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Austin Peay State University Athletic Director Gerald Harrison earns Contract Extension, new Title

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Last week, Austin Peay State University athletic director Gerald Harrison announced that he and his family look forward to continuing his work at the university and with the Clarksville community.

Now, APSU President Mike Licari has reaffirmed the University’s commitment to Harrison by extending his contract through the 2026-27 academic year and giving him a new title – vice president and director of athletics.

“Gerald is a key member of my senior leadership team, providing invaluable insights into the athletic and strategic decisions we make for this University,” Licari said. “With every decision he makes and every idea he offers, he has our entire student population’s wellbeing in mind. I’m glad he will remain with Austin Peay as it transitions into the ASUN, and I’m excited to see how he will continue to push this university forward in the years to come.”
Harrison was thankful for Licari’s reaffirmation.
“I could not be more excited to continue all the great things we have started here in Stacheville!,” Harrison said. “I want to thank Dr. Licari for allowing me the opportunity to lead this outstanding Athletics Department. Here at Austin Peay, I am fortunate to work with an innovative president who believes in athletics as a large part of the University’s vitality and overall student experience. I am looking forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring for the Govs!”

Since joining Austin Peay State University in 2018, Harrison has led the University’s athletics department to unprecedented success in the classroom and several OVC championships. He also has focused department resources on student-athlete development to prepare them for their life after competition through the “Total Gov” concept. Harrison also has spearheaded the strategic retention and development of coaches and department staff.

His success includes OVC football, beach volleyball, track & field, and women’s tennis championship titles. Last fall, he helped orchestrate an invitation to the ASUN Conference. The University’s athletics department, which has been a part of the Ohio Valley Conference since 1962, now will join the ASUN Conference on July 1st, 2022. The move is expected to increase the University’s brand visibility, with more than 10 million television homes – and 45,000 Austin Peay State University alumni – residing within the ASUN’s seven-state footprint.

Recently, under Harrison’s leadership, Joe and Cathi Maynard pledged to make a historic $15 million donation to the University’s athletics department. The historic gift – the largest single gift in the history of Austin Peay State University – will further the objectives of Austin Peay athletics’ “Total Gov” concept by assisting with facility upgrades to all athletics facilities, expanding the commitment to student-athlete performance excellence, the development of the student-athletes, and the recruitment and retention of coaches and staff among other objectives.

Other highlights during Harrison’s first four years at Austin Peay

  • Last December the athletics department posted a ninth consecutive semester with a 3.0 GPA or better and the 12th time in department history. In addition, all 15 APSU varsity programs recorded at least a 3.0 GPA for the fourth consecutive semester.
  • In addition to the record-breaking Maynard family donation, Austin Peay’s Monocle Society has set fundraising records in back-to-back years.
  • Austin Peay State University entered into a one-of-a-kind relationship with Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment. The division of Predators Holdings, LLC, serves as the exclusive third-party ticket, premium, and sponsorship sales agency for APSU-hosted varsity sporting events. As part of this agreement, SS&E aids in the promotional and marketing plans to sell general admission tickets, premium experiences and sponsorships.
  • Entered into a historic lease agreement with Montgomery County for the Governors men and women’s basketball teams to become the primary tenant for what has since been named F&M Bank Arena when the facility opens. It will take Austin Peay basketball off-campus regularly for the first time since 1953 when the Red Barn was opened.
  • Harrison has developed resources that have helped the athletics department improve its facilities. The department completed construction on a larger clubhouse facility that will provide new offices and locker room spaces for the Governors baseball team. He led the completion of an indoor sports performance center to benefit all APSU student-athletes.

For more information on APSU Athletics, visit letsgopeay.com.


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