Tampa, FL – When the teams take the field for the Super Bowl this Sunday, Austin Peay State University (APSU) football fans will see a familiar face patrolling the sidelines in the form of alumnus and former head coach Rick Christophel, now tight ends coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Christophel, a quarterback (1971-74) and head coach (2007-12) for the Govs, becomes the first Austin Peay State University football alumnus to participate in the Super Bowl.
He came out of retirement to join Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians after serving on Arians’ staff for the Arizona Cardinals in the same capacity for five seasons (2013-17).
From 1991-94, he worked as an assistant at Mississippi State, where he was a coaching associate of Arians, who was the offensive coordinator from 1993-95.
He is the fourth member of the extended Austin Peay athletics family to have a turn in football’s biggest game.
Governors’ basketball alumnus Percy Howard, a 1975 APSU graduate, is the only Austin Peay State University alumnus to play in the Super Bowl. Late in Super Bowl X, with the Pittsburgh Steelers leading by 11 points with less than two minutes to go, Howard caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach over Mel Blount, cutting the deficit to four points.
After a late turnover, Howard was again involved on a last-second Hail Mary pass by Staubach but had three Steelers covering him, and the ball was tipped away. His Super Bowl touchdown made him the second rookie ever to score a Super Bowl touchdown after Duane Thomas in Super Bowl V.
Andre Daniel, a student athletic trainer at Austin Peay State University and graduated in 1998, went to two Super Bowls with the Green Bay Packers as part of an internship program and was a member of the Super Bowl XXXI winning team.
Finally, Austin Peay State University alumnus Justin Dickens, a student athletics communications assistant, and 2003 graduate was an assistant public relations director with the Indianapolis Colts for two Super Bowls, including a Super Bowl XLIV championship.