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How Has Appalachian State Pulled In Their Assistant Coaches?

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After hiring a new offensive line coach from Kent State, App State has now made impressive hires from the MAC, Conference USA and American that weren't position upgrades.

After Dwayne Ledford left for NC State, Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield didn't waste much time in hiring a replacement. This time, it came from the MAC as Shawn Clark was hired in Ledford's place.

Clark was the assistant head coach and OL coach at Kent State and besides being a former I-AA All-American at App, is considered a good pick-up for the Mountaineers, having been an OL coach at Eastern Kentucky, Purdue and and Kent State.

The hiring of Clark also signifies something else for App State. This is now the third assistant coach hire in a calendar year from another FBS conference.

Last year in January after WR coach Justin Stepp joined Chad Morris' staff at SMU, Satterfield hired Justin Watts from Middle Tennessee State, who was the WR coach with the Blue Raiders.

Watts was the WR coach and recruiting coordinator for MTSU since 2006, so it's not like he was a continual job-jumper.

Then in July, after the sudden (and still mysterious) departure of Chris Foster as RB coach (who is now RB coach at Georgia Southern), Satterfield made another splash in hiring Stu Holt from South Florida.

Holt was the Special Teams Coordinator and TE coach for the Bulls and left to become the RB coach and Special Teams Coordinator at App State. The move paid off big-time for Mountaineer special teams this past season, having one of the best field-goal kickers in FBS and not allowing a single special teams score in 2015.

With Clark, the Mountaineers, a Sun Belt team, have made three hires that weren't position upgrades from Conference USA, the American Athletic and the MAC. And all three having more than 10 years of real coaching experience, not including their times as graduate assistant.

So the question beckons, how does Satterfield pull this off? The answer isn't quite as enticing as the question though.

All three coaches either are from areas close to App State or in the case of Clark, went to App State after growing up in West Virginia.

Watts played at Clemson, three hours from Boone, and is from Florence, South Carolina, a five-hour drive to App State.

Holt went to North Carolina, which is another 3-4 hour drive from Boone, and is from Hamptonville, North Carolina, an hour-drive to Boone.

In coaching, with men going all over creation trying to advance their careers, sometimes being close to family and friends can be a huge plus. "Happy wife, happy life" indeed.

With only one coach (fingers crossed) turned over from the 2015 campaign where App State went 11-2 and won the Camellia Bowl, you can see why the Mountaineers will be one of the Group of 5 teams to watch in 2016.