Missouri's Drinkwitz named keynote speaker for 2024 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Awards Dinner

CHARLOTTE, N.C (FWAA) – The Charlotte Touchdown Club, in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America, officially announced today that Eliah Drinkwitz, the Head Football Coach at the University of Missouri, will be its Keynote Speaker for the 2024 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on Dec 9.

"It's an honor to be part of the 2024 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet and to be asked by the Charlotte Touchdown Club to be part of this year's event," Drinkwitz said. "The Charlotte Touchdown Club represents the strong ideals of the game of football, much like Bronko Nagurski impacted the game during his Hall of Fame playing career."

"The Charlotte Touchdown Club and Football Writers Association of America are proud to have Coach Drinkwitz provide the keynote address for the 2024 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet," John Rocco Executive Director of the Charlotte Touchdown Club said. "We look forward to Coach Drinkwitz' remarks and to the announcement of the 2024 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner at our black tie gala event held Dec 9."

Drinkwitz, considered one of college football's top offensive minds, was introduced as Missouri's 33rd head football coach in December, 2019. The 2024 campaign will be his fifth running the program and his sixth season as a head coach.

In his eight seasons as an offensive coordinator and head coach, Drinkwitz, the 2023 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, has produced seven 1,000-yard rushers, five 3,000-yard passers and five 1,000-yard receivers. His offenses have produced at least one player in one of those categories three times in 2015, 2017 and 2018. The 2023 Mizzou team featured all three in quarterback Brady Cook, wide receiver Luther Burden III and RB Cody Schrader, the SEC's rushing leader.

Drinkwitz, 28-21 at Missouri in four seasons and 40-22 overall as a head coach (five seasons), advanced to bowl games in his first four seasons with the Tigers. He joins former Tiger head coach Warren Powers (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981) as the only two MU head coaches to achieve that feat.

Under Drinkwitz's leadership, Mizzou has produced its highest-ranked recruiting classes: 2021 No. 20, 2022 No. 15 (per 247), the No. 1 wide receiver in the 2022 class (Burden), the nation's top player in the 2024 class (Nwaneri) and three straight Top 25 ranked classes.

The 2023 Tigers put together an 11-2 season and Top 10 rankings in all three national polls. The double-digit wins were Mizzou's first since 2014. Mizzou went 6-2 in SEC games, won both the Mayor's Cup over South Carolina and Battle Line Rivalry over Arkansas and qualified for its first New Year's Six bowl, defeating Ohio State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Eliah DrinkwitzThe 2022 season showcased a much-improved defense, ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference and 34th nationally by allowing just 340.8 yards per game, 93.8 less than in 2021. Freshman phenom Burden exploded on the scene, becoming the first true freshman since 2008 to record two receiving touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, and a punt-return touchdown in the same season.

The 2021 season saw Tyler Badie set the school's single-season record for rushing yards (1,604). His 14 touchdowns in 12 games are ninth on Mizzou's single-season and top-10 list. He was a CoSIDA Academic All-America, the SEC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Mizzou's first-ever), made First Team All-SEC and was named to multiple All-America teams.

In 2020, the Tigers overcame an 0-2 start to win five of their last eight games despite playing with less than 60 scholarship players for over half of those contests. Of the SEC's four new head coaches to begin work in the nation's toughest conference in 2020, Drinkwitz's 5-5 regular-season record was the league's best, ahead of Ole Miss' Lane Kiffin (4-5), Mississippi State's Mike Leach (3-7) and Arkansas' Sam Pittman (3-7).

Drinkwitz took over the Tigers program following an impressive 2019 season at Appalachian State that saw the 20th-ranked Mountaineers win the Sun Belt Conference title en route to a 12-1 record. Drinkwitz was named a finalist for the 2019 Eddie Robinson Award, a prestigious annual award to the nation's top coach. He was also named the North Carolina Coach of the Year by the North State Journal.

Before App State, Drinkwitz spent three years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at NC State (2016-18), two years at Boise State coaching the tight ends (2014) and serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (2015), along with two years as the running backs coach at Arkansas State where the Red Wolves won back-to-back Sun Belt Championships. His first FBS coaching opportunity was as a quality control assistant at Auburn from 2010-11. The Tigers won the SEC and went on to the BCS Championship with a 14-0 record.

Drinkwitz graduated magna cum laude and was the student body president at Arkansas Tech (bachelor's, education) before beginning his coaching career at the prep level in his hometown of Alma, Arkansas, in 2005.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified boasting a sponsor team of more than (80) companies. The Club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches. Through individual and corporate support, more than $3,000,000 has been raised and donated to benefit the Touchdown Club's scholarship efforts.

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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned NCFAA.org or follow on X at @NCFAA.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America to the nation's most outstanding NCAA defensive football player at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C. All proceeds benefit the Charlotte Touchdown Club Scholarship Fund. For more information call 704-347-2918 or touchdownclub.com.