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Satterfield out, Zelenock resigns

By J.K. McMillen & Tex Armstreet
On December 13, 2017

In his two years as Golden Eagles Head Coach, Satterfield compiled a 6-16 record.

Searches are underway for two athletic positions after the TTU volleyball coach resigned and the head football coach was terminated in the same week.

Athletics Director Mark Wilson said he expects to have both positions filled by Christmas, but it is still “early in the process” and that no candidates have been interviewed.

Volleyball coach Dave Zelenock resigned Nov. 14, according to a written statement from Wilson. Satterfield was “relieved” of his duties on Nov. 19.

Acting football coach Tyree Foreman is the only candidate known to have applied for the football position. Foreman served as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach from 2016 until Satterfield’s departure.

“I hope I’ve distinguished myself enough to be considered for the head coaching position here,” Foreman said. “I’ve become integrated with the community and entrenched with these kids so much that they’re almost like my own sons, and I want to make sure they’re going to be in good hands, and I think my hands would be pretty good to leave them in.”

Wilson declined to name any other candidates for either position. The Oracle filed an open records request to obtain the applications.

Zelenock’s resignation came unexpectedly.

“He did not give us a reason,” Wilson said. “We had had conversations about where the program was at… and after those conversations he decided to resign his position as head coach.”

The Tech volleyball team won only one match of their final 12 contests, finishing the 2017 season with a 4-24 overall record, placing them last in the Ohio Valley Conference standings.

After serving as an associate coach at Central Michigan University from 2007-2012, Zelenock began his tenure as a head coach after accepting Tech’s opening in January 2013. His salary at the time of his departure is reported as $63,129, according to the Tech Employee Salary Database.

Wilson said he is “always evaluating other coaches” and that a national search for the position is underway.

Since his resignation, Zelenock has vacated his office. He and his assistants did not return emails requesting comment.

Multiple volleyball players were contacted for comment, but declined to speak about Zelenock’s resignation.

Satterfield’s termination came at the end of a 1-10 football season for the Golden Eagles. Satterfield compiled a 6-16 record during his two seasons at Tech. Satterfield served as offensive coordinator at Temple University from 2013-2015 before becoming the coach at Tech.

“Coming into this year, I didn’t think we’d be at the place that we ended up,” Wilson said. “As we looked at the factors of his (Satterfield’s) totality at Tennessee Tech, we decided to make that change.”

Foreman said the changing of personnel was not expected, but he’s prepared to perform the job he inherited.

“I didn’t picture myself being in this position, but this is the hand we’re dealt so we have to make sure we play it out,” he said.

Foreman, who left his job at Temple University to join Satterfield’s staff at Tech, coached running backs at Temple University for eight years from 2007-2015, serving under Satterfield from 2013-2015.

Satterfield experienced misconduct issues during his first year at Tech. School officials placed Satterfield on administrative leave March 26, 2017 following an investigation to determine whether he violated Tennessee Board of Regents and Tennessee Tech policies.

In a memo signed by Dr. Leslie Crickenberger, TTU associate vice president for human resources, she listed three policies that Satterfield may have violated. He returned to work April 10, 2017. Wilson and Tech administration declined to comment on the investigation.

“Coach Satt was probably a little hampered by his emotion at certain times,” Foreman said. “I think if you didn’t know him personally, he could rub you the wrong way with some of the things you might have seen.”

Wilson said Satterfield’s firing was not only about off-field issues, but said the decision was made after reviewing “the totality of every part of his leadership at Tennessee Tech, it wasn’t just winning and losing.”

Satterfield was earning $196,950 this season, according to the Tech Employee Salary Database. He vacated his office following his termination and did not return emails requesting comment.

Multiple football players and employees contacted declined to comment.

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