BREAKING: Missouri to hire Eliah Drinkwitz
After a winding, eight-day search, Missouri has settled on a new head football coach, pending approval by the Board of Curators. PowerMizzou has confirmed a report by ESPN's Chris Low that the school has reached a deal with former Appalachian State Eliah Drinkwitz. Nothing between the two parties has yet been signed, but a university official said an agreement is in place.
Missouri fired Barry Odom on Dec. 1 after four seasons as head coach. A week later, a private plane flew from Columbia to North Wilkesboro, NC on Saturday night. That same flight returned to Columbia late Saturday evening. Sources have indicated the flight took Director of Athletics Jim Sterk, and possibly other Mizzou officials, to meet with Drinkwitz following the Mountaineers’ 45-38 win over Louisiana in the Sun Belt Conference championship game.
Sunday, the two sides agreed on terms, though the details of the agreement have not yet been made public. Missouri will have to pay $1.7 million to buy Drinkwitz out of the remaining four years of his contract with Appalachian State.
At the outset of the search, Sterk said he wanted a coach with head coaching experience and an offensive background. The 36-year-old Drinkwitz checks both of those boxes, although his experience is limited. The 2018 season represented Drinkwitz's first as a college head coach. Taking over for Scott Satterfield at Appalachian State, Drinkwitz went 12-1 and has the Mountaineers ranked No. 20 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Appalachian State accepted a bid to the New Orleans Bowl, where It will play UAB.
Prior to getting the head job at Appalachian State, Drinkwitz served as an assistant under several prominent head coaches, including Gus Malzahn and Dave Doeren. Drinkwitz started his college coaching career as a quality control assistant at Auburn under Gene Chizik, where he was part of the Tigers' 2010 national title team. He then followed Malzahn to Arkansas State, where he coached the running backs in 2012 and added co-offensive coordinator to his duties in 2013. From there, he moved to Boise State, where he spent a year as the tight ends coach and another as the offensive coordinator. Finally, from 2016 to 2018, he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Carolina State.
For more information on Drinkwitz, check out the candidate profile we posted Sunday morning. As more information becomes available we will keep Tiger fans up to date.