New MU head football Coach Eliah Drinkwitz said his first “M-I-Z” to fans, media members and university leaders Tuesday. Drinkwitz appeared at a press conference in the newly constructed south end zone at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
“For me this is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Drinkwitz said. “And opportunities of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of an opportunity.”
Drinkwitz comes to MU after leading Appalachian State to a 12-1 record and a Sun Belt Conference Championship.
UM System President Mun Choi, MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Athletic Director Jim Sterk was there to introduce and welcome the new coach. Sterk explained why Drinkwitz was chosen for the job.
“I think he has a passion for what he does, he’s a great leader of men, and he’s driven for success.” Sterk said. “And that’s the type of person we wanted in our program.”
Drinkwitz says he is not afraid of a challenge. He says he wants to see the tigers win the SEC East and a Bowl game this coming season.
“I don’t fear failure, I attack success.” Drinkwitz said. “And no matter where my family and I have been in coaching, we’ve been able to rise to the occasion, to compete to do it better than it’s ever been done before.”
He says he has specific plans for the Tigers on the field this year. The new coach said he wants to see a more quarterback driven game on offense, and on defense he wants the team to be “fundamentally sound with tackles and turnovers”.
Drinkwitz says he plans to improve players’ academics as well as their skills on the field, something Cartwright stressed in his opening statement.
Choi said that Eliah Drinkwitz will be at MU for a long time. Drinkwitz’s hire comes after MU fired former coach Barry Odom last week. Odom served as MU’s head football coach for four years.