Missouri Tigers Coaching Staff 2024

    After a successful campaign last fall, who makes up the Missouri Tigers coaching staff ahead of the 2024 college football season?

    Eli Drinkwitz had a rocky start to his tenure at Missouri, but the momentum has been building with a wildly successful 2023 season and some major recruiting wins. With a new defensive coordinator and defensive line coach in town, what does the Missouri Tigers coaching staff look like?

    Missouri Tigers Coaching Staff

    Head Coach: Eli Drinkwitz

    Eli Drinkwitz was introduced as the University of Missouri’s 33rd head football coach in December of 2019. The 2024 campaign will mark his fifth at the helm of Mizzou and his fifth season as a head coach.

    Drinkwitz advanced to bowl games in his first four seasons at Missouri, joining Warren Powers as the only two MU head coaches to achieve the feat. He is also just the sixth coach in program history to achieve 17-plus victories in the first three years of his tenure.

    Missouri’s 11-2 finish in 2023 was their best record since 2013, when they finished 12-2. Missouri won the Cotton Bowl in 2023, taking down Ohio State 14-3 and earning Drinkwitz his first bowl game win as the head coach of the Tigers.

    He took over the Missouri job after a 2019 season as the head coach of Appalachian State that saw the Mountaineers win the Sun Belt Conference title en route to a 12-1 record. They set a Sun Belt record with their 12 wins and also set the mark for the best regular season in conference history. They also claimed the Sun Belt Championship with a 45-38 win against Louisiana.

    App State became the first-ever Sun Belt program to earn a top-20 ranking in the Associated Press poll while also becoming the first team in league history to receive an in-season ranking in the College Football Playoff poll. The team also made history with a pair of Power Five road wins, making his Mountaineers the first-ever Sun Belt team to register two Power Five wins in a season.

    Before App State, Drinkwitz was the offensive coordinator at NC State for three years, from 2016-18. He guided QB Ryan Finley to three straight 3,000-yard seasons and three different 1,000-yard rushers.

    Drinkwitz spent 2014 and 2015 at Boise State, serving as tight ends coach in 2014 before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2015. He helped Brett Rypien pass for over 3,000 yards in 2015 and guided Jeremy McNichols to 1,337 yards on the ground.

    Additionally, he was a graduate assistant for the 2010 Auburn Tigers, which went 14-0 and won the BCS Championship. After that, he helped Arkansas State win back-to-back Sun Belt championships as their running backs coach.

    Drinkwitz has a 40-22 record as a head coach entering the 2024 season.

    Defensive Coordinator/Safeties: Corey Batoon

    Corey Batoon arrives at Missouri for the 2024 season after leading the South Alabama defense from 2021 to 2023.

    A Hawaii native, Batoon spent most of his early years on the West Coast, playing at San Diego City Junior College before transferring to Long Beach State.

    Once his playing days were over, Batoon transitioned into the college ranks, coaching safeties at Los Angeles Pierce College from 1991 to 1992. He was quickly hired away by St. Mary’s to serve as their defensive backs coach in 1993.

    Batoon spent 1993, 1994, and 1995 with St. Mary’s before moving to Central Missouri State in 1996. He spent a season there before leaping up to coach the defensive line at Montana in 1997, once again spending a single season there before transitioning to his next job — this time at Northern Arizona.

    Batoon coached at Northern Arizona for 11 years, serving as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach, and special teams coordinator at various spots during his tenure there. Batoon led the Lumberjacks to three FCS playoff appearances and helped NAU boast several top defenses in the FCS.

    Batoon left in 2009 to coach the defensive backs at Arkansas State, who had also hired Hugh Freeze to run their offense. That connection saw Batoon follow Freeze to Ole Miss in 2012, first as an assistant AD for player development before transitioning into an on-field role coaching the Rebels’ safeties and special teams in 2015.

    In 2016, Batoon again switched to a new job — this time joining Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic. There, Batoon was the co-defensive coordinator, safeties, and special teams coordinator. He helped FAU turn into a 9-3 Conference-USA title-winning team in 2017.

    After helping the Owls in 2017, Batoon returned home to Hawaii in 2018, serving as Hawaii’s defensive coordinator in 2018 and 2019, where he enjoyed immense success, winning the Mountain West Conference in his second season.

    However, he wasn’t long for the islands as Batoon was hired by Liberty to coach their safeties in 2020, which reunited him with Flames head coach Freeze.

    He only spent one season there, helping the Flames go 10-1, before being hired as the defensive coordinator at South Alabama under Kane Wommack — another Ole Miss connection.

    Batoon and Wommack led some of the best defenses in the FBS at South Alabama, earning Batoon a Broyles Award nomination for best assistant coach his first season with the Jaguars.

