BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Friday the addition of defensive assistant Buddy Wyatt, who has worked in the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and American Athletic conferences as a defensive coach during a highly respected career that’s covered more than 25 years.
“Buddy Wyatt is a man of character and a football coach with a history of player development,” Drinkwitz said. “He will work to enhance our defensive line play. I’m excited to welcome Buddy and his wife to the Appalachian Family.”
Wyatt spent last season as a senior analyst at Kansas following a three-year stint as SMU’s defensive line coach from 2015-17.
He also has a wealth of Power Five conference experience thanks to the knowledge he gained and the future NFL players he coached while working as a defensive line coach at Kansas (2010-14), Texas A&M (2008-09, 2000-02), Nebraska (2007), Alabama (2003-06), Colorado (1999), Northwestern (1997-98), Oklahoma State (1996) and Minnesota (1992-95).
“It’s an honor to be part of the Appalachian Family,” Wyatt said. “Everybody knows about the success that the football program at App State has had. It’s great to be at a place that has a good football culture. I’m really impressed with Coach Drinkwitz and the type of person that he is and the staff that he’s put together. I’m excited to get started.”
At SMU in 2017, the Mustangs ranked 38th nationally with 31 sacks, including eight in one game, and 30th nationally with 90 tackles for loss. Defensive end Justin Lawler had 9.5 sacks and tied for the team lead with 15.5 tackles for loss as SMU reached a bowl game with 19 different players who made stops behind the line of scrimmage.
In also helping Texas A&M reach a bowl during his last season with the Aggies, they ranked 15th nationally with 35 sacks and 34th with 82.0 tackles for loss. Super Bowl MVP and NFL All-Pro Von Miller, who played on the defensive line and at linebacker during his college career, had 17.0 sacks that season. The Aggies ranked 10th nationally in total defense with Wyatt coaching the defensive linemen in 2001.
Wyatt also has worked with NFL players such as Ndamukong Suh (a five-time Pro Bowl selection and nose tackle who was the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft), Michael Bennett (a three-time Pro Bowl selection at defensive end and a Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks), Jamal Williams (a three-time All-Pro at nose tackle from 2004-06), Adam Carriker (a first-round draft pick in 2007), Tyler Brayton (a first-round pick in 2003), Rocky Bernard (a Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks), Ty Warren (a 2007 All-Pro at nose tackle and two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots), Justin Bannon, Ronald Edwards and Ronald Flemons.
On the recruiting trail, when he coached at Alabama, Wyatt was the lead recruiter for two straight Mississippi High School Players of the Year who chose the Crimson Tide.
During his career, Wyatt has also been selected to the NCAA Expert Coaches Academy, a program that addresses the shortage of ethnic minorities in college football head coaching positions and raises awareness regarding the deep pool of talented, qualified coaching candidates.
Born in Victoria, Texas, Wyatt was a defensive lineman from 1986-89 at TCU, where he earned a degree in education in 1990 and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line in 1991. Wyatt and his wife, Andrea, have two children: Frederick and Ariel.