Will Healy, an Eddie Robinson Award winner as the National FCS Coach of the Year, has been selected as the head football coach for the Charlotte 49ers. Healy, who has coached at Austin Peay State University for the last three years, is known for infusing energy and enthusiasm in his program, engineering one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history. A gifted recruiter, he has helped attract top five FCS recruiting classes in four of the last five years.
“I am very pleased to welcome Will and Emily Healy to the UNC Charlotte community,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phil Dubois. “Will’s energy, coaching success, and passion for this job make him an excellent choice to lead the Charlotte 49er football program.”
“We are thrilled that Will and his family will be joining Niner Nation,” said 49ers Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “When we set out to hire a coach, our goal was to find someone who will energize and transform the 49ers into a championship program. Will is that man. Across the country he is recognized as one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the nation. His name came up time and again throughout our search as someone who is a relentless, proven recruiter who has seen remarkable success. On top of that, he places a high value on culture and developing student-athletes.”
“In my first conversation with Mike Hill, I told him that I would walk to Charlotte to talk to him about this job,” said Healy. “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. We’re thrilled to be part of this University and community. I can’t wait to get started.”
Healy joined Austin Peay in 2016, and, according to Yahoo Sports, signed the FCS’s number one recruiting class in 2017. He parlayed that talent into an 8-4 season that included a 7-1 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Governors, who had gone 1-45 over the previous four seasons, snapped a 29-game losing streak, which was the longest in the nation. Three of the Governors’ four losses came to FBS schools and the team tied the school record for most wins.
Austin Peay broke a slew of records during the 2017 season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Govs finished sixth in the nation and set a school record with 3,105 yards rushing. They also set records for rushing touchdowns (32), total touchdowns (45), yards per rush (5.35), yards per game (387.2), total offense (4,646), and total points (327).
Healy received the 2017 STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award as the National FCS Coach of the Year and was named the OVC’s Roy Kidd Coach of the Year.