Appalachian State promotes Shawn Clark to head coach

Appalachian State is promoting interim head coach Shawn Clark to head coach, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Clark, who had been the Mountaineers' offensive line coach the past four seasons, replaces Eliah Drinkwitz, who was named Missouri's coach earlier this week.

Drinkwitz guided Appalachian State to a 12-1 record and the Sun Belt Conference championship this season in his first year as a head coach. The Mountaineers finished ranked No. 20 in the College Football Playoff rankings and will play UAB in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 21. Clark will coach that game.

Clark, 44, was a two-time All-American (1996 and 1998) at offensive guard for Appalachian State. After graduating from Appalachian State in 1998, he was a graduate assistant at Louisville, then an assistant at Eastern Kentucky, Purdue and Kent State before being hired by the Mountaineers in 2016. He was named assistant head coach in 2019.

Appalachian State had given Drinkwitz a five-year contract a year ago, when the school hired him to replace Scott Satterfield, who left to become Louisville's coach. The deal earned Drinkwitz $750,000 this past season plus considerable performance incentives. Missouri will owe Appalachian State a buyout of $1.7 million.

The Winston-Salem Journal was first to report that Clark would be named permanent coach.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, Mark Schlabach and Chris Low contributed to this report.