As offensive coordinator at Temple University, Marcus Satterfield played a large role during the past three years in turning around a struggling program, helping lift the Owls to a conference divisional championship, 10-win season, first Top 25 ranking in 36 years, and bowl appearance.
Now Satterfield, 39, is increasing his wingspan. Stepping away from his post with the Owls, Satterfield was named on January 4, 2016 as head coach of the Tennessee Tech University Golden Eagles.
Joined by his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Harper, Satterfield was introduced at a press conference on campus, becoming the 12th head football coach as the program heads into its 95th season in 2016.
“As a coach’s son growing up in the state of Tennessee, and coaching in the state and the Ohio Valley Conference, I have always looked at Tennessee Tech as a possible landing spot for me,” Satterfield said. “There is so much potential, not just for football, but also with the location, the tremendous academics, the support system that is in place, and the commitment from the administration.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” he said. “There are really good football players in the state of Tennessee, and there are already really good football players on campus. All the parts in a recipe to win are right there.”
Tennessee Tech Director of Athletics Mark Wilson introduced Satterfield at the press conference.
“Marcus is a high-energy coach with a lot of passion for coaching,” Wilson said. “He has tremendous connections throughout Tennessee, and a wealth of professional preparation for this position, having coached at both the FBS and FCS levels.”
Wilson added that Satterfield is an ideal fit for the future of the football program.
“Marcus is the son of a football coach, and from the sixth grade on he knew he wanted to be a football coach,” Wilson said. “He is an excellent X’s and O’s coach, and he’s a ‘player’s coach.’ He comes to Tennessee Tech with a great vision of how he wants to operate, and where he wants to take Golden Eagle football.”
With family ties in the state, Satterfield played high school football for his father, coach Bill Satterfield, at Greenback High School from 1990 to 1994. Following one season at Chattanooga State Community College, he was a three-year letterman at East Tennessee State University from 1995 to 1998. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from ETSU in 1999.
His coaching career began with three seasons at Chattanooga, first as a volunteer and one as a restricted earnings coach, before one season as an assistant coach working with the wide receivers.
He moved to Knoxville to become a two-year, graduate assistant on Phillip Fulmer’s staff with the Tennessee Volunteers, helping the team to the 2002 and 2003 Peach Bowls, and served as the interim running backs coach for the second of those bowl contests.
Next came one season each as wide receivers coach at Richmond and Western Carolina, followed by a three-year stint at UT Martin in the Ohio Valley Conference. He was the passing game coordinator and moved into the role of associate head coach in 2008.
In 2009, he was named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Chattanooga, working with Russ Huesman through four seasons and posting winning records each year.
Satterfield then went to Temple with coach Matt Rhule, taking over in 2013 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for two seasons. This past season he served as offensive coordinator while coaching the Owl running backs.
The Owls opened the year with a program-best 7-0 record and were ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 1981. He helped earn a 10-win regular season and an American Athletic East division title, plus a victory over Penn State for the first time in 73 years.
That success at Temple came just two seasons after the program won two games in 2013.
Leaving behind the program he helped build was difficult, Satterfield said, but his focus has quickly turned to building the Golden Eagle program.
“As head coach, my vision for the future of Golden Eagle football is to strengthen the existing nucleus of the team and guide them down the path to national prominence,” he said.
“Whenever you put as much time and heart and passion into rebuilding a program like we did at Temple, and working with a great coaching staff and head coach like Matt (Rhule), it’s hard to leave. We worked really hard and we got to see an organization come together and have success.
“All of that has helped prepare me for this position at Tennessee Tech,” Satterfield said. “Matt has been a leader and boss and friend, and he has helped me along in this process. He has helped me to learn how to prepare for my first head coaching job.”
Rhule sees success in Satterfield’s future with the Golden Eagles.
“Marcus Satterfield is a dynamic young coach who was integral in our program going from two wins in 2013 to a 10-win team this season. His leadership and vision will help guide Tennessee Tech to excellence and success both on and off the football field,” Rhule said.
Satterfield said the off-season for the Golden Eagles begins immediately.
“This off-season is critical, and the first thing our kids will have to understand is that our first game starts January 19, when the semester and classes start,” he said. “We are going to commit everything we have to helping our kids ‘win’ this first semester. We’ll strive for academic excellence, and that will be our main focus. Before weights, before running, the focus of our staff and team will be put into winning academically. The success in the classroom in the first semester will catapult us into the summer. Winning in the classroom will lead to winning on the field.
“This will be the toughest off-season program they’ve ever been a part of, and we need everyone to be involved. They will learn to compete, and hopefully that will help us formulate our own brand of football.”
Satterfield is happy to detail the brand of football he expects from the Golden Eagles.
“We will be the most physical, disciplined, relentless, accountable, toughest team in the country,” he said. “We will throw body blows for four quarters until our opponents quit.”
Lifting the Golden Eagles toward a path to national prominence prompts four building blocks Satterfield plans to implement.
“We will have a wide-open offense and aggressive, pressuring-style defense that will attract the best Division I athletes,” he says.
“Promoting the personal growth of our players academically, athletically and socially through the creation of a strong work ethic will lead to trust, loyalty and a team concept creating enthusiasm for our program,” he says.
“We will rally the community, the university and alumni to have a vested interest in building a winning football program,” he adds.
“We will establish goals for Tennessee Tech to become Ohio Valley Conference champions, attend and win playoff games, and maintain a ranking in the Top 25 consistently with an FCS playoff berth and national championship as our ultimate goal.”