BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State added North Carolina native Charlie Harbison, a veteran defensive coach with experience in the NFL, SEC, ACC and Sun Belt, to the Mountaineers' staff Saturday.

With the addition of Harbison, head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz has finalized all 10 on-field assistant positions. On the defensive side with Harbison are coordinator Ted Roof and assistants Greg Gasparato, D.J. Smith and Buddy Wyatt. The offensive assistants are Junior Adams, Shawn Clark, Ken Dorsey and Justin Watts. Erik Link will serve as the special teams coordinator.

"Charlie is a great teacher and an outstanding recruiter with his connections in our state," Drinkwitz said. "Not only will he develop our players on the field, he will also develop them in life skills. He is a huge addition to our staff, and I'm excited to welcome him and his family to App State."

This past season, Harbison served as assistant defensive backs coach on Appalachian alum Steve Wilks' Arizona Cardinals' staff, helping cornerbacks such as Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson limit opposing teams to 203.9 passing yards per game, good for fourth-best in the NFL.

Harbison has 26 years of coaching experience at the college level and has been a part of teams that made 20 bowl appearances, including the BCS National Championship Game, two Orange Bowls, two Sugar Bowls and two Cotton Bowls. He spent 20 years in the SEC and ACC with stops at Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and LSU. Harbison spent three seasons (2015-17) as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Louisiana and was hired in early 2018 at Georgia Southern before taking the job with Arizona.

Harbison spent two seasons (2013-14) at Auburn as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, helping the Tigers win the 2013 SEC Championship and advance to the BCS title game. In 2013, Auburn had the second-biggest turnaround in college football history with an eight-game improvement from 2012.

A native of Shelby, N.C., and graduate of Crest High School, Harbison went to Auburn after his second coaching stint at Clemson (2009-12), working as co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. He helped the Tigers to back-to-back 10-win seasons, the 2011 ACC Championship (Clemson's first conference title in 20 years) and an Orange Bowl appearance.

Harbison was named one of the nation's top 25 recruiters by Rivals in both 2005 and 2010. At Clemson, he tutored cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, who had 14 passes defended in 2011 and was drafted by the Tennessee Titans. Harbison helped Clemson to a top 25 ranking and the ACC Atlantic Division title in 2009. Clemson had 21 INTs, the fifth-most in school history and tied for fifth-most in the nation, and finished seventh in the nation in pass defense.

Before going to Clemson, he spent two seasons at Mississippi State (2007-08), the second of which he worked as defensive coordinator while also coaching safeties. Harbison had two different tenures as an assistant at Alabama (1998-2000, 2003-06). He coached the Crimson Tide's defensive backs in his initial stay and helped Alabama to the 1999 SEC Championship and appearances in the 2001 Orange Bowl and 1998 Music City Bowl. Two of his pupils, Fernando Bryant (1999) and Tony Dixon (2000), were taken in the first and second rounds of the NFL Draft, respectively. In his second stint with the Crimson Tide, Harbison worked with the wide receivers and helped Alabama to three bowl appearances.

Between the Alabama assignments, Harbison coached defensive backs at LSU (2001-02) under head coach Nick Saban and helped the Tigers win the 2001 SEC Championship and play in the 2002 Sugar Bowl and 2003 Cotton Bowl. Corey Webster, who played his first season as a cornerback under Harbison, finished second on the school's all-time career INT list.

He served as defensive backs coach in his first stop at Clemson (1995-97) as the Tigers played in three consecutive bowl games. At Clemson, Harbison mentored 2018 Hall of Fame inductee and nine-time Pro Bowl selection Brian Dawkins, helping him earn All-America honors while also leading the ACC in INTs in 1995.

Harbison also coached the secondary at UTEP (1994) and twice worked at his alma mater, Gardner-Webb, coaching wide receivers (1992-93) and defensive backs (1984-85). In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Harbison worked in both the Arena Football League as defensive coordinator with the Charlotte Rage (1993), coaching Wilks right after his graduation from App State, and in the World League of American Football with the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks in 1991 as defensive backs coach.

A standout defensive back at Gardner-Webb (1978-81) who had 11 career INTs, Harbison signed with the Buffalo Bills as a rookie free agent in 1982 before spending two years (1983-84) with the Boston/New Orleans Breakers of the USFL.

He graduated from Gardner-Webb with a degree in business administration in 1995. Harbison and his wife, Tammy, have three sons, Charlie, Stedman and Masai, and a daughter, Msiba.

Photo Courtesy: Charlie Harbison, App State Sports