By Tim Gardner
Sources indicate that Appalachian State head football coach Scott Satterfield is reportedly the top candidate for the University of Louisville head job.
After Purdue coach Jeff Brohm turned down Louisville last Wednesday, multiple news reports are that Satterfield is Louisville’s top choice.
Yahoo.com sports reporters Pat Forde and Pete Thamel have stated in a recent article: Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield remains the top target for the vacant University of Louisville head coaching job, according to multiple sources. Satterfield has not formally interviewed for the job, but he’s expected to meet with Louisville officials in the upcoming days. Sources indicate he remains the heavy favorite for the job.
FootballScoop.com reported that Vince Tyra, Louisville’s athletics director, wanted to interview Satterfield after the Mountaineers’ game against Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
The Mountaineers beat Louisiana-Lafayette 30-19 to win the Sun Belt Conference title and secure their 10th win.
Satterfield confirmed in media reports Friday that Louisville has reached out to his representation about the job. Satterfield said in a Winston-Salem Journal article that he would consider taking the job if offered.
“I think I owe it to myself and my family to take a look,” Satterfield said. “And I’ve always said I’ll listen. I’ll listen to see what people have to say.
“And if there is interest on their part, we’ll see where it’s at. If it’s going to benefit our family and is a situation we feel like we can have success, then that’s something we’ll take serious. And if not, we’ll move on and continue to build a powerhouse at Appalachian State.”
Satterfield said he hasn’t spoken with Louisville officials personally, having his agent representation to handle negotiations. Satterfield’s agent is Jimmy Sexton of Creative Artists Agency. Sexton also represents 11 of the 14 coaches in the Southeastern Conference, among others.
If Satterfield is hired at Louisville, it likely would be before Dec. 19. That is the first day football recruits can sign a national letter of intent during the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) early signing period. Schools usually want their head coaches in place by the start of early signing period.
Satterfield is 50-24 in his six seasons with his alma mater, helping the Mountaineers become the first program to win its first three bowl games of school history. Since he went 4-8 in his first year as Appalachian State’s head coach (2013) and 7-5 in his second (2014), Satterfield’s teams there have gone 39-11 over the past four years.
Others listed in media reports as possible candidates for the Louisville job include Troy head coach Neal Brown, Utah State head coach Matt Wells, Memphis head coach Mike Norvell, Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day and Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.
The new Louisville coach will replace Bobby Petrino, who was fired last month after five seasons. The school also fired Petrino’s three relatives he had on his staff there. Louisville was only 2-10 this season.
If Satterfield is offered, and takes the Louisville job, he would assuredly make much more money that he has as Appalachian State’s head coach.
Petrino made almost $4 million per season at Louisville, according to the USA Today coaches salary database. Satterfield’s contract in that same database is $712,500. His base salary at Appalachian State is $425,000.
And if Satterfield becomes Louisville’s next head coach in the next few days, it’s unclear if he would still coach Appalachian State in its Dec. 15 New Orleans Bowl game. If he doesn’t, Appalachian State would likely name an interim head coach for the bowl game.
For Louisville fans accustomed to wide-open offenses under Petrino, Satterfield would also give the Cardinals a head coach with an offensive background. He was a successful quarterback at Appalachian State and began his career there coaching wide receivers (1998), running backs (1999-2002) and quarterbacks (2003-2008). He coached former star quarterback Armanti Edwards in a 2007 upset of Michigan that resonates as one of the greatest upsets in college football history.
Under Satterfield’s direction, Appalachian State finished the 2018 regular season ranked 14th in nation in rushing offense (242.5 yards per game), 17th in scoring offense (37.3 points per game), fourth in total defense (278.2 yards per game) and fourth in scoring defense (15.4 points per game).
Satterfield has also worked as an assistant at Toledo and Florida International.
Before interviewing with any other school, Satterfield is contractually required to first get written consent from Appalachian State Athletics Director Doug Gillin.
Satterfield has previously said that he would not talk with any other school until Appalachian State’s regular season and Sun Belt Conference championship game were over.
“I’ve told my representation that, ‘Hey I’m not talking to anybody until my season is over, you know, because we’re competing for championships,’ “Satterfield said. “I think that any school that would want to have interest in me would respect that.
Satterfield’s name previously has been mentioned for coaching vacancies. In 2016, he was contention for a job at the University of Cincinnati. That position eventually went to Luke Fickell, who has led the Bearcats to a 10-2 record this season.
Satterfield has also been named by various media outlets as a candidate for the opening at Georgia Tech after 11-year Coach Paul Johnson, an Avery County native, resigned on November 28.
Satterfield was additionally named in some media reports as a candidate to fill the recent head job opening at University of North Carolina. But he would have been considered a long shot for that post as UNC’s constituency heavily favored hiring Linville resident Mack Brown, who accepted the job on November 27 for a second tenure.
Satterfield further said in the Winston-Salem Journal story that he understands that given the Mountaineers’ recent run, the interest was bound to come in him taking another job, especially a higher profile one.
“We’ve had so much success here (at Appalachian State) over a four-year period, and the consistency has shown that when jobs open up within the region, there’s going to be interest,” Satterfield said. “It just so happens that we’re one of the most successful Group of Five (programs) out there, and it seems like teams, they try to look at those coaches.”