COLUMBIA, Mo. - A winner at every stage of his coaching career, Eliah Drinkwitz - considered one of college football's top offensive minds - has agreed to become the 33rd head football coach at the University of Missouri. Drinkwitz takes over at Mizzou following an impressive 2019 season at Appalachian State, where he led the 20th-ranked Mountaineers to a 12-1 record and a Sun Belt Conference Championship. Full financial details of Drinkwitz' contract will be released pending completion of the human resources process.
Drinkwitz's offensive acumen has been a key element in his teams winning five conference championships while compiling a perfect 8-0 bowl game record in 10 seasons at the FBS level. The combined record of his teams from 2010-19 is 98-34 overall (74.2%), including a 57-22 conference mark (72.2%).
The 2019 season saw Drinkwitz turn in one of the most impressive FBS head coaching debut seasons ever. His Mountaineers set a Sun Belt record with their 12 wins, and also set the mark for the best regular season in conference history (11-1). They claimed the Sun Belt championship with a 45-38 win against Louisiana on Dec. 7.
This season saw App State become the first-ever Sun Belt program to earn a Top 20 ranking in the Associated Press poll, while also becoming the first team in league history to receive an in-season ranking in the College Football Playoff poll. Drinkwitz's team also made history in 2019 with a pair of Power 5 road wins (at bowl-eligible North Carolina, and later at South Carolina) - making them the first-ever Sun Belt team to register two Power 5 wins in a season. In all, the Mountaineers claimed an FBS-best six road wins this season en route to becoming the first-ever 12-win team among North Carolina's FBS members.
App State proved to be one of the nation's most balanced teams in 2019, thanks in large part to an efficient offense that ranked ninth nationally in scoring (39.4 points per game), coupled with a stingy defense that ranked 22nd nationally in points allowed (20.2 ppg). The Mountaineers also excelled in the critical turnover category, ranking eighth nationally in 2019 with a plus-12 turnover margin. App State junior RB Darrynton Evans was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, after rushing for 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Prior to App State, Drinkwitz spent three years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for record-setting North Carolina State teams (2016-18), after excelling in a similar role at Boise State for two years (2014-15), where the Broncos won the Mountain West title in 2014 and finished 12-2 and ranked 16th nationally. In 2015, Drinkwitz was promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and he helped the Bronco offense rank in the top 15 nationally in points (39.1) and yards (501.3) per game.
In his five seasons as an offensive coordinator, Drinkwitz has produced five 1,000-yard rushers, four 3,000-yard passers and four 1,000-yard receivers. Three of those years (2015, 2017, 2018) his offenses produced at least one in each category.
Before Boise, Drinkwitz was a key figure in back-to-back Sun Belt championships in 2012-13 as running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator at Arkansas State. He got his first taste at the FBS level in the Southeastern Conference, as he served as a quality control assistant at Auburn for the 2010-11 seasons. The Tigers won the SEC in 2010, and went on to the BCS Championship that season with a perfect 14-0 record.
Following a 7-6 debut season in 2016 at N.C. State, Drinkwitz helped the Wolfpack to consecutive nine-win seasons (2017-18) for the first time since 1991-92. With an average of 35.6 points per game under his direction in 2018, N.C. State had a 1,000-yard rusher for the third-straight year, two 1,000-yard receivers and a quarterback with nearly 4,000 passing yards. The Wolfpack made a steady rise from 63rd nationally in total offense in his first season in 2016 to 25th in 2017 and 16th in 2018.
The Wolfpack offense had six players selected in the 2018 and 2019 NFL Drafts combined, including record-setting QB Ryan Finley, who was a fourth round selection in 2019 by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Drinkwitz, 36, graduated magna cum laude and was the student body president at Arkansas Tech before beginning his coaching career at the prep level in his hometown of Alma, Ark., in 2005. He and his wife, Lindsey, have four daughters: Addison, Emerson, Ella and Parker Lynn.
A six-game home schedule is on tap for Drinkwitz and his Tigers in 2020. Fans looking to renew their season tickets or purchase new season tickets can do so online at www.MUTigers.com/CoachDrinkwitz. Fans can also contact the Mizzou Ticket Office with questions at 1-800-CAT-PAWS (884-PAWS locally).
For all the latest on Mizzou Football, stay tuned to www.MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter (@MizzouFootball) and like the team on Facebook and Instagram.
UM Board of Curators (Chair) Jon Sundvold
"This is a coach that brings a good combination of creativity and excitement to our football program. I'm excited about the future for our student-athletes in the football program. Jim and his staff made a great choice."
UM System President Mun Choi
"We invest in excellence. This is not just about investing in athletics excellence, this is about investing in excellence for this university and the entire state. I'm also very appreciative of Jim Sterk's leadership throughout this process. He has our full support as we are very excited about the future of the MU athletic program."
MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright
"I am thrilled to welcome our new coach to Missouri's flagship university. It has been such a pleasure to get to know Coach Drinkwitz and his family, and I look forward to seeing the passion, integrity and enthusiasm he will bring to our football program. Thank you and congratulations to Jim Sterk and his team for their work throughout this process. I am truly looking forward to the future of Mizzou football, as should all Missourians."
Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk
"I can't wait for every Tiger to meet Eli, he's a special guy who has a magnetic personality that people will appreciate and enjoy. I'm thrilled to have him here at Mizzou leading our program, he's got passion, a plan and a vision that will take this program to great heights. We went on a search looking for the right coach at a crucial time, and we found him. On behalf of everyone at Mizzou, I'd like to welcome Coach Drinkwitz, his wife Lindsey and their daughters Addison, Emerson, Ella and Parker Lynn to our family!"
Mizzou Head Football Coach Eliah Drinkwitz
"I'm excited for the opportunity of a lifetime to be the head football coach at Missouri. This is a special place with special people. I know this is the Show-Me State, and I'm fired up to show this state what our football program is going to be all about. My wife, Lindsey, and our four girls are excited to join the Columbia community and be a part of Mizzou."
DRINKWITZ QUICK BIO
Name: Eliah Drinkwitz Birthdate: April 12, 1983 Hometown: Alma, Ark. College: Arkansas Tech, 2004 (B.S., education) Wife: Lindsey (Sivils) Daughters: Addison, Emerson, Ella, Parker Lynn Twitter: @CoachDrinkwitz
- 2005: Alma (Ark.) HS (Assistant)
- 2006-09: Springdale (Ark.) HS (Offensive Coordinator)
- 2010-11: Auburn (Quality Control Assistant)
- 2012: Arkansas State (Running Backs)
- 2013: Arkansas State (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs)
- 2014: Boise State (Tight Ends)
- 2015: Boise State (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
- 2016-18: North Carolina State (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
- 2019: Appalachian State (Head Coach)
DRINKWITZ'S IMPACT AS OC (National ranks in parentheses)
- Boise State (2015): Total Offense (15) / Scoring Offense (15)
- N.C. State (2016): Total Offense (63) / Scoring Offense (75)
- N.C. State (2017): Total Offense (25) / Scoring Offense (40)
- N.C. State (2018): Total Offense (16) / Scoring Offense (22)
- Appalachian State (2019): Total Offense (42) / Scoring Offense (9)