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Originally published: 2012-12-15 17:51:33
Last modified: 2012-12-15 17:51:33

Off and running

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

The ink was barely dry on the contract Scott Satterfield signed to become the new head coach of Appalachian State when he had to undergo his first task — recruiting.

Satterfield was on his way to Atlanta on Friday to catch the end of a state championship prep football game. He didn’t get a chance to see the beginning of the game since the board of trustees at ASU just approved his promotion from offensive coordinator.

Instead, he met local media and well-wishers at the Appalachian Athletic Center at Kidd Brewer Stadium Friday.

The timing of hiring Satterfield is good since the NCAA is in the middle of a “live” recruiting session. A “dead” period starts today before another live period begins three weeks later. The national signing day is Feb. 6.

Getting away from the Friday news conference was first.

“They kept saying, ‘We have to push it back, push it back,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve got to go,’” Satterfield said. “The dead period starts Sunday, so we’ve got to get out. We’ve been out the last two weeks. The problem is it’s dead for the next three weeks, so you can’t do anything with these guys, so this is the last opportunity to make an impression on these guys. I’m going to be on the phone calling all of our top priority guys and letting them know what’s happening here and that we want them.”

Satterfield said he wanted North Carolina to be a primary source of future talent at ASU. He wants to also keep recruiting Georgia and South Carolina, which are two places ASU had found talent in the past.

But Satterfield said making sure quality players from North Carolina, who want to play at Appalachian State, getting at least a look from the coaching staff is important.

The current roster has 60 players, including walk-ons from North Carolina. There are 22 players from Georgia and seven are from South Carolina.

“I don’t want to miss anybody in North Carolina,” Satterfield said. “This is our state, our home state, and we’ve got to do our due diligence in our home state. Every staff member is going to have an area. Ten guys are going to be in our home state combing the area. If there’s a guy who can play who has in interest in Appalachian, then we want to go get him.”

Satterfield won’t have to deal with a lot of the chaos that surrounds other coaching changes. He returned to Boone to be the program’s offensive coordinator and assistant head coach to Jerry Moore, so there are no issues of finding a house and moving hundreds, or even thousands of miles away.

“You’re already settled in,” Satterfield said. “For our staff, those guys last year were trying to get shuffled in and all that as well. You’re worried about other things besides football. You’re worried about getting a house, but we don’t have to worry about that. We’re hitting the ground running and that’s what we’ll do over the break. ”

Satterfield also said that he plans to talk to the current assistant coaches about staying on staff. Should he retain all of them, there won’t be issues of bringing in any new faces except for a quarterbacks coach and an offensive coordinator.

That coach will have to buy into the spread offense that the Mountaineers use. He also wants his new offensive coordinator, and the current coaches on staff, to use their imaginations to make the Mountaineers better.

“I want guys who are kind of out-of-the-box thinkers,” Satterfield said. “I want guys that are innovative-type guys. I want guys who can add something to what we already have, and then let’s make it bigger and better. That’s kind of what we’re looking for.”

Whoever the offensive coordinator is, he’ll have a talented offense to work with. The Mountaineers return 10 starters from last year’s team that went 8-4 and scored 32 points per game.

That includes quarterback Jamal Jackson, who will be a three-year starter in 2013. It also includes rising senior receivers Anthony Peacock and Tony Washington, and freshmen standouts Sean Price and Malachi Jones.

Satterfield will keep a voice in what the Mountaineers do offensively, but wants his coordinator to bring something extra.

“We’re going to be a wide open spread offense and be multiple,” he said. “We’re going to try to add some things to it. I think coming back this year, our offensive line is going to be better. We were able to move the football and we gained a lot more experience and we’ve got all of those guys back next year.”