BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz has hired championship-winning former Canadian Football League player and coach Anwar Stewart to mentor the Mountaineers’ defensive linemen.
“Anwar brings great energy, passion, enthusiasm and a standard of championship football from his experience of winning four Grey Cups in the CFL,” Drinkwitz said. “He was a captain of his pro team and at Kentucky. He showed the true spirit of a Mountaineer by recently completing his college degree. Championships are won in the trenches, and I can’t wait to see him lead our defensive line. We’re excited to welcome Anwar, his wife and daughter to our family in Boone.”
During a 13-year playing career in the CFL, 11 of which were with the Montreal Alouettes, Stewart won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders in 2001 and helped Montreal capture Grey Cups in 2002, 2009 and 2010. Playing defensive end, he was selected the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2004 and was a CFL All-Star in both 2004 and 2009. He retired in 2013 after racking up 70 career sacks, including 66 with Montreal (second-most in team history). He also snagged 10 career interceptions from his defensive end position.
“I’m here to win a Sun Belt Championship and go to a big-time bowl,” Stewart said. “I want to be part of the great tradition here at Appalachian State, and I’m fortunate to work alongside Coach Drinkwitz and this staff. I’m excited to be able not only to coach, but also to mentor these young men.”
Following his playing career, Stewart was hired by the Alouettes in 2014 as a defensive quality control coach before being elevated to defensive end coach in 2015 and defensive line coach in 2016. The Alouettes were among the CFL’s best teams in total defense and sacks each of those seasons.
A former Southeastern Conference standout at Kentucky, he returned to Lexington to finish his college degree in 2017 and serve on staff with the Wildcats over the last two seasons.
A native of Panama City, Fla., Stewart and his wife, Lamya, have a daughter, Kayla.