Even after the 40-27 loss to Arkansas State, Appalachian State is still 7-2, bowl eligible and have been receiving AP Top 25 votes, considerations that made the decision to extend head coach Scott Satterfield’s contract earlier this season look even better.
While Satterfield, with a career record of 18-15 at App State, acknowledged that getting the five-year contract extension, worth a minimum of $2.8 million, was “awesome.” He also said that he and the team are concentrating on what is directly in from of them.
“We’re in the middle of a season right now, and we’re focused on trying to compete for the Sun Belt championship,” Satterfield said.
That mindset, among other attributes, has had an impact on his players and adds to the reasons they enjoy playing for Satterfield.
“He sees the game from when he was playing the game,” senior defensive lineman Ronald Blair said. “He still has a young mind, a fresh mind to the game, and it really helps us see things from his perspective. He’s a player’s coach. Any time of day you can talk to him, and we just really love playing for him.”
Satterfield’s lifelong commitment to the university was one of the many reasons for the extension.
“We are on the same page on what we want for Appalachian State University,” athletic director Doug Gillin said. “He’s certainly been here a lot longer than I. He’s invested 20 years of his life here.”
Satterfield has approached his job the same way throughout his tenure at Appalachian State.
“I look at my job to try to do the best job I could possibly do every day since the first day I’ve gotten it, and that hasn’t changed,” Satterfield said. “It’s rewarding to know that your body of work is something that the board of trustees, the chancellor and the [athletic director] are proud of.”
When they decided to pursue a contract extension, Gillin made one thing clear.
“I said to him from the beginning, ‘If we do this, we’re gonna negotiate a contract between you and I, because it’s important for us to have that relationship,’” Gillin said.
This was unusual because the majority of contracts in major collegiate sports are handled by agents and lawyers on both sides. However, Satterfield and Gillin were able to get the deal done at a perfect time for the university.
“We were able to announce nationally a commitment to somebody that’s been a big part of our program doing it the right way at the same time the national media was talking about who’s on the hot seat, and coaches had already started getting fired,” Gillin said. “I felt really good for Appalachian that we could commit. This is who we are. This is who we wanna be. We got our guy.”
Moving forward, Satterfield said he plans to continue to do things right.
“Soon as I got the job here we tried to build the program in the right way,” Satterfield said. “We’re going to continue to recruit the best talent we can possibly get in here, and that’s what we’ve always done.”
Following with the loss to Arkansas State, the team has won 10 of their last 11 Sun Belt conference games, and 13 of their last 15 games, overall. The only other loss came earlier this season against Clemson, now ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, 41-10 on Sept. 12.
However, it wasn’t just the on-the-field success that got Satterfield the extension.
“I based a lot of it on how he was building the program, and quite frankly, the type of person I think he is,” Gillin said. “What I’ve said for a long, long time to a lot of people is ‘Would I send my son to come play for him?’ And the answer is yes.”
Story by: Colin Tate, Sports Reporter