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App State Coaching Search Update: Ledford Out of Contention; McNeill, Gattis and Woody Listed as Possible Top Candidates

By Tim Gardner

FootballScoop.com is reporting that North Carolina State’s Dwayne Ledford has pulled himself out of contention for the Appalachian State head coaching job and has joined Scott Satterfield’s staff at Louisville. Ledford, a former Appalachian State assistant, most recently has been N.C. State’s offensive line coach and running game coordinator.

With the news that Ledford is out of the process, FootballScoop.com has listed three candidates that Athletics Director Doug Gillin is considering at Appalachian State. Those include: Ruffin McNeill, associate head coach and interim defensive coordinator at Oklahoma; Alabama co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis; and Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Nate Woody.

McNeill was East Carolina University’s head coach from 2010-15 and was Appalachian State’s defensive coordinator from 1993-96.

Gattis has been offered the offensive coordinator position at Maryland and could also be a candidate for Temple’s head coaching position.

Woody has previously been Defensive Coordinator at Appalachian State under Satterfield, but took the same post at Georgia Tech this past season.

Appalachian State interim head coach Mark Ivey also is considered as a possibility to replace Satterfield. Ivey has been an assistant coach at Appalachian State the past seven seasons, serving mostly as the Mountaineers defensive line coach. He was named by Satterfield as assistant head coach at the beginning of the 2018 season.

Ivey will coach Appalachian State in the New Orleans Bowl this Saturday, Dec. 15, against Middle Tennessee State.

Another possible candidate for the head coaching position from the current Appalachian State staff is Shawn Clark, co-offensive coordinator (running game) and offensive line coach.

Additionally, there are several other potential candidates who either played or coached (or both) for the Mountaineers, including: Tim Horton, Auburn running backs coach and recruiting coordinator; Scot Sloan, Georgia Southern defensive coordinator; John Settle, Wisconsin running backs coach; Stacey Searels, Miami offensive line coach; and Shawn Elliott, Georgia State head coach.

Only Elliott and McNeill have head coaching experience. And only Gattis has no direct ties to Appalachian State.

Settle is the only candidate listed with both collegiate and National Football League (NFL) coaching experience. Besides tenures at Appalachian State and Wisconsin, Settle also has been an assistant at Fresno State and Pittsburgh. He was as an offensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens (1995 to 1997). Additionally, he served as an assistant with the Carolina Panthers (2011 to 2012) and Cleveland again (2013).