Mizzou football has their next head coach and that man is Eli Drinkwitz, formerly of Appalachian State, where he coached for just one season. Coaching at a school for one season isn’t much sample size and that’s what makes this hire risky.
The Missouri Tigers needed a home run hire and we won’t know if Eli Drinkwitz is that home run hire for several more years. He has a nice resumé, having served as the offensive coordinator for Boise State in 2015 and NC State from 2016-2018 before taking the job at Appalachian State.
In his lone year with the Mountaineers, Drinkwitz led the program to an 11-1 record and sitting 20th in the nation by season’s end. They won the Sun Belt in his only year there and the Mountaineers will look to take on UAB in the New Orleans Bowl later this month.
There’s no denying that Eli Drinkwitz had success in Boone, but the worry here is the lack of head coaching experience and the fact that a lot of the players he had with Appalachian State were recruited by Scott Satterfield, who preceded Drinkwitz before taking the Louisville job prior to this season.
The SEC is a different ball game than the Sun Belt Conference. Will Drinkwitz be able to recruit his own guys and compete with the teams in the SEC? That obviously remains to be seen.
Fans can’t fault Missouri for this hire though.
The program needed a risky hire and if Drinkwitz pans out, he’s only 36 years old, so that paves the way for a long career in Columbia. People might not have been thrilled about the Gary Pinkel hire either, seeing how he coached at Toledo prior to coming to Missouri, and that turned out to be a wonderful hire. Hopefully Drinkwitz can have a similar success story with the Tigers.
Mizzou football might not have been the sexiest job on the market for head coaches, but for a guy like Drinkwitz who is young and has a lot of potential, it could be a match made in heaven. Missouri has a ways to go before they’ll be competing with the likes of Alabama, Auburn, and LSU for the SEC title, but they have the talent to be the best in the SEC East.
He’s been the offensive coordinator for some top notch teams and that should give Missouri fans hope that he can get things turned around. It might take a few years to get the train headed in the right direction, but it takes time to build something special.
It’ll be interesting to see how Eli Drinkwitz does as the head coach for Missouri, but this is an incredibly risky hire by the Tigers. If it pans out, however, then Mizzou will be set up to succeed for a long time and that’s the goal here.