By Tim Gardner
According to multiple media reports, the University of Louisville has reached an agreement with Appalachian State’s Scott Satterfield to be the Cardinals next head football coach.
The board of directors for the University of Louisville’s athletic association announced multiple meetings for Tuesday afternoon. Its finance committee will meet at 4:00 p.m., personnel committee at 4:10 p.m., with a full board meeting scheduled for 4:20 p.m., apparently to finalize the deal and approve Satterfield to become head coach.
Louisville has scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference with a “special announcement” about the football program.
The 45-year-old Satterfield emerged as Louisville’s top choice after Purdue’s Jeff Brohm turned down the offer from his alma mater last week. Satterfield has led Appalachian State to a 51-24 record in six seasons, including 10-2 this year. The Mountaineers beat Louisiana-Lafayette 30-19 last Saturday in the inaugural Sun Belt Conference championship game.
Appalachian State will face Middle Tennessee in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 15. It is not immediately clear if Satterfield will coach Appalachian State in the bowl game or if the school will hire an interim head coach for it.
It’s also not certain who the top candidates will be to replace Satterfield as the Mountaineers’ head coach or how many, if any, of Satterfield’s assistants at Appalachian State will leave the school and be a part of his Louisville staff.
Satterfield will replace Bobby Petrino at Louisville, who was fired on Nov. 11 after a 2-8 start. Lorenzo Ward was 0-2 as the Cardinals’ interim head coach.
Satterfield faces a massive task rebuilding Louisville, which spiraled quickly this season after the departure of 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson to the National Football League.
Louisville lost its final nine games and finished 0-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Its only victories were against lower-level Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) or formerly Division I-AA schools Indiana State and Western Kentucky and only because of second-half rallies.
The offense-minded Satterfield must improve a Louisville offense that went from being one of the nation’s best with Jackson to ranking 111th nationally at 352.5 yards per game in 2018. By comparison, Appalachian State ranks 20th nationally in scoring at 36.7 points per game and 42nd in total offense at 429.6 yards.
Another priority for Satterfield will be hiring a defensive coordinator to shore up a Louisville defense that allowed at least 50 points seven times this season, including a monster 77-16 loss to No. 2 Clemson.
Satterfield spent 23 football seasons at Appalachian State. He first arrived as a walk-on quarterback from Hillsborough, NC. He went on to become a starter for the Mountaineers in the early 1990s. He graduated from Appalachian State in 1996, coming back to be the team’s wide receivers coach in 1998. He shifted to running backs (1999 to 2002) and quarterbacks (2003 to 2008) while working under longtime head coach Jerry Moore.
Satterfield was part of the Appalachian State staff that helped the Mountaineers win three-straight FCS national titles from 2005 to 2007. He became Toledo’s quarterbacks coach in 2009. He then had a two-year stint at Florida International as offensive coordinator. In 2012, he returned to Appalachian State as offensive coordinator before becoming the successor to Moore and the 20th head coach in Mountaineers history.
Under Satterfield’s direction, Appalachian State made a prolific transition from the FCS to the major level Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). In his first year as head coach (2013), the Mountaineers finished 4-8 in their final Southern Conference season. Their first FBS season of 2014 featured a 1-5 start before ending the year with six victories.
The Mountaineers compiled an 11-2 record in 2015, including a victory in the first bowl game of school history. Appalachian State rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat Ohio, 31-29, in the Camellia Bowl, on a game-winning, 23-yard field goal by Zach Matic.
The 2016 season featured the first of three straight Sun Belt championships for the Mountaineers. They shared the title with Arkansas State, clinching their part of it with a victory in their regular season finale against New Mexico State. Appalachian State finished the season at 10-3 with another Camellia Bowl win, a 31-28 victory against Toledo.
Appalachian State won nine games in 2017 and earned a berth in the Dollar General Bowl, beating Toledo again, 34-0 — the only shutout of that bowl season. The Mountaineers shared the Sun Belt title with Troy.