Plenty of choices

Appalachian State Athletics Director Doug Gillin has plenty of possibilities to choose from when it comes to hiring a new head football coach.

BOONE — It didn’t take long after the Sun Belt Football Championship Game for Appalachian State head football coach Scott Satterfield to decide to be the new head coach at Louisville.

Louisville’s gain is Appalachian State’s, Boone’s and the Sun Belt Conference’s loss. It’s going to be odd to see Satterfield on a sideline wearing Louisville red and white instead of the familiar App State black and gold.

But, the App State program goes on and is in need of a head football coach.

The good news is that being the head football coach at Appalachian State is a prime job. A major overhaul of talent, or even staff, is not necessary. The facilities are here. The tradition is here. The talent is here.

Appalachian State Athletics Director Doug Gillin can be choosy. It is likely that there will be major interest in the coaching ranks to be the head coach at Appalachian State.

Here is a list of possible replacements for Satterfield, not necessarily listed in any order except those who are on the current staff and those who are not.

Possible promotions:

Mark Ivey

App State’s assistant head coach and the defensive line coach, Ivey earned his promotion to assistant head coach early in 2018. Ivey has been an assistant coach at App State for seven seasons and played at App State from 1992-96.

Bryan Brown

Under the current App State co-defensive coordinator, the App State defense did not skip a beat when it came to keeping Sun Belt Conference opponents out of the end zone. Brown has been with App State since 2012, when he was hired to coach cornerbacks.

Dale Jones

App State’s co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach, Jones has coached at App State for 23 years. He has coached linebackers and defensive line for the Mountaineers during his career at App State. Played collegiately at Tennessee.

Frank Ponce

The passing coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Ponce, a Miami native coached four-year starter Taylor Lamb and current quarterback Zac Thomas, who was named the Offensive Player of the Year by the Sun Belt Conference. Ponce has been at App State since 2013.

Shawn Clark

Running game coordinator and offensive line coach, Clark has overseen the development of Jalin Moore and Darrynton Evans. He also is the coach of App State’s offensive line, which has paved the way for the Mountaineers’ offense to be second in the Sun Belt Conference with an average of 241.0 per game. Clark coached the offensive line at Purdue from 2009-12 and at Kent State from 2013-15 before arriving at App State.

Outside options who have App State ties:

Dwayne Ledford

The run coordinator at North Carolina State. A former App State offensive line coach and run coordinator (2013-15), Ledford was popular with his players and has NFL playing experience. N.C. State also went 9-3 this season and is headed to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

Ruffin McNeill

McNeill, the current Oklahoma assistant head coach, is a former App State assistant from 1989-96, including the defensive coordinator from 1993-96. He was also head coach at East Carolina where he was 42-34.

John Settle

The former all-time rusher at Appalachian State before his yardage record was broken by Kevin Richardson in 2007 and again by Marcus Cox, Settle is the running backs coach at Wisconsin. A long-time assistant coach at several stops, Settle also has NFL playing experience.

Stacey Searels

A former offensive line coach at App State from 1994-2000, Searels has coached at Cincinnati, LSU, Texas and Virginia. He is currently the Miami offensive line coach.

Shawn Elliott

This former App State offensive line coach (1997-2009) and former App State player (1991-95) has head coaching experience with South Carolina, when he took over for Steve Spurrier when he resigned in 2015 and with Georgia State. He led Georgia State to a win in the Cure Bowl in 2017, but the Panthers stumbled to a 2-9 season one year later.

Tim Horton

Horton, the current Auburn running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, was an assistant coach at App State from 1990-98 when he coached running backs, receivers and tight ends.

Appalachian State may stay in the family or it may find a candidate with no ties to the university who is the perfect fit. Either way, it’s a job that most coaches would covet if given the chance.

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