    Batoon’s full coaching resume can be found below:

    • Los Angeles Pierce College (Safeties, 1991-92)
    • Saint Mary’s (Defensive Backs, 1993-95)
    • Central Missouri State (Secondary/Special Teams Coordinator, 1996)
    • Montana (Defensive Line, 1997)
    • Northern Arizona (AHC/DC/Secondary/Special Teams Coordinator, 1998-2008)
    • Arkansas State (Defensive Backs/Special Teams Coordinator, 2009-11)
    • Ole Miss (Assistant AD for Player Development, 2012-2014; Safeties/Special Teams Coordinator, 2016-16)
    • Florida Atlantic (Co-defensive coordinator/Safeties/Special Teams Coordinator, 2017)
    • Hawaii (Defensive Coordinator/Safeties, 2018-19)
    • Liberty (Safeties, 2020)
    • South Alabama (Defensive Coordinator/Safeties, 2021-23)
    • Missouri (Defensive Coordinator, 2024-)

    Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks: Kirby Moore

    The brother of NFL offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Kirby Moore has found his own success at the collegiate level. Moore played wide receiver at Boise State from 2009-13 and helped them establish themselves as one of the best programs in CFB over that time. He caught 115 passes over his career.

    Moore transitioned into the coaching ranks as the wide receivers coach at the College of Idaho in 2014 before serving as a graduate assistant at Washington from 2015 to 2016. He was part of a Huskies team that went to the College Football Playoffs in 2016, and the year after, he became the wide receivers coach at Fresno State.

    MORE: Missouri Tigers Top 10 Returning Players 2024

    With the Bulldogs, Moore coached receivers KeeSean Johnson, Jalen Moreno-Cropper, and Keric Wheatfall to productive seasons from 2017-2021. He added the passing game coordinator title in 2020 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2022.

    With Moore as the offensive coordinator in 2022, they were second in the NCAA in completion percentage and led the Mountain West in scoring and total offense. QB Jake Haener finished among the nation’s best in terms of efficiency and yards per game and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Moore’s full coaching resume can be found here:

    • College of Idaho (Wide Receivers, 2014)
    • Washington (Graduate Assistant, 2015-16)
    • Fresno State (Wide Receivers, 2017-2021; Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2022)
    • Missouri (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2023-)

    Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends: Erik Link

    Erik Link was part of Drinkwitz’s initial Missouri staff after following him over from Appalachian State. He began his collegiate coaching career in 2004 as a defensive graduate assistant at Drake. In 2005, he moved into the role of defensive line coach a year before joining the Iowa State staff in 2006.

    From 2006-08, Link was a member of the Cyclones’ staff in various roles, including as a graduate assistant, assistant director of football operations, and director of high school relations. In 2010, he served on Gene Chizik’s Auburn staff as a special teams quality control coach and helped lead them to the BCS National Championship after a perfect 14-0 season.

    He spent two seasons as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Montana State, where the Bobcats won two Big Sky Conference titles in 2011 and 2012. Link returned to Auburn under Gus Malzahn in 2013 and was part of an Auburn team that won the SEC and appeared in the BCS National Championship Game.

    After some time in the high school ranks in Des Moines, Link joined the Louisiana Tech staff as special teams coordinator in 2018 before joining Drinkwitz at App State in 2019.

    Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers: D.J. Smith

    A former sixth-round pick as a player at App State, Smith spent time from 2011-14 in the NFL before returning to Boonesville as a coach in various roles.

    Smith started as Director of High School Relations in 2016 before becoming an analyst on staff in 2017. He was promoted to outside linebackers coach in 2018, coaching two all-conference players, Akeem Davis-Gaither and Noel Cook.

    Smith followed Drinkwitz from App State to Mizzou, where he coached Nick Bolton to All-SEC honors and a second-round selection. Smith’s linebackers have been pivotal to Missouri’s defensive success in the SEC.

    Assistant Head Coach/Cornerbacks: Al Pogue

    A long-time high school coach in Alabama, Pogue was also part of those early 2010s Auburn teams under Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn. After spending 2011-2013 on the Tigers’ staff in a variety of off-field roles, Pogue joined the Troy Trojans coaching staff as the cornerbacks coach.

    He spent 2014-18 at Troy. From 2016-18, he coached the Trojans to allow just 20.8 points per game. During his four years there, the Trojans were second nationally among FBS schools in takeaways (106) and tied for seventh nationally with 63 interceptions.

    Pogue spent the 2019 season as outside linebackers coach at West Virginia, coaching Josh Chandler to All-Big 12 and Tykee Smith to Freshman All-American honors. In 2020, he returned to Auburn in the same role and coached Zakoby McClain to All-SEC honors before returning to Troy as cornerbacks coach in 2021.

    Running Backs: Curtis Luper

    A 25-year veteran coach, Curtis Luper has been mentoring running backs since the 1990s.

    After playing at Oklahoma State and Stephen F. Austin, he coached running backs and defensive backs at SFA from 1995 to 1997. He then spent a year in the high school ranks before coaching DBs at Texas A&M-Commerce in 2001.

    Luper was hired to coach running backs for New Mexico in 2002, spending the 2002-04 seasons with the Lobos before returning to Oklahoma State as their running backs coach. Three seasons in Stillwater rolled by before he took the same job at Auburn in 2009.

    Luper coached RB Ben Tate as he rushed for 1,362 yards and was a Doak Walker Award semifinalist in his first year at Auburn. He also recruited and coached RB Michael Dyer to an Auburn freshman record 1,093 rushing yards and Offensive MVP honors in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.

    MORE: 2024 SEC Power Rankings

    Dyer was a 2010 Freshman All-SEC selection and second-team Freshman All-American.

    Before he arrived in Missouri, Luper spent seven seasons at TCU from 2013 to 2019, including the final three as co-offensive coordinator, running backs coach, and recruiting coordinator. He joined the Horned Frogs’ coaching staff as wide receivers coach in 2013 before moving to running backs in 2014.

    Under his rule at Missouri, the Tigers have produced some of their most decorated runners in Larry Rountree III and Tyler Badie.

    Rountree ranks first all-time at Missouri in rushing yards and second in rushing TDs. Badie’s 18 touchdowns in 2021 are tied for the third-most in a single season at Mizzou. His 2,740 career rushing yards rank seventh in Mizzou history, while his 23 rushing touchdowns stand ninth all-time.

    Wide Receivers: Jacob Peeler

    A former offensive lineman, Jacob Peeler started on staff at his alma mater, Louisiana Tech, before becoming a graduate assistant at Cal in 2013. After two years in that role, he was promoted to inside receivers coach in 2015.

    Peeler was hired as a full-time wide receivers coach at Ole Miss in 2017. While coaching for the Rebels, he tutored DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Elijah Moore, and DaMarkus Lodge to multiple successful seasons. Metcalf, Brown, and Moore were all second-round picks in their respective NFL drafts.

    Peeler’s success at Ole Miss helped land him the offensive coordinator job at Texas State in 2020. The Bobcats produced eight offensive All-Sun Belt Conference in his two seasons at Texas State.

    Most recently, he joined the Missouri coaching staff in 2022.

    Offensive Line: Brandon Jones

    Brandon Jones is one of the most accomplished offensive line coaches in college football. After a successful career at Texas Tech as a center, he served as an assistant coach on those 2007 and 2008 Red Raiders squads that went 20-6 under Mike Leach and were some of the nation’s best offenses those years.

    He then took a job coaching running backs and tight ends at Sam Houston State in 2009 before becoming the offensive line coach at East Carolina in 2010. Jones was Lincoln Riley’s offensive line coach from 2010-2014 at ECU before becoming the offensive line coach/run game coordinator at Cal under Sonny Dykes.

    Jones returned to Texas Tech in 2017 under Kliff Kingsbury and spent two seasons with the Red Raiders before Kingsbury was fired. Following this, Jones coached the offensive line at Houston from 2019-22 before taking the Missouri job in 2023.

    Over his career, Jones has coached six NFL players, including Josh Jones, Patrick Mekari, and Terence Steele, with another on the way — Patrick Paul.

    Interior Defensive Line: Al Davis

    A former team captain at Arkansas, Al Davis played 49 games for the Razorbacks from 2009-12. He spent time in the high school ranks after his playing days before becoming a graduate assistant at Arkansas in 2014.

    KEEP READING: Missouri 2025 Football Schedule

    Davis spent 2014-16 at Arkansas before being hired at Hutchinson Community College, where he worked his way up to associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator. He spent three years at Hutchinson before taking the defensive line coach job at Illinois in 2020. Davis joined the Missouri coaching staff in 2021.

    Defensive Line-Edge: Brian Early

    Brian Early enters his first season with the Tigers after five seasons with the Houston Cougars. Early has a long history of defensive line development at Houston and Arkansas State Red.

    Early has developed some of the top pass rushers in college football wherever he has gone, coaching players like Ronheen Bingham, William Bradley-King, Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, Dee Liner, Kevin Thurmon, and Caleb Caston at Arkansas State, and Logan Hall, David Anenih, Payton Turner, Derek Parish, Atlias Bell, D’Anthony Jones, Jamaree Caldwell, and Nelson Ceaser at Houston.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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