My thoughts on UC’s hiring of Scott Satterfield
UC’s fan base seems underwhelmed.
UL’s fan base seems happy/ecstatic.
Me: I certainly didn’t see it coming…that doesn’t make it bad. That’s a credit to how John Cunningham handled the process. I didn’t need to be wowed. It didn’t have to be a ‘splash’ hire. it didn’t need to ‘move the needle’. Hiring Luke Fickell didn’t do that. Hiring Brian Kelly from Central Michigan didn’t do that. Hiring Tommy Tuberville did. How’d that work out?
I do know this: John Cunningham is planting his flag, staking his future on this hire. It’s his signature hire with UC moving to the Big 12…Satterfield will make or break Cunningham’s future.
What’s to like:
-Head coach experience. I would have been very uneasy with a 1st time head coach taking UC to the Big 12.
-Power 5 head coaching experience. Realistically, how many Power 5 coaches were leaving for UC and what type of situation were they leaving?
-Oversaw a transition with App State from FCS to FBS.
-Raised UL from the mess of 2-10 the season before his arrival.
-Recruiting: His 2023 class was ranked No. 19 by 24/7 Sports. Much better for UC to have a Power 5 coach poaching players from his former school’s Power 5 recruiting class and roster than a MAC coach poaching MAC level talent and relying on it to play up to the Big 12.
-Has embraced and understands the impact of NIL.
-He was a runner-up to Fickell six years ago, so Mike Bohn liked him back then.
-While UL was just 7-5 this season, they had five wins over 7 win teams…among the best in FBS, including a win over No. 10 at the time Wake Forest.
What’s to be concerned about:
-Record of 25-24 at UL?
-Had facilities, support and NIL working for him and was still 25-24.
-Best season was his first at UL (8-5). Didn’t make a ton of progress from there 4-7, 6-7, 7-5.
-He was on the hot seat earlier this season.
-Recruiting Greater Cincinnati/Ohio is the lifeblood of UC football. Satterfield had one Cincinnati HS player on his roster this year and a total of three from Ohio. He has major relationship building to do.
-He couldn’t beat his rival (UK).
-Can he and his staff develop players?
My jury is out. I don’t hate the hire. I’m not celebrating the hire. I'm left to simply wait and see.
But understand, this is a defining moment in UC football history. They lost their winningest coach of all-time. They are losing players to the portal. They are losing a ton of commits from what shaped up on paper as their highest ranked class ever. The previous staff is being poached.
Satterfield is assembling a staff on the fly, recruiting on the fly and, oh by the way, this isn’t the AAC anymore. This team went from the CFB playoffs last year to missing the AAC championship this year and heading to the Wasabi Bowl this year. They will most certainly take a step back next season. What does that look like? 6-6? 5-7? 7-5? Once momentum is last it becomes awfully tough to get it back. It makes it tough to be cool again in the eyes of recruits. It makes it tough to keep your fan base energized.
Coach Satt has a lot of work to do.