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‘Whee gets a good one

Good luck coach .. you'll be missedAlmost official.


At an 11 a.m. press conference today, WCU is expected to introduce Appalachian State assistant Mark Speir as its new football coach.

Speir, 43, is the inside linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at ASU who also spent five years (1991-96) as an assistant at WCU.

Speir and new Catamounts’ athletic director Randy Eaton didn‘t return phone calls and e-mails Wednesday seeking comment.

Speir had a final interview in Cullowhee on Tuesday with his wife Paige also on campus, and they checked out of a Dillsboro hotel that same day.

At ASU, Speir is part of a staff that since 2005 has won three FCS national championships, six SoCon titles and reached the FCS playoffs seven consecutive seasons.

A young, energetic coach who has established strong recruiting relationships with in-state high schools and has a great winning background in WCU’s conference – plus he gives back to his community – Speir appears to offer the Catamounts a chance to emerge from a long, ugly football hibernation that has gone on far too long.

More as it comes out.

WATCH LIVE. For those in suspense.

SIGH. “It’s great to be a Catamount. I’m so fired up I don’t know what to do.”

Good luck with that

WHAT HE SAID. Lot of “this is my home” type comments, along with praise and requests of support from former ‘Whee players.

Says he’ll build program on family values. Team will play hard whether “up 30 to nothing, or down 30 to nothing.”

Expects to run a spread offense, with a 4-3 defense. There will be some 3-4 looks with blitzes. Spring camp will be spent learning to defend against the option.

He expects to have his assistants named by January 3. There will be both a defensive and offensive coordinator. He will spend most of his time with special teams.

Good luck coach. You’re gonna need it.

REPLACEMENT. goasu – “With Speir’s departure, Moore announced that defensive backs coach Scot Sloan will head up Appalachian’s recruiting efforts going forward. Sloan, who is in his second year with the Mountaineers, previously served as the recruiting coordinator at Georgia Military College from 1996-99.”


  1. App Band

    December 22, 2011 at 4:04 am

    This is a tough one for me. Mark, you've always been one of my favorite coaches. Western is very VERY lucky to have you. If they don't treat you right over there, they'll have to answer to The App Nation–and me.

    I wish you the very best over in The Whee. If anyone can right that sinking ship, it's you. Just don't divulge any of our secrets, okay Buddy? I hope you win ALL of your games….except one. I wish you every success you so richly deserve…but may you and your Cats never touch OUR JUG again! 😉

    God Bless You, My Friend!

    P.S. I'll especially miss you at Ladies Football 101!

  2. StorminASU

    December 22, 2011 at 4:18 am

    I sure hope McClain has some friends who need a job so we can keep the Good Ol' Boys club together up there. The last thing we need to happen is a motivated coaching staff come in and show us what we've been missing the past three seasons. Can't mess up poker night at Chris' house.

  3. Zen

    December 22, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Congrats to coach Speir. I wish you the best of luck.

  4. StorminASU

    December 22, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Btw, who thinks we'll also hear today who the other two leaving are?

    I say it might be Dale Jones and Brad Glenn.

    What does everyone think?

  5. loveithere

    December 22, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I have heard 2 to 4 going with him. We will see who it really is but I doubt it's Jones. Have heard Glenn and Blalock are strong possibilities. Also continue to hear Liitle Mo was fired this week despite the lack of an official announcement. Doubt he would take OL coach with him but I could see him taking Holt and giving him a chance to be his OL coach.

  6. StorminASU

    December 22, 2011 at 5:03 am

    What's the word on why little Mo was fired? If he was really fired, what's the working situation like with Coach Moore there now? Seems like next year may be bleak with such a bad political situation.

  7. ASU-LAW

    December 22, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Check out Brian Quick's NFL Draft Prospect ranking

    74th Overall Pick

  8. Chard

    December 22, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Western = dumpster fire. They'll give him a garden hose to fight it with.

  9. herbstreitsucks

    December 22, 2011 at 6:04 am

    BQ could possibly go higher if he has some good workouts.

  10. Kelly Hastings

    December 22, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Thank you for your service men and best of luck. Now, it will be fun to watch the process of selecting new coaches and see who wants to come to ASU. It is sort of like the Marine Corps; Marines rotate in and out. It is just part of the process. It is not an emotional time.

  11. appdreamin

    December 22, 2011 at 6:10 am

    After the past two seasons, I can't imagine that App football still has any secrets.

  12. bcoach

    December 22, 2011 at 6:13 am

    I'll bet they give him some money for coaches. My bet is that he is able to start a turnaround. The question is will they be able to keep the money coming long enough to stabalize the program, probably 4-5 years.

  13. ASU-LAW

    December 22, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Yeah, he certainly will get an invite to the combine, question is what events will he compete i and i certainly hope his times are as good or better as currently posted.

    Any other ASU draft prospects graduating this year? Chris Aiken maybe?

  14. ASU-LAW

    December 22, 2011 at 6:15 am

    maybe even Cadet?

  15. Forever_a_14_Fan

    December 22, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I really hate to loose this one. It is hard to mainitain intensity on the field when you continually loose intense coaches….and Coach Speir is just that. Look what has happened to us since the loss of Coach Elliott and now we loose Speir and possibly two other assistant coaches. I see a downward trend for ASU Football…..especially if their replacements are like that of Coach McClain!!! This instantly weakens the program!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Fleetwood App

    December 22, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Congrats to Coach Speir. Can't fault a man for bettering himself. Our loss is WCU's gain. Can we get a confirmation anywhere on the firing of C. Moore? Or is this still at rumor stage?

  17. carbine

    December 22, 2011 at 6:54 am

    That 'ranking' for Quick means nothing at the moment. Let's see how he does at the combine. I suspect his stock will fall there, though I hope it doesn't.

  18. appdreamin

    December 22, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Cadet? You're joking, right?

  19. brew

    December 22, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Best of Luck to Coach Speir. He is a good man.

  20. AppMan

    December 22, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Lost the best coach on the staff. Best of luck to Mark, except for one game a year.

  21. ceez

    December 22, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Nice Kurt Gibson stache

  22. appfantoo

    December 22, 2011 at 7:31 am

    We have lost a class act that demanded 100% out of our players on the field and off.

    We will miss Mark Speir but I can't blame him for taking a step forward for his career and for his family.

    Best of luck to you Coach Speir.

  23. Big Dave

    December 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Goin to Western is a huge risk. Money problems, years of terrible performance……The only thing I can think of is Mark wanted to get out of Boone bad……….I wish him the best however!

  24. ASU-LAW

    December 22, 2011 at 7:37 am

    ESPN has him listed as a scouted draft. I highly doubt he goes in the draft but he is listed as one of those aforementioned 3 ASU players.

  25. StorminASU

    December 22, 2011 at 7:38 am

    well he's hiring a defensive and offensive coordinator. Sounds like a good plan at any place. You listening Jerry Moore?

  26. The BoogieMan

    December 22, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Big Dave

    December 22, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Goin to Western is a huge risk. Money problems, years of terrible performance……The only thing I can think of is Mark wanted to get out of Boone bad……….I wish him the best however!

    Its like going to a country with noo money, very little talent, no recruiting budget, and a stadium with a press box thats been condemed. Good Luck hes going to need it.

  27. AppOrange

    December 22, 2011 at 7:55 am

    This sucks . . . of course on word about anything form ASU . . .

    This is getting a little old, throw us a bone . . .

  28. AppOrange

    December 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I stand corrected:

    “Scot has in essence been our co-recruiting coordinator for the past two years. He is a great evaluator of talent, has established terrific relationships with high-school and junior-college coaches over the years and is very knowledgeable about the prospects in our area and beyond,” Moore said. “We won’t miss a beat with Scot taking over as our recruiting coordinator at this critical point in the recruiting calendar.”

    Still, would like more on who else could be leaving or who got let go . . .

  29. yosef82

    December 22, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Damn fine man. Huge loss for ASU. It is a shame to lose a person of the caliber.

    I hope that he is a huge success at Western. He deserves it.

    It is official, the last coach with any talent or ability is gone. Time to turn the page and get something going.

    No Moore!

  30. Yogi86

    December 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Speir's loss signals indeed the end of the dynasty. More importantly, the recruits he already has in his pocket that he will convince to go the UCLA with him instead of APP.

  31. ASUGoose

    December 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    This is pretty telling of how bad things have gotten the past few years under Jerry's watch. I understand Speir is moving up to a head coaching position, I get that. By why go to our biggest rival (not really one since we dominate the series)? I think he wanted off of the sinking ship in Boone. It's really risky to go to Western… He could have ended up at a different FCS school or even an assistant job in FBS if he wanted to stick around for those to open up.

    A change needs to happen ASAP!

  32. Dan

    December 22, 2011 at 9:21 am

    He did coach at Western before as well, it's not like he just jumped over there with no history.

  33. Apps_Aj11

    December 22, 2011 at 9:24 am

    What does it say that Speir has already announced he will implement an Offensive AND Defensive coordinator?? It says that it probably drove him crazy to see the sloppy game execution of his now former staff.. Good for him. We should follow that example.

  34. Mikeyosef

    December 22, 2011 at 9:24 am

    This is telling of a very successful FCS football program that is run by a long-term coach who isn't going anywhere. As such, there's no room for advancement without leaving the program. These guys are all competitors and competitors are never happy with the status quo; the first chance for a more challenging and potentially rewarding opportunity and they are going to take it..just like any of you would (of course I'm speaking to the competitors on the board).

    Good Luck Mark, you deserve a new challenge and though it's great, I'm sure you will do well.

  35. nomadb

    December 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

    ASU Goose….

    he started at Western. We hired him from western.

  36. appdreamin

    December 22, 2011 at 9:31 am

    No argument on that front (change), Goose, at least not from me. But though I'm not sure I would want to take the risk if I were a coach, Speir may think that if he can make Western's program reasonably respectable within two or three or five years it could provide a stepping stone to a better, higher profile HC job. He's only 43, remember, which is pretty young in the coaching profession.

    Whatever his motivation, his departure (and potentially other assistants following him) is further evidence that App needs a serious makeover, and quickly. I would disagree with 82's assessment that the "last coach with any talent or ability is gone," since Dale Jones is still here. But we're getting very uncomfortably close to 82's statement being accurate.

  37. ASUGoose

    December 22, 2011 at 9:46 am


    Les Miles played at Michigan but decided to stay at LSU. He knew that Michigan was too risky…

  38. nomadb

    December 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

    And Spier is a position coach at an FCS school and Les Miles is Les Miles. Not sure how that's relevant.

    I'm just pointing out that the guy had ties to Western and clearly wants to be a HC somewhere so it's not hard to understand why he would take the job.

  39. Greg

    December 22, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Unfortunately, hemorrhaging coaches is a hallmark of successful smaller programs. Let's not forget that Urban Meyer was very successful at Utah, but a bigger school came a-callin'. Assistant coaches at successful bigger schools usually get head coaching jobs at smaller schools. Let's hope that the new hires are just as good as our last crew. Good luck Mark (except when we play you).

  40. Gwaltineer

    December 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

    He had the best stache on the team, too. Damn.

  41. Richard

    December 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    As a fellow Marathoner… You ran the good race,,,you gave us your all and Western will come back to glory…. Hope you look to your time at Appalachian as a "Magical One!!!"

    The Western community will better to have you at the helm.

  42. App4life

    December 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Good man, best wishes to him!!!

    Cobb has gotten ALOT of credit for the success of the football team. Looking forward to his calming the masses and leading us into our bright future.

  43. appdreamin

    December 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

    With the exception of McClain (Waynesburg (is that DIII?) 1996) and Sloan (Clemson 1992), all coaches hired at App over the past three seasons are either recent or fairly recent App graduates: Holt 2008, Hamilton 2009, Blalock 2001, Elder 2008.

    Counting C. Moore (1999, though on the staff in some capacity for 12 seasons now), five of the nine assistants officially remaining as of now are former App State players. While the best candidate for an opening might actually be a former player now and then, this level of incestuous hiring seems lazy, and indicative of a lack of long-term concern regarding the continued strength of the program.

    Wonder which 2011 grad(s) will be hired to replace Speir and anyone who follows him to Western?

  44. mountan_man

    December 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Great man, great coach! You will be missed Coach Speir!

  45. Craig

    December 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    On very good sources there is going to be some very big news early in the new year. Our concerns regarding assistant coaches will be a moot issue.

  46. StorminASU

    December 22, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Gee Craig, why don't you just come out and say, we'll be hiring a new Head Coach. I think everyone is quietly thinking that anyway. Next year will be make or break for ASU football. I don't think anyone stays around after their son gets fired.

  47. nomadb

    December 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

    If you're going to stir up rumors, just say what you heard, Craig

  48. ASUGoose

    December 22, 2011 at 11:40 am

    speir has ties to western…..les miles has ties to michigan…… I am sure that their are many examples and scenarios of coaches (whether assistant or head coach) that haven't gone back to a school to which it had former affliation with due to risk.

    The point I was making had more to do with the fact our football program is a sinking ship currently and the move by Speir is just another example of the obnoxiously loud writing on the wall.

    I hope it will be a happy new year for App fans if indeed their is change coming in the very very near future.

  49. nomadb

    December 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Les would have been making a HC>HC lateral move….Speir is moving from AC to HC. It's at terrible analogy.

    Regarding the sinking ship bit….hoping some of the rats who call themselves fans will hop off if they perceive that it's a lost cause

  50. bye bye mark

    December 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    what a goat! obviously not a true mountaineer to leave to coach a joke of a program at wcu…wcu will always be a bottom feeder

    any news on jerry moore finally retiring and letting the mountaineer program get back to winning national championships?

  51. loveithere

    December 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Can't blame Coach Speir for going from an assistant to a head man. Quiet a pay raise for him and his family as well. They should have a good Christmas! I wondered when I had heard that Little Moore had gotten fired if that would drive Coach Moore into retirement. Maybe it is and his other assistants know it and the ones that can are getting out now. If that is the case, however, I wonder who all the people on here that want a new coach would think we could/should get. If this is not the case I will be interested to see who we hire to replace leaving coaches and if any other current coaches are cut loose.

  52. hapapp

    December 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    For someone supposedly fired, CMoore is still listed as a coach while Mark Speir's name is gone and his position is listed as TBA.

  53. Jaxon

    December 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!

    Congrats Coach Speir!

  54. AppMan

    December 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    nomadb, Speir came to ASU from Elon.

    Mark benefited from a rare opportunity. Western made the best hire possible given their extremely limited resources. It is a rare situation for someone go from a position coach to head coach at a program in the same conference. They got a guy who has lengthy recruiting contacts from being at one of the premier programs in the nation. More than likely he won't take players from ASU, but he has an extensive list of players down ASU's pecking order that might cause issues at some other schools. If the ASU administration takes care of business Mark will not be a threat to ASU. After all Western is still… well, Western.

  55. sideline

    December 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    " Our concerns regarding assistant coaches will be a moot issue."

    Sorry but I have to spill the beans. I can't wait till after the first of the year. We are no longer going to have assistant coaches in the program. We have visited with the folks at Coastal Carolina and under their guidance we have come up with a new vision for the future of ASU football. We will be hiring the President of Leahman Brothers as our new Chairman of football. He will be responsible for hiring a President for the Offense division and one for the Defense division, in addition to 11 VPs. VP of QBs, VP of OL, and on like that with the other positions. we will also have one of the VPs in charge of HR (recruiting Coordinator).

    Sorry but I just couldn't hold back.

  56. Fred

    December 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Seems the wheels have not only fallen off, Appalachian football is coming to a halt. It was good while it lasted.

  57. timeisnow

    December 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Congrats to Coach Speir. He was one of the top coaches left from the Championship years. We will be losing some great coaches along with Speir to WCU, no names to be mentioned but Coach Moore will be a busy man hiring over the next few weeks. Going to be a important few months for ASU Football…..

  58. AppFan-_-

    December 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Now we need to fire lil mo, big mo, Glenn and McClain ….

  59. BigA

    December 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Imagine YOU are the head coach of the Mountaineers.

    Its a cold Saturday afternoon in KBS. 26,000+ fans have got the "APP /"STATE" chant going loud and proud. The packed stadium is electric! It has been a tough year but your team has got #1 ranked georgia southern on their heels. We are up a couple scores and have almost got back to the red zone. This is the most amped your guys have been all season. One of your coaches several yards down from you there on the sidelines appears to be in a daydream. He is thinking he would gladly turn his back on you, everyone here, and all this for just on shot to go lead the Western Carolina Catamounts!!???

    I would tell him not to hesitate.

  60. Jamey

    December 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    "One of your coaches several yards down from you there on the sidelines appears to be in a daydream. He is thinking he would gladly turn his back on you, everyone here, and all this for just on shot to go lead the Western Carolina Catamounts!!???"

    That is the DUMBEST crap to ever be posted on this site. The man came from WCU and has worked his way up through the ranks to get an opportunity to become a Head Coach. There is no shame in taking advantage of an opportunity to live your dream and become a head coach of a Division I program. And to imply that Speir gave less than 100% to this university at all times is absolutely B.S. If you honestly believe that then you don't know a damn thing about the man or about his passion for coaching football.

  61. Clyde

    December 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Who cares if we lose some assistants? This is the same crew that had an All American receiver at their disposal that they didn't throw to. The same crew that insisted on running the same couple plays over and over and over. Let'em run that crap in Cullowhee. Let's get some guys who can say at the end of the game "we knew exactly what they we're going to run." Clean house!

  62. Jamey

    December 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Clyde, I think some of the guys we could lose were pretty handcuffed by a certain head coach who would not allow them to deviate from page #1 of the playbook. My concern is that there could be some real talent among the young coaches that ASU will never get to see because they are going to leave. Imagine if we had run Elliot or Satterfield off and never been able to see them reach their potential?

    And to the few who ripped Speir for leaving for WCU…I am pretty sure Elliot inquired about that job the last time it was open. Still think that guy is Black & Gold to the core? Coaches look for an opportunity to go coach and become a success. The reality of Cobb being the AD is that NO ONE without head coaching experience would ever have a shot at the ASU job when Jerry leaves. I believe we learned that when he basically told Satterfield that verbatim.


    December 22, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    OOPS…OMG you were talking about Spier? I thought you were talking about JM, he is usually at the other end of the action, looking at his clipboard, oblivious to the game. LOL!!!

  64. Clyde

    December 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Speir is a quality guy. I wish him well. But this staff can't hold a candle to the collection of Satterfield, Elliott and Galloway. We've regressed. The guys filling the vacancies haven't been as good as the ones who left and that's a cold fact. We can do better.

  65. appdreamin

    December 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Odds the supposed "big announcement" next year will be that we've hired Buzz P. to coach the football team?


    December 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm


    Why bother with the combine stats? Remember, stats don't mean anything in the NFL. Your words, not mine.

    Looking forward to the Panthers game on Sunday, BTW. Couldn't find my son a Greg Olsen jersey anywhere. Suggestions in Charlotte? I went to the stadium store today.

    Merry Christmas (I couldn't resist)

    As for coaching, let's clean the whole house and start over NOW.

  67. Jim

    December 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Why would Speir want to go to a loser school??

  68. loveithere

    December 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Jim….. Cause the head coach at a loser school like western still makes about three times as much as he was at app

  69. Zen

    December 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Anyone condemning coach Speir for accepting an offer to become a head coach is totally clueless.

    Good luck coach. I hope you turn WCU into the second best program in the SoCon.

  70. mountain_man

    December 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Amen Zen!

    Anyone that knows Coach Speir knows what he is about and what he meant to our program. BigA, you don't know $hit from shinola.

    The last of the staff that made Jerry a champion…

  71. FG

    December 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Rumors flying around some message boards that CC has infact fired lil Moore. Anyone else heard the rumors?

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