfield, Houston expected to bring coordinators with them to new jobs

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For as many head coaches that change jobs during the annual coaching carousel, the number of assistant coaches that switch jobs far out-paces the head coaching changes in college football. As expected, when a head coach takes on a new job at a school, the odds are pretty good he’ll pull from his previous coaching staff to start building his new staff. Such appears to be the case for Scott Satterfield at Louisville and Mike Houston at East Carolina.

According to a report from Winston-Salem Journal, new Louisville head coach Satterfield will begin forming his Cardinals coaching staff with a few members of his former Appalachian State coaching staff. Appalachian State defensive coordinator Bryan Brown and offensive coordinator Frank Ponce will reportedly head to Louisville to fill roles that have not been clarified, although it would stand to reason they will carry the same roles under Satterfield with the Cardinals if and when they officially join the program.

How soon those additions take place remains to be seen. In the meantime, Appalachian State continues to prepare for a bowl game against Middle Tennessee while the coaching staff is in a transition without Satterfield.

At East Carolina, Houston will start building his coaching staff with members of his coaching staff at James Madison. According to a report from Daily News-Record, offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick and defensive coordinator Bob Trott will join Houston at East Carolina. For Kirkpatrick, this will be familiar territory as he previously coached at East Carolina for 11 seasons.

Appalachian State wins inaugural Sun Belt Championship Game

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For the first time in conference history, the Sun Belt Conference held a conference championship game. That makes Appalachian State (10-2, 7-1 Sun Belt) the first program in history to win the Sun Belt Conference championship game after topping Louisiana (7-6, 5-3 Sun Belt) on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Appalachian State will head to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl as the conference champion.

Appalachian State’s defense forced two turnovers and added a turnover on downs in the final minutes to help seal the 30-19 victory over the Ragin’ Cajuns. After a tight first half of play, which saw the Mountaineers head to the locker room with a 14-6 advantage on Louisiana, the Mountaineers took care of business in the second half when it counted the most. A 20-16 lead going to the fourth quarter was increased to 27-16 with a Zac Thomas touchdown run of 35 yards. Thomas scored two touchdowns on the ground while having a quiet game through the air. Combined with 111 rushing yards by Darrynton Evans and the ability fo the defense to lock things down in the fourth quarter, there was no question Appalachian State was the best team in the Sun Belt Conference on this day, and this season.

This is the first outright conference championship for Appalachian State since moving up to the FBS ranks in 2014. The Mountaineers earned a share of the conference title each of the last two seasons before the introduction of the conference championship game. It has been a steady climb up the Sun Belt since moving up from the FCS, and now head coach Scott Satterfield has an outright conference championship to celebrate as the latest crowning achievement for the program.

Appalachian State will play in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 15. They will face an opponent from Conference USA, with the likely opponent expected to be either UAB or Middle Tennessee. Louisiana is still eligible to go to a bowl game, but will have to wait and see what bowl game they will be attending.

Appalachian State gets ahead of coaching carousel by extending Scott Satterfield’s contract

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With one of the rising names in the college football coaching landscape, Appalachian State is looking to prevent potential suitors from pursuing Scott Satterfield. On Friday, Appalachian State announced a contract extension for Satterfield that provides the head coach with some job security through 2023.

Satterfield has had his contract with Appalachian State extended multiple times, with the most recent extension before this coming in April of 2017. The extension announced today is a two-year extension from his previously extended contract. Terms of the contract have not been revealed or reported. According to the database of coaching salaries compiled by USA Today, Satterfield was being paid $675,000 by the school, making him the third-highest paid coach in the Sun Belt Conference (Troy’s Neal Brown and Arkansas State’s Blake Anderson have been paid more).

Satterfield took over the head coaching position at Appalachian State in 2012 and has gone 42-23 overall with a record of 38-15 at the FBS level, in that time with three straight bowl victories in the past three seasons. Satterfield’s first season with the Mountaineers also ended with a winning record but the Mountaineers were ineligible for postseason play as it was their first season playing at the FBS level.

Satterfield’s profile continues to be on the rise with on-field success at Appalachian State. Despite his latest contract extension, if the Mountaineers continue to win games this season, the interest in him as a potential coach for other programs will continue to escalate as well. Satterfield will very likely be a coach that is sought out by a handful of programs from power conference programs and potentially other Group of Five programs in need of a head coach even though Appalachian State has put together another contract extension.

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.