New coach takes the field

Appalachian State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz takes the field with his team before they take on East Tennessee State.

BOONE — Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz had plenty of work to do last week. Some of it was on the football field.

While Drinkwitz was getting Appalachian State ready to take on Louisiana in a Sun Belt Conference showdown on Oct. 9, he had life that still marched on.

“Life comes at you quickly,” he said.

Drinkwitz’s wife Lindsey gave birth to a daughter, Parker Lynn Drinkwitz, on Oct. 2. Parker is the fourth Drinkwitz daughter in the family, joining Addison, Emerson and Ella.

While that was going on, Appalachian State was preparing for its Sun Belt showdown with Louisiana, which kept Drinkwitz hopping between his family and his job.

“There are only so many hours in a day, so you've got to try to make sure everybody gets priority,” Drinkwitz said. “Everybody is counting on me to do a job. My wife is counting on me. My girls are counting on me to be there supporting them emotionally. That’s really my No. 1 job.”

He said one of the biggest challenges is to make sure that his family at home and his football team each had his undivided attention. The basics were easy — concentrate on what he was doing at the place he was at.

“This football team is counting on me to be focused and make sure my mind is in the right place,” Drinkwitz said. “I’ve heard this saying 'be here now' and that’s what I’ve tried to do, be where my feet are, wherever I am, be there in that moment and focus on that moment. Don’t be in the hospital thinking about football and don’t be at football thinking about the hospital. That’s what I’ve tried to do and I’ll keep doing it.”

Drinkwitz’s attention will be on Louisiana Oct. 9. He said the Mountaineers prepared for the Ragin Cajuns the same way that they prepared for any team that they would play on Saturday.

The extra days gave the Mountaineers extra time to polish things they worked on during the season.

“We game planned just like it was a normal week like we were playing Saturday,” Drinkwitz said. “We had urgency to prepare and that’s how we approached it.”

And when he comes back from Louisiana and goes home, the No. 1 concern and his focus is directed on his family.

“All is well with the new baby girl,” Drinkwitz said. “She is now home. Her mom and her are doing really well, so I appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers from the App family.”

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