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Examining Scott Satterfield Heading Into Year 5 At Appalachian State

Time to take a look at the Scott Satterfield era at App St.

Georgia State v Appalachian State Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Late 2012 was the end of an era for Appalachian State as the winningest head coach in school history, Jerry Moore stepped down and ended his 31 year head coaching career. It was a move many App fans did not want to make but knowing the impending move to the FBS level, Appalachian knew it needed a fresh start entering the Sun Belt.

Coach Moore’s replacement would be named almost two weeks after the announcement that he would step down was made and it would be a man App fans were very familiar with in Scott Satterfield. Satterfield was a QB at Appalachian from 1991-1995.

He returned to App in 1998 as a WR and RB coach until 2002. From 2003-2008 he coached the QBs at App State where he would coach the likes of 2005 championship QB Richie Williams and 2006 & 2007 championship QB Armanti Edwards. Following the ‘08 season Satterfield would go on to spend three years away from ASU (one season at Toledo and two seasons at FIU), before returning as offensive coordinator in 2012.

Let’s take a look at the Satterfield era.

Scott Satterfield Coaching Breakdown 2013-2016

Year Overall Win-Loss Conference Win-Loss Win-Loss % PPG PAPG YPG Season Grade
Year Overall Win-Loss Conference Win-Loss Win-Loss % PPG PAPG YPG Season Grade
2013* 4-8 4-4 33% 23.6 28 409.8 D
2014* 7-5 6-2 58% 35.7 27.3 461.5 B-
2015** 11-2 7-1 84% 36.7 19.1 467.3 B+
2016*** 10-3 7-1 77% 29.2 17.8 435.9 A
2013 & 2014 were transition years for App. 2015 was a Bowl Championship Season. 2016 was a Bowl and Sun Belt Championship Season

Grade Explanations

2013 (D) - This was a season I would say most Appalachian State fans like myself tend to forget about. It was a year of “New” as the team was moving on without coach Moore, ineligible for the FCS Playoffs and in its first year of a two year FBS transition. Losses to Montana, NC A&T and Charleston Southern got App off to a 1-3 start (Lone win came against Elon). Losses in SoCon play racked up as App lost to Citadel, Samford, Furman, and Chattanooga. App would also lose to SEC power Georgia in their lone FBS matchup. The only reason 2013 gets a “D” grade in my book and not a “D-” or “F”, is because App State managed to grab wins over two ranked teams in Georgia Southern and Wofford near the end of the season.

2014 (B-) - The 2014 season, in some ways could be “graded” as a “C” or “C+” but I chose to give the Mountaineers a “B-”. A “B-” might be right for some and wrong to others. The season started pretty rough as “Round 2” at the Big House was not the same outcome as “Round 1”. App slaughtered Pioneer League member Campbell 66-0 in week two as expected, then everything headed south.

App would lose on a blocked PAT to Southern Miss, get embarrassed on national TV against Georgia Southern, be run out of Kidd Brewer by South Alabama and to top it off lose to FCS member Liberty 55-48 in OT at home. After six games App sat at 1-5 on the season and had fans sick to their stomachs, then out of nowhere the explosion started. The Apps would go on a tear the last half of the season averaging 41 points a game, as only two of the final six games were decided by less than 10 points. App turned a 1-5 start to a 7-5 season and a 6-2 record in their Sun Belt debut.

2015 (B+) - 2015 was a history making season for Appalachian State as the team won its first bowl game at the FBS level and was one win away from winning the Sun Belt championship. The only reason I don’t give 2015 an “A” is because of the missed opportunity App had to claim their first Sun Belt title on a Thursday night in Boone against Arkansas State. Appalachian held a 21-17 halftime lead but the second half would spell doom for the Mountaineers. Arkansas State would score 23 straight in the the 2nd half and leave Boone with a 40-27 victory.

App would win their final 3 games and would accept a bid to play in the Camellia Bowl against the Ohio Bobcats from the MAC. Appalachian would fall behind 17-7 at the half forcing them to play from behind. Ohio would score a TD in the third quarter and extend the lead to 24-7 heading into the 4th. Then the unexpected happened. Appalachian came storming back thanks to the arm of Taylor Lamb. Ohio kicked a 21 yard field goal with 1:47 to go, leaving just enough time as Zach Matics would nail a 23 yard field goal to secure the win and App’s first Bowl Game as an FBS program.

NCAA Football: Camellia Bowl-Appalachian State vs Toledo Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

2016 (A) - Let me begin with my 2016 explanation by saying this without a doubt is the toughest to grade because of how close App came to conquering “Rocky Top”. It’s crazy to think that had it not been for a missed PAT and a missed field goal by freshman kicker Michael Rubino, App wins 17-13. The loss stung but it showed that Appalachian was a team ready to play anyone they stepped on the field with.

App also had another chance at a national upset, this time at home against Miami. App was never close as they fell 45-10 to the Hurricanes. There is no shame in losing to those teams as both were nationally ranked and App was never expected to keep it close with UT or Miami.

2016 Saw App put together a 7-1 Sun Belt record (only loss to Troy). App got some late season help from Georgia State, who defeated Troy in the final week of the regular season to deal them their second loss in Sun Belt play, which ensured App State their first Sun Belt title in school history (Co-Champs with Arkansas State).

Appalachian would once again return to the Camellia Bowl where this time they would play Toledo from the MAC. It would be a back-and-forth affair all night but Appalachian’s defense would stand tall late and secure themselves back to back Camellia Bowl trophies.

Final Thoughts

After a rough start Scott Satterfield has hung tough and showed his potential as a head coach. Appalachian has made history the past couple seasons, and also had one of the smoothest transitions from FCS to FBS in history.

Appalachian continues to excel in both recruiting and developing talent, which shows that App is on track to get that much better heading into 2017.