After 13 successful seasons as the defensive coordinator at Southern Conference rival Wofford, coaching veteran Nate Woody has officially joined Appalachian State University’s football staff in the same capacity, head coach Scott Satterfield
announced on Monday. Woody has spent all 22 years of his collegiate coaching career at Wofford (1988-93, 1997-2012) and served as the Terriers’ defensive coordinator since 2000.
In his 13 seasons at the helm of his alma mater’s defense, Woody built one of the Southern Conference’s most successful units. Wofford led the SoCon in total defense three times under his tutelage, including twice in the last three campaigns (2010 and 2012), and produced nine all-Americans and three SoCon Defensive Players of the Year.
In 2012, the Terriers allowed just 16.6 points, 125 rushing yards and 305.9 total yards per game, good for tops in the SoCon in all three categories. Wofford ranked among the top 10 nationally in total defense two of the past three seasons — seventh in 2010 (285.9 ypg) and ninth in 2012. The Terriers also led the nation in takeaways with 41 in 2003.
Woody, 52, was a four-year starter at Wofford from 1980-83, playing two years at defensive back and two at outside linebacker. He was an honorable-mention all-American as a senior, as well as a two-time all-district honoree and served as the Terriers’ team captain in 1983. He graduated from Wofford with a B.A. in business economics in 1984.
He was born in Burlington, N.C. and spent part of his childhood in nearby Morganton, N.C. before attending high school at T.L. Hanna H.S. in Anderson, S.C. At Hanna, he was a four-sport standout (football, basketball, baseball and soccer) and played in the 1979 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. Woody and his wife, Rebecca, have two sons, Nicolas and Jacob.
“Leaving a place that I’ve been for well over 20 years is difficult but it’s been made so much easier by how nice and cordial everyone at Appalachian State has been,” Woody said. “I’ve always respected the talent level at Appalachian State, how well-coached their teams have been and the championships that they’ve won. Also, I’m looking forward to going against a powerful spread offense every day in practice, which I think gives me the chance to grow as a coach. I am excited to be a part of the Appalachian State family and grateful to Coach Satterfield for the opportunity.”
“Over the years, I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it is to move the ball against Coach Woody’s defenses and I’m glad that it will now be our opponents that have to try to do it,” Satterfield said. “He brings a lot of experience in the Southern Conference and knows what it takes to win championships. I’m thrilled to add another excellent coach to our staff.”
Woody takes the reins as Appalachian State’s defensive coordinator from Dale Jones, who held the position from 2010-12. Jones, a 17-year member of Appalachian’s staff, will remain as an assistant coach on the defensive side of the ball. Jason Blalock, who was an assistant coach for the Mountaineers for seven seasons, will pursue other professional opportunities. One opening remains on Satterfield’s staff for an assistant coach on the offensive side of the ball.
FIVE JANUARY ENROLLEES JOIN PROGRAM: Five student-athletes — four transfers and a true freshman — officially joined Appalachian State’s football program on Monday when they began classes on the first day of the spring semester. All five are eligible to begin offseason workouts with the Mountaineers immediately, participate in spring practice and play for Appalachian during the 2013 season.
The newest members of Appalachian State’s program are:
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/High School (Previous College)
Anthony Covington DB 5-11 195 Fr. Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek
Eric Davidson RB 5-10 200 So. Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford (Utah)
Brandon Hunter OL 6-4 275 Jr. Chapel Hill, N.C./Hargrave Military Academy (Louisburg College)
Ryan McGuirt P 6-2 190 So. Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day (Miami (Fla.))
Denzel Ward LB 5-11 230 So. Elizabeth City, N.C./Northeastern (Virginia Tech)
Covington is the only true freshman among Appalachian State’s January enrollees after graduating a semester early from Mallard Creek H.S. in Charlotte. He is rated as a three-star prospect, the No. 62 cornerback prospect nationally and the No. 24 overall prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com.
Davidson has three seasons of eligibility remaining after transferring from the University of Utah. He did not see any game action in two seasons at Utah. He was an all-conference player and academic all-conference performer as a senior at Western Guilford H.S. in Greensboro in 2010, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and catching 26 passes for 365 yards. He was also a standout in track and field, earning national recognition both as a sprinter and in the javelin.
Hunter was tabbed as a three-star prospect at defensive end by Rivals.com coming out of Hargrave Military Academy in 2009. He played at Louisburg College as a freshman in 2010 but due to family hardship, has not played the last two seasons. While away from college football, he served as an assistant coach at Carrboro H.S., coaching offensive and defensive linemen, while earning an associate degree from Alamance Community College. He played high-school football at Carrboro before his prep-school season at Hargrave and junior-college campaign at Louisburg. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
McGuirt has three seasons of eligibility remaining after transferring from Miami (Fla.). He did not see any game action in two seasons at Miami. He averaged 40 yards per punt and downed 10 inside the 20 yard line while helping lead Providence Day H.S. in Charlotte to a conference championship as a senior in 2010.
Ward has three seasons of eligibility remaining after redshirting as a freshman at Virginia Tech in 2011. He was a two-time all-area performer at Northeastern H.S. in Elizabeth City as a senior in 2010. In addition to being Northeastern’s two-time Defensive Player of the Year, he also rushed for 590 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught six touchdown passes offensively as a senior.
Photo Courtesy: Nate Woody, ASU Athletics