APSU Sports Information Office
Clarksville, TN – Kirk Kayden, who has guided Austin Peay State University men’s golf program to unprecedented success during 10 years as the program’s head, resigned Thursday afternoon to accept another head-coaching opportunity.
Kayden guided the Govs to two Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championships since taking over in 2004, capturing the crown in 2009 and 2013.He coached 23 student-athletes to All-Ohio Valley Conference honors, including two Players of the Year (Erik Barnes in 2009, Marco Iten in 2014) and two Freshman of the Year (Erik Barnes in 2007, Grant Leaver in 2005 honorees.
Under Kayden’s guidance, three Govs have advanced to the NCAA Regional round as individuals: Leaver in 2008, Anthony Bradley in 2011 and Iten in 2014.
Iten became Austin Peay’s first-ever regional champion and earned a spot in the field at the NCAA Championship after an eight-under par 208 (71-70-67) at the Auburn Regional.
In 2013, Kayden led perhaps the most talented Austin Peay team in program history to heights never before reached.
The Govs won a program-best six tournament titles during the regular season, including four spring championships. Three Govs – Iten, Bradley and senior Dustin Korte – earned All-OVC honors and the Govs dispatched the field for the program’s eighth OVC Tournament title.
Austin Peay followed that crowning achievement with an appearance at the NCAA Tempe Regional, where the Govs earned a seventh-place tie.
Succeeding Mark Leroux in 2004, Kayden came to APSU after spending four seasons as an assistant at Penn State. The Fremont, Ohio., native was a standout prep golfer before starring at Toledo collegiately.
“It has been a great ride and we have had a lot of good times these past 10 years,” Kayden said. “There are so many wonderful people that we have met and worked with—the Clarksville golf community has been unbelievable—and that is why it has been such a difficult decision.
“I would like to thank (former Athletics Director) Coach (Dave) Loos for giving a young assistant coach the opportunity to take over this program and make it the best he could. I would also like to thank (Athletics Director) Derek (van der Merwe) for his support this past year—he has done some really positive things since he took over and has the department going in the right direction.”
With school starting in less than a month, APSU will evaluate its options for a successor both on an interim and fulltime basis.
“One thing for sure Austin Peay golf has the college golf respect factor going for it,” Kayden said. “There will be lots of interest in the position.”