Former Wolfpack OC headed to Missouri

Brett Friedlander

Eliah Drinkwitz was a hot commodity in the coaching community when he left NC State to become head coach at Appalachian State last December.

Just one year later, Dave Doeren's former Wolfpack offensive coordinator enhanced his reputation as a rising star in his profession by making an even bigger career move. 

Sunday, less than 24 hours after leading the Mountaineers to their second straight Sun Belt Conference championship, the 36-year-old Oklahoma native parlayed his rookie sucess into a Power 5 job -- leaving Boone to take the coaching position at Missouri.

The Missourian of Columbia, Mo., is reporting that while a contract has not yet been signed, Drinkwitz and Missouri have reached an agreement that will bring him to the SEC school. He will replace Barry Odom, who was fired on Nov. 30 after four seasons with the Tigers.

He was also prominently mentioned as a candidate for the job at Arkansas, which was filled by Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman earlier Sunday.

An official announcement is expected today.

Drinkwitz was 12-1 in his first season as a head coach this year, a record that included road victories against Power 5 opponents North and South Carolina. His Mountaineers was selected to play in the New Orleans Bowl on Sunday.

In three seasons with the Wolfpack, Drinkwitz oversaw an offense that was among the most productive in the ACC. 

His unit, led by quarterback Ryan Finley, wide receivers Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers, and center Garrett Bradbury -- all of whom are currently in the NFL -- averaged better than 450 yards per game on the way to winning nine games in each of his final two seasons.

"My family and I love it here," Drinkwitz said Saturday in his postgame press conference following his now former team's conference championship game victory against Louisville. "We're very excited about what we're doing at App State, but at the same time every opportunity, you know, I owe it to the family -- my family -- for my family to see what's something that we're interested in."