Clarksville, TN – The holiday season started early for fans of the Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team with the finest season in program history capped by an appearance in the FCS Playoffs’ quarterfinal round.
On the heels of that success, APSU Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison has announced a contract extension that will keep head football coach Mark Hudspeth on the sidelines at Fortera Stadium through the 2024 season.
“I knew one year ago we hired the right person for the job of building Governors football into of the nation’s top programs,” said Harrison.
“Mark, his coaching staff and the team they built exceeded my expectations both on and off the field in their first season. And in so doing, have shown their commitment to our ‘Total Gov’ concept with the development of our student-athletes. We are excited to see what heights he will take Austin Peay football,” Harrison stated.
“I would like to thank President [Alisa] White and Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison for their continued commitment to furthering the development and progress of our football program,” said Hudspeth. “My family and I, along with our coaching staff and players, are excited about the future and direction of our program!”
In his first season as head coach, Hudsepth led Austin Peay State University to its first Ohio Valley Conference title since 1977 and into its first-ever postseason appearance with the league’s automatic qualifying spot in the Division I Football Championship. Once in the FCS Playoffs, Hudspeth and the Governors posted wins against Furman and Sacramento State to reach the Elite 8.
Hudspeth was named the Roy Kidd OVC Coach of the Year for his efforts, and a program-record 11 total Governors earned recognition on the 2019 All-OVC and OVC All-Newcomer teams. Six Austin Peay student-athletes have received All-America honors this postseason, led by junior defensive back Kordell Jackson’s multiple first-team accolades.
At season’s end, Austin Peay State University posted its first double-digit win total in 2019 (one of only 11 in the FCS in 2019), with four victories against nationally-ranked teams. The Governors also were among the Top 10 most improved FCS teams in win-loss record from 2018 to 2019.
Austin Peay State University’s improvements under Hudspeth extended into the classroom. The Govs posted a program-record 3.022 grade-point average during the fall semester, which also was the first time the program exceeded a 3.0 GPA. Sixty-two of the 109 Governors football student-athletes posted a 3.0 GPA with 21 earning APSU Dean’s List recognition.