KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Tech coach Marcus Satterfield openly admits he’ll allow himself a few extra minutes to gaze around Neyland Stadium before Saturday’s game against Tennessee.
The 40-year-old Satterfield is bringing his FCS Golden Eagles (3-5) to Knoxville to play the Vols (5-3) in Tennessee’s Homecoming Game at Neyland Stadium in a contest that kicks off at 4 p.m.
It’s the same stadium he grew up attending football games with his father, former Greenback coach Bill Satterfield.
“My dad and I sat in Section Q, Row 20-something for 17 years of my life,” Marcus Satterfield said on WNML, reflect on his time as a fan in Neyland Stadium. “A lot of my foundation of how I coach football comes from Coach (Phillip) Fulmer and Coach (Randy) Sanders from our time at Neyland Stadium.
“I’m gonna walk around and really take it in. I’m not going to let the experience pass me up. It’s a cool place and a great place.”
Satterfield played his college football at East Tennessee State before launching a coaching career that brought him to Knoxville in 2002 for two seasons working under first-ballot Hall of Fame coach Phillip Fulmer and current Florida State co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders.
“Marcus is a creative and smart young coach, and he has the drive,” Fulmer told SECcountry.com on Friday.
“He worked my football camp at Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg this summer, and he was liked the pied piper with the guys — all the players listen to him and follow him,” Fulmer said.
“He’s a guy you’d want your kids to play for, with the type of husband, father and citizen that he is, and I’m sure Tennessee Tech is glad to have him.”
Satterfield is appreciative of the opportunity, too, explaining to WNML sports talk host Vince Ferrara this week that there weren’t many positions that would lead him to leave his position as Temple’s offensive coordinator.
“I’ve had opportunities to explore other FCS programs as a head coach, but I felt like I was in a good spot with an upcoming program and I wasn’t going to leave for just anywhere,” Satterfield said. “But Tennessee Tech was one of the few. It’s an area where you can cultivate a fan base and create something special.
“I think we can build something here that’s very powerful at the FCS level.”
Satterfield’s vision likely will not be on display on Saturday, as his first-year Tennessee Tech features 45 players that were not on the roster at the conclusion of last season.
Satterfield has, however, play-called against current Vols defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.
The Owls stunned the Nittany Lions last season, 27-10, with Satterfield’s offense rolling up 317 total yards and controlling the clock for 36:15.
Temple football was one of college football’s biggest success stories in 2015, winning its first seven games to attain its first Top 25 ranking in 36 years.
Owls coach Matt Rhule endorsed Satterfield, as well.
“Marcus Satterfield is a dynamic young coach who was integral in our program going from two wins in 2013 to a 10-win team,” Rhule said. “His leadership and vision will help guide Tennessee Tech to excellence and success both on and off the football field.”
Satterfield said just having the opportunity to play a program of Tennessee’s stature is a step forward for Tennessee Tech, as the Cookeville school has not faced the Vols in football since 1951.
“Just to get pictures of us playing Tennessee in our football building and offices is huge,” Satterfield said. “It shows we can play at that level. People have a misconception of FCS football, so this gives us a great opportunity moving forward in East Tennessee in recruiting if we can go and compete.
“I’ve had to calm my guys down this week. I’ve never seen them this energetic about going into a game.”
It’s often said players feed off their head coach.
Here’s Marcus Satterfield’s coaching background:
1999-2000 Chattanooga, graduate assistant
2001 Chattanooga, receivers coach
2002-2003 Tennessee, running backs, graduate assistant
2004 Richmond, receivers
2005 Western Carolina, receivers
2006-07 UT-Martin, offensive coordinator
2008 UT-Martin, assistant head coach, pass game coordinator
2009-12 Chattanooga, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
20013-15 Temple, offensive coordinators/quarterbacks