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2017-18 Top-10 — No. 3: APSU Football head coach Will Healy the Nation’s Best

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Football - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – In December 2015, Austin Peay State University (APSU) head coach Will Healy stepped to the podium at his introductory press conference and said something that looks prophetic in hindsight.

“I believe there is a process in making that happen,” he said when talking about building a winning culture. “Whether it’s fundraising, building character or a foundation to help us get to the next level, it’s not going to happen overnight. It has to be done the right way, and we’re going to do it the right way.”

2017 Austin Peay Football head coach Will Healy. (APSU Sports Information)

2017 Austin Peay Football head coach Will Healy. (APSU Sports Information)

Maybe it didn’t happen overnight, but it was pretty darn close.

In just his second season, Will Healy led a remarkable turnaround, taking an Austin Peay State University Football program that had one win in four years to an 8-4 season and a serious argument that the APSU Govs should’ve been included in the 24-team field for the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.

Healy’s Govs won seven Ohio Valley Conference games—the most in program history—and earned the Sgt. York Trophy, given to the winner of the quadrangular season series between the Austin Peay Governors, Tennessee State Tigers, Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles and the UT Martin Skyhawks, for the first time in the trophy’s 11-year history.

All that was more than enough for Healy to earn the 2017 Eddie Robinson Award, accorded to the top head coach in Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Healy was the 31st recipient in the award’s history, and third from the OVC, joining Houston Nutt (Murray State, 1995) and Tony Samuel (Southeast Missouri, 2010). He’s the second-youngest recipient in the award’s history, behind only Pete Lembo (Lehigh, 2001) and the first Austin Peay State University Football coach to receive a national Coach of the Year honor in department history.

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