‘Twas the night before Athletic Director Ryan Ivey names the new APSU head football coach and all through the campus, not a student was sturring, not even Governor Peay X.
The football cleats were hung in the locker with care, in hopes a new coach would soon be there.
The players were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of winning seasons danced in their head.
Ivey in his office with his APSU cap, had settled his brain after over 100 applications.
He narrowed it down to seven confirmed applicants: Walt Wells, Will Healy, Shane Day, Matt Williamson, Joshua Eargle, Jed Stugart and Ron Lambert.
Wells returned to Eastern Kentucky University in the Spring 2015 as the assistant head coach. Wells has been working with the offensive line. He has more more than 20 years of experience, according to EKU’s website.
Healy has coached at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he worked with a conference and nationally ranked offense, according to UTC’s website.
Williamson is in his second season as defensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks have held opponents to 28.5 points and 408.8 yards per game, 21 points and 120 yards fewer than 2013, before Williamson was there, according to SFA’s website.
Day is a current assistant offensive line coach for the NFL Washington Redskins. He has formerly worked with the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears.
Eargle has experience as an offensive and defensive coordinator. He is currently at East Texas Baptist University. According to the school’s website, Eargle has completely changed the culture of the program. He has brought in new talent that has broken several program records while also receiving numerous awards.
Stugart is the current head coach at the Division II school University of Sioux Falls where he has led the Cougars to six consecutive winning seasons. He took the team from National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to NCAA Division II. Stugart has coached eight All-Americans, according to the school’s website.
Lambert is the current coach at Rossview High School in Clarksville, Tenn. He has led the team to winning seasons both overall and in their district for the past three seasons. During the 2015-16 season the team went 5-5 overall and 2-5 in the district, the 2014-15 season the team went 8-4 overall and 6-1 in the district and the 2013-14 season the Hawks went 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the district. During the 2013-14 season, the team made a playoff appearance but lost to Independence High School 35-25 in the first round, according to maxpreps.com
Andy McCollum was believed to be a finalist according to USA Today High School Sports, but pulled his name and entered the running for he head coaching job at Ohio Valley Conference contender Tennessee Technological University, according to a source. McCollum is an APSU alumni and was formerly a head coach at Middle Tennessee State University. McCollum is currently a linebackers coach at Georgia Technological University. McCollum said he is willing to take a pay cut, according to a source.
Ivey previously stated he would have liked to fill the position by Tuesday, Dec. 15, but later changed it to Monday, Dec. 21.
This is a developing story and it will be updated accordingly.