Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) interim head football coach Marquase Lovings announced the addition of two full-time assistant coaches, among other staff additions for the upcoming 2020 season.
Thirty-five-year coaching veteran Mike Markuson will take over as the APSU Governors’ offensive line coach, replacing Eddy Morrissey, who departed in June to pursue other professional opportunities.
Stephen Smith was hired as the team’s running backs coach, assuming the position left by the June departure of Craig Candeto.
It will be the second stint in Clarksville for Markuson, who previously was on the Austin Peay State University sidelines during the 1990 season under then-head coach John Palermo. Markuson is also well acquainted with the Ohio Valley Conference with previous stops at Murray State (1993-96) and Eastern Illinois (2014).
“We can’t be any more excited to bring Mike on board,” said Lovings. “His resume is impressive, and the countless numbers of NFL lineman he has tutored are remarkable. I’m thankful he has decided to join us!”
With plenty of experience at the Football Bowl Subdivision programs with 14 seasons as an assistant in the Southeastern Conference, Markuson has coached eight All-Americans, 15 all-conference honorees, and 10 NFL players – including two first-round draft picks and three individuals selected in the second round.
A four-time Broyles Award nominee for the nation’s top assistant coach, Markuson returns to Clarksville after two seasons with the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He helped lead the Tiger-Cats to the CFL East Division title and an appearance in the 107th Grey Cup in 2019.
Smith comes to Austin Peay State University after spending time on the coaching staff at Baylor and Tennessee. He was Director of Player Development at Baylor during the 2017 season, coordinating community outreach and community service projects and ensuring student-athlete academic success. Before that, Smith was a member of the Tennessee coaching staff in 2015 and 2016 as a defensive analyst and quality control coach.
“Stephen has ties to this state after being a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee,” Lovings said. “Everyone we talked with communicated his prowess as a relentless recruiter. With experience as director of player personnel at Baylor, we are excited for him to work with our running backs and build the ‘Total Gov!'”
Aanstoos moves up into the assistant defensive line role after serving as a defensive graduate assistant last season. It is a familiar role for the Chantilly, Virginia native, who was an assistant defensive line coach at Christopher Newport University, his alma mater, in 2018. After serving as the APSU Governors’ graduate assistant, he spent the spring as a graduate assistant at Marshall University.
“Our coaching staff is really close knit and we had an opportunity to bring back a young man who helped us achieve our goals last season, so we, in return, wanted to help him achieve his,” said Lovings. “We are excited to have Mark back and know will be aligned with our goals from a communication and expectation standpoint.”
Other additions to the APSU Governors coaching staff for 2020 include Evan Tucker as head football equipment manager and Brendan McGuire as football video coordinator and former Govs football standout Jule Pace as assistant director of football operations. Deane Cheatham will serve as a volunteer assistant who will work with tight ends. CJ Scarpa, Nick Hunter, Clay McKee, Keith Stevens, and Kody Schexnayder join the staff as graduate assistants while Bryan McCann and Kris Hunt will serve as student assistants.
“Our off-the-field staff is tremendous, we struck gold with the people we were able to hire,” said Lovings. “I am excited about the future of our program because of the people in our facility.”