Austin Peay's Healy takes Charlotte job

CRAIG HALEY (STATS FCS Senior Editor=)
The Associated Press
Austin Peay head coach Will Healy speaks to Austin Peay wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson (11) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Austin Peay's Healy takes Charlotte job

Austin Peay head coach Will Healy speaks to Austin Peay wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson (11) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

(STATS) - Austin Peay desperately needed a coach who could bring success to the FCS program when it hired Will Healy three years ago.

Too much success has the Ohio Valley Conference school searching for a new coach again. Charlotte announced the hiring Healy as its new coach on Tuesday.

"In my first conversation with (athletic director) Mike Hill, I told him that I would walk to Charlotte to talk to him about this job," Healy said. "This is a special place - a young football program with tremendous university leadership located in a first-class city. We can recruit and develop excellent student-athletes here and we can compete at a very high level."

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Healy was 13-21 in three seasons at Austin Peay, which is a considerable improvement from the struggles of previous years. After a winless first season in 2016, Healy helped turn the Governors around in his second season, stopping a 29-game losing streak and a run of 46 losses in 47 games with an 8-4 record and a second-place finish in the OVC. Healy won the 2017 STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award, honoring the national coach of the year.

Austin Peay finished 5-6 this season, although it was considered a disappointing record for a veteran team. Still, it was the school's first back-to-back seasons of at least five wins since 1984 and '85.

Healy arrived at Austin Peay after spending seven years as an assistant coach at Chattanooga. He was a quarterback and team captain on Richmond's 2008 FCS championship-winning team.

Charlotte, which was 22-48 in its first six seasons under the only coach in program history, Brad Lambert, was likely attracted to Healy's boundless energy and vision and recruiting prowess. The 49ers were 5-7 this season.

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