Clarksville, TN – Corey Gipson is coming home.
Vice President and Athletics Director Gerald Harrison announced Sunday that Gipson has been named the 14th head men’s basketball coach in Austin Peay State University (APSU) history.
Austin Peay State University will welcome Gipson back to Clarksville at an introductory press conference on Tuesday at 4:00pm in F&M Bank Arena. More details on the event will be announced as they become available.
“It’s a great day to be a Gov,” said Harrison. “We are so excited to welcome an Austin Peay State University champion back home to Clarksville as our men’s basketball coach! Not only is Corey an alumnus and a winner; he is a man that believes in the principles of the ‘Total Gov Concept.’ His life and career represent each of its tenets. I can’t wait for Coach ‘Gip’ and his staff to get to work energizing this community and adding the first banner to the new F&M Bank Arena!”
Gipson, a two-time Austin Peay State University graduate who played at APSU for two seasons (2002-04) and worked as an assistant coach for Dave Loos for three seasons (2012-15), was the head coach at Northwestern State during the 2022-23 season.
In his first year as a head coach, Gipson turned around a Demons program that won nine games the year prior his arrival. He led the Demons to a 22-9 record, a win at then-No. 15 TCU, and a No. 2 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament.
“The cycle of life is such a dynamic process,” said Gipson. “Sometimes, in life, you have to go back to where it all started. My family and I are very grateful to have the opportunity to return home. I would like to thank Dr. Licari and Gerald for their commitment and vision of reawakening the competitive pulse of the men’s basketball program.”
In his lone year at Northwestern State, Gipson is a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I minority coach. He also is a finalist for the Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award, which is annually given to the top DI mid-major head coach, and the Joe B. Hall Award, which is annually presented to the top first-time head coach at the DI level.
Gipson led the Demons to their first 20-win season in a decade and became the first coach in program history to win 20 games during their debut season. Gipson’s 64-63 win at TCU, on November 14th, also was the program’s first win against an Associated Press Top 25 team since the 2006 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
Gipson’s squad made its mark on the defensive end during the 2022-23 season, leading the Southland in scoring defense (72.1 ppg). The Demons ranked 37th in the NCAA in steals per game (8.3) and turnovers forced per game (14.8) – ranking fourth in the Southland in both categories. Northwestern State also took care of the basketball better than any team in the Southland, leading the league in fewest turnovers per game (11.9) while ranking second in the conference and 34th in Division I in turnover margin (+2.9).
“It is great to have Corey back – again – at Austin Peay State University,” said APSU President Michael Licari. “As a two-time graduate of Austin Peay State University, the 2012 Young Alumnus of the Year, and former assistant coach, he’s familiar with the university, the community, and the rich history of APSU basketball. As the new head coach, he knows the potential of the program and shares a vision for great things to come as we launch a new era of Austin Peay men’s basketball!”
Gipson also helped Northwestern State senior guard DeMarcus Sharp earn 2023 Southland Conference Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and First Team All-Conference honors during his time in Natchitoches. Sharp also is a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, which is annually given to the top Division I mid-major basketball player. Sharp averaged 19.5 points per game during the 2022-23 season, which led the Southland and ranked 35 in the NCAA. Sharp also ranked 31st in the NCAA in assists (165), 41st in assists per game (5.0), and 31st in steals (64) – he ranked second in Southland in all three categories.
Under Gipson, Ja’Monta Black also earned Second Team All-Southland Conference recognition and proved to be one of the nation’s top three-point shooters. During the 2022-23 season, Black ranked fourth in the NCAA in three-pointers per game (3.81), fourth in total threes made (122), and third in three-pointers attempted (326) – he led the Southland in all three categories.
Before his time at Northwestern State, Gipson spent seven years at Missouri State and was the Bears’ associate head coach for six of those seasons. The Bears won 13 games during Gipson’s first year in Springfield, before averaging 17.8 wins per season during his six years after being promoted to associate head coach.
In Gipson’s last year at Missouri State, the Bears went 23-11 overall and 13-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference to earn a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Missouri State fell in the MVC Tournament semifinals before receiving a bid to play top-seeded Oklahoma in the National Invitational Tournament.
During his time at Missouri State, Gipson coached three MVC Newcomers of the Year – Dequon Miller, Alize Johnson, and Tulio Da Silva – to go along with 10 All-MVC selections, seven MVC All-Newcomer Team selections, three MCV All-Freshman Team selections, four MVC All-Defensive Team selections, two MVC All-Bench Team selections, two MVC Most-Improved Team selections, and three MVC Scholar-Athlete Team selections.
Before coaching at Missouri State, Gipson was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Austin Peay for three seasons. During that stint in Clarksville, Gipson helped develop 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Chris Horton, who finished his career as one of just 13 DI players to score 1,500 points, grab 1,000 rebounds, and block 300 shots. Horton holds the Austin Peay State University record with 325 blocked shots, ranks second in program history with 1,261 rebounds, and ranks sixth in scoring with 1,705 points.
Before coaching at his alma mater, Gipson three years at UNC Greensboro and served as the associate head coach for the final two seasons. Gipson began his coaching career at DII Virginia State, where he worked as an assistant coach for longtime Austin Peay assistant coach Tony Collins, who recruited Gipson to APSU.
As a player at Austin Peay State University, Gipson was a two-year starter at point guard, helping the Govs become the top defensive team in the OVC in 2002-03 and 2003-04. The Govs went 45-18 in his two seasons and Gipson never lost a game in the Winfield Dunn Center, with the Govs going 27-0 at home during his time in Clarksville.
In his first game at Austin Peay State University, Gipson scored a team-high 19 points and led the Governors to an upset win at Memphis, beating the Tigers, 81-80, in overtime at the Memphis Pyramid. The APSU Govs went 23-8 in Gipson’s first season, winning the 2003 OVC Regular-Season and Tournament Championships before falling to Louisville, 86-64, in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
The following season, Gipson and the Govs repeated as OVC Regular Season Champions but fell to Murray State in the OVC Tournament Championship. Austin Peay State University earned a spot in the 2004 NIT, where it beat Belmont, 65-59, in the Dunn Center before falling to George Mason – a team that was two years removed from a run to the Final Four.
Gipson averaged 7.7 points, 2.1 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game during his APSU career while knocking down 94 three-pointers and shooting 34.1 percent from three-point range.
Gipson received his bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University in 2004 and earned a master’s degree from APSU in 2005. Gipson was named the Austin Peay State University Young Alumnus of the Year in 2012.
He and his wife, April, have three children: Jordan, Tanner, and Frankie.