By Leila Jackson
On Dec. 14, 2012, Athletics Director Charlie Cobb announced former standout player and coach Scott Satterfield ’96 would take the reigns of the Mountaineer football program from longtime head coach Jerry Moore. The 20th head coach in the program’s history, Satterfield spent his collegiate career quarterbacking for Appalachian, leading the squad to an undefeated regular season in 1995, before moving into a Mountaineers coaching role not long after graduation. As a player and an assistant, Satterfield helped guide the team to three national championships and eight Southern Conference titles. He coached for 11 seasons at Appalachian (1998-2008), then moved to Toledo and Florida International University (FIU) before returning to Boone in 2012 as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach.
“Coming to Boone as a student-athlete, I was just trying to find my way. Making the team and getting an education were my main goals,” said Satterfield. “Getting to come back and coach, and work my way up that ladder to be the head coach at my alma mater is a dream come true. I’m very excited about this opportunity.”
Satterfield and his wife, Beth Burleson Satterfield ’94, a former track and field athlete, cheerleader and gymnast at Appalachian, concur the community spirit of Boone is something the family holds dear. “The Appalachian Family means a tremendous amount to me. I met my wife while I was a student-athlete, we got married after graduation, and we grew our family here – we have three kids who were all born in Watauga County. We’ve met such wonderful people through the years here at ASU and in the community. It all means a great deal to us – it’s truly our home.”
The opportunity to lead a team under the lights is exciting to Satterfield, but he is just as interested in molding young lives outside of football. “I take it as a huge responsibility to take these guys who are 17, 18 years old and create great men out of them,” he said. “We want them to be great fathers, great husbands, great community members when they go out into the world. Building that is a huge part of what we do as coaches.” Satterfield believes that working hard the right way off the field translates into success on the gridiron. “As a program, the bar is set pretty high, and we’re going to continue to do the things it takes to be champions. For the most part, that’s off-the-field work: integrity, work ethic and a never-say-die attitude.”
This season is new all around for the team – a new head coach, a new conference, new opportunities at a higher level, and a national spotlight. None of this is daunting to Satterfield, who coached a championship team in the Sun Belt during his stint at FIU. “It’s great to get this opportunity in the Sun Belt. We have a lot of work to do between now and then. It’s a huge challenge. We’ll do all the things we need to do to build a championship-caliber program in a new league. We’ll build on the championship legacies we already have.”
Appalachian’s football program will transition to college football’s highest level, the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). What does this mean for Appalachian’s athletics programs? Here are some answers:
“The Appalachian Family means a tremendous amount to me. We’ve met such wonderful people through the years here at ASU and in the community. It all means a great deal to us – it’s truly our home.”