Despite only coaching from the sidelines for three games this fall, APSU football seems to be moving on from interim head coach Marquase Lovings.
Scotty Walden, the current interim coach at Southern Mississippi, has been announced as the Governors new lead man, as first reported by Pete Thamel. In his three games as head coach for the Golden Eagles, Walden compiled a record of 1-2.
“Today, we welcome one of the most energetic and innovative young coaches in the country to lead our football team,” said APSU Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison. “In Coach Walden, we have found a man who is passionate about the student-athlete experience, energized about being part of the university and Clarksville-Montgomery County community, and excited to join us in our relentless pursuit of excellence.”
Walden, 30, is no stranger to the landscape of football in Clarksville. One of his coaching stops included time as an assistant at East Texas Baptist University under former APSU offensive