Missouri football has its new leader in Eliah Drinkwitz.

The former Appalachian State head coach has full confidence from Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk and the UM Board of Curators and is expected to be publicly introduced as the Tigers’ new coach late Tuesday morning.

Before Drinkwitz takes the podium in Missouri black and gold, here are 10 things to know about the 33rd head football coach in school history:

1. At 37 years old next September, Drinkwitz will be the youngest Missouri head coach in his debut at Faurot Field since Dan Devine was 34 years old for his first game in 1958.

2. Despite having only one season of head coaching experience, Drinkwitz's Sun Belt champion Mountaineers had no problem punching above their weight class. Appalachian State defeated North Carolina 34-31 and took down Southeastern Conference opponent South Carolina 20-15 — both on the road. Drinkwitz is 4-0 against nonconference opponents as head coach.

3. Drinkwitz and his wife, Lindsey, have four children, all daughters: Addison, Emerson, Ella and Parker Lynn.

4. Drinkwitz has been on the staff of a bowl-eligible team every season of his coaching career, whether as an assistant or head coach. He was part of Auburn’s BCS National Championship team in 2010 and Peach Bowl team in 2011. Drinkwitz was on Arkansas State’s staff for the GoDaddy.com Bowl in both 2012 and 2013. When Boise State made the 2014 Fiesta Bowl and 2015 Poinsettia Bowl, Drinkwitz was on the sidelines. North Carolina State made three straight bowls with Drinkwitz as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach: the 2016 Independence Bowl, 2017 Sun Bowl and 2018 Gator Bowl. In his first year as head coach, Drinkwitz led the Mountaineers to the New Orleans Bowl. Those teams' bowl records with Drinkwitz on staff: 8-1.

5. Drinkwitz graduated magna cum laude in 2004 from Arkansas Tech, where he served as student body president. He did not play college football.

6. He’s a former high school coach. Drinkwitz was an assistant coach at Alma (Ark.) High School, in the town where he was raised, before being named offensive coordinator at Springdale (Ark.) High School. After Springdale won a state championship under current Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn in 2005, Arkansas hired Malzahn as its offensive coordinator. Drinkwitz spent four seasons at Springdale before entering college coaching in 2010 as Auburn’s quality control coach under former head coach Gene Chizik.

7. Drinkwitz’s brother, Jeremy, is the president of Mercy Hospital in Joplin and also went to college at Arkansas Tech.

8. Former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, despite never being part of the same team as Drinkwitz, lauded his potential when he was hired at Appalachian State: "I've said it many times, I believe Eli Drinkwitz is a rising star and one of the most exciting and innovative play callers I've watched in the last two years. His ability to coach the quarterback and create an explosive offense is what first impressed me most about Eli; however, now that I know him, I believe Eli's character and integrity may be even more impressive. I've been saying this for two years now: Whoever hires Eli Drinkwitz as their head coach is making a wise choice."

9. During each of his past three stops, Drinkwitz’s offenses have been some of the most efficient in the country. In his second season at Boise State, the Broncos were 15th in the nation in both total offense and scoring offense. In his third season at NC State, the Wolfpack were 16th in total offense and 22nd in scoring offense. Appalachian State has scored 69 touchdowns so far this season and ranks 11th in scoring offense.

10. During Drinkwitz's lone regular season at Appalachian State, only two FBS teams, Oregon State and San Diego State, turned the ball over less than the Mountaineers. Appalachian State only had eight turnovers this year — six interceptions and two fumbles. Appalachian State also had the fewest turnovers on downs in the FBS in 2019.

eblum@columbiatribune.com

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