By Tim Gardner
Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced another hiring to his first staff late Friday with the addition of long-time major college assistant coach Buddy Wyatt.
It marked the second hire Drinkwitz made on Friday. Earlier in the day, he announced he had hired Andy Lutz as Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations.
During a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Wyatt has worked in the Southeastern, Big 12, Big Ten and American Athletic conferences as a defensive line coach.
He will serve in the same capacity for the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
“Buddy Wyatt is a man of character and a football coach with a history of player development,” Drinkwitz said. “He will work to enhance our defensive line play. I’m excited to welcome Buddy and his wife to the Appalachian Family.”
Wyatt spent last season as a senior analyst at the University of Kansas following a three-year stint as defensive line coach at Southern Methodist University (SMU) from 2015-17.
He also has extensive Power Five conference experience because of the knowledge he gained and the future National Football League (NFL) players he coached while working as a defensive line coach at Kansas (2010-14), Texas A&M (2008-09, 2000-02), Nebraska (2007), Alabama (2003-06), Colorado (1999), Northwestern (1997-98), Oklahoma State (1996) and Minnesota (1992-95).
“It’s an honor to be part of the Appalachian Family,” Wyatt said. “Everybody knows about the success that the football program at App State has had. It’s great to be at a place that has a good football culture. I’m really impressed with Coach Drinkwitz and the type of person that he is and the staff that he’s put together. I’m excited to get started.”
At SMU in 2017, the Mustangs ranked 38th nationally with 31 sacks, including eight in one game, and 30th nationally with 90 tackles for loss. SMU reached a bowl game with 19 different players who made tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Wyatt also helped Texas A&M reach a bowl during his last season with the Aggies. They ranked 15th nationally with 35 sacks and 34th with 82 tackles for loss. Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and NFL All-Pro Von Miller, who played on the defensive line and at linebacker during his college career, had 17 sacks that season.
Texas A&M ranked 10th nationally in total defense while Wyatt coached its defensive linemen in 2001.
Wyatt also has worked with NFL players such as Ndamukong Suh (a five-time Pro Bowl selection and nose tackle who was the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft), Michael Bennett (a three-time Pro Bowl selection at defensive end and a Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks), Jamal Williams (a three-time All-Pro at nose tackle from 2004-06), Adam Carriker (a first-round draft pick in 2007), Tyler Brayton (a first-round pick in 2003), Rocky Bernard (a Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks) and Ty Warren (a 2007 All-Pro at nose tackle and two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots).
When he coached at Alabama, Wyatt was the lead recruiter for two consecutive Mississippi High School Players of the Year who chose to play for the Crimson Tide.
Wyatt was a defensive lineman from 1986-89 at Texas Christian University (TCU), where he earned a degree in education in 1990. He began his coaching career there in 1991 as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line.
Wyatt is a Victoria, TX native. He and his wife, Andrea, have two children: Frederick and Ariel.