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Originally published: 2013-01-15 12:32:53
Last modified: 2013-01-15 12:34:05

Woody feels ASU is right fit

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

New Appalachian State defensive coordinator Nate Woody had other offers to leave Wofford. The longtime Wofford defensive coach turned them all down.

After 22 years, it took an offer from Appalachian State to get him to move away from Spartanburg, S.C. Woody, who was hired over the weekend by ASU head coach Scott Satterfield, said Monday in a conference call that Appalachian State was the “right fit” for him and his family.

“I’ve been on journeys before to talk about job opportunities and they were not the right fit,” Woody said. “This one was absolutely the right fit. It was right for me and my family and a chance for me to step in and grow as a coach.”

Woody takes over for Dale Jones, who was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Appalachian State from 2010-12. Defensive line coach Jason Blalock was not retained.

Satterfield did not elaborate what role Jones would play. Satterfield said he would confer with Jones, Woody and bandits coach Mark Ivey, who was brought in to Appalachian State last season.

Cornerbacks coach Bryan Brown and secondary coach Scott Sloan will stay where they are.

“I’m working that out with coach Ivey and Dale,” Satterfield said. “Between the three of them we’ll figure out how to coach the front seven. Coach Brown and coach Sloan will stay where they are at the corners and safeties.”

Satterfield said his experience trying to solve Wofford’s defenses was one of the reasons why be pursued Woody.

“They’ve always done a great job of keeping everything in front of them and forcing a lot of turnovers,” Satterfield said. “They’ve also been tough on quarterbacks. I felt he can give us a chance to win championships. The chance to get Nate Woody, with his core values, fits with what we want at Appalachian State.”

Woody was Wofford’s defensive coordinator for 13 seasons, and an assistant coach at Wofford for 22 seasons. In 2012, the Terriers allowed just 16.6 points and 305.9 yards per game. Both were tops in the SoCon last season.

The Terriers were ninth in the nation in total defense last season.

Wofford was also seventh in the nation in total defense in 2010 with 285.9 yards per game. The Terriers also led the nation with 41 takeaways in 2003.

Woody said the Mountaineers would return to a 3-4 set in 2013, but would also rush the passer with at least four players. He said the flexibility of having an extra pass rusher gives the Mountaineers an advantage.

“There are several kinds of 3-4 defenses,” Woody said. “We’ll rush four more than three and more than five. What we want to do is to be flexible on which four are rushing. I felt like we had the right personnel at Wofford and we did a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback.”

Woody met with the defense on Sunday, but has not met one-on-one with the players. His top priority is recruiting until getting ready for spring practices.

He did not get much of a chance to watch Appalachian State’s defense since he spent most of his Saturdays trying to stop the Mountaineers’ offense. He is aware of the postseason awards Appalachian State’s players have won in the past, but also knows that the returning defense is young as a group.

“As you look at our defense at Appalachian, we are a little young in a lot of places,” Woody said. “We’ve got younger guys who are still learning.  Once they’ve learned, they can be pretty good. They’ll get faster once they’ve learned it.”