By Tim Gardner
Appalachian State University has added a new special teams coordinator to its football coaching staff.
New Mountaineers head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced the hiring of Erik Link to the post on Wednesday. Link is the fifth hire made by Drinkwitz.
Link and Drinkwitz were both quality control assistants as members of an Auburn University staff that helped the Tigers win a national title, compiling a 14-0 record in 2010. Link contributed to another BCS championship game appearance as a special teams/offensive analyst with Auburn in 2013. In those two Southeastern Conference title seasons, plus a stint as Montana State’s special teams coordinator and tight ends coach from 2011-12, Link was part of four consecutive conference championships.
Link spent last season as the special teams coordinator at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs finished 8-5 and ended the season with a 31-14 victory over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl. Like Appalachian State, Louisiana Tech got off to a strong start on special teams, as it had three blocks in its first four games.
Link takes the place of Stu Holt, who joined former Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield’s staff at the University of Louisville.
Link has more than 15 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and high school levels, including stints at Iowa State and Drake, his alma mater.
In 2003, he started his career as an assistant coach at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa. He then spent two years at Drake, first as a defensive graduate assistant (2004) and later a defensive line coach (2005).
He then joined the Iowa State coaching staff as an offensive graduate assistant in 2006. He would become both the assistant director of football operations and director of high school relations for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Link coached at Keller High School (Texas) in 2009, before joining the Auburn staff in 2010. He served as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Montana State.
He returned to Auburn in 2013 as a special teams/offensive analyst and stayed there through 2015. Before joining the Louisiana Tech staff in 2018, Link was head coach for two seasons at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa.
Link lettered for the Drake Bulldogs from 2000-02 and helped lead them to the 2000 Pioneer Football League Championship. He graduated from Drake in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He earned his master’s degree in public administration in executive leadership from Drake in 2008.
Link and his wife, Jill, have one daughter: Evelyn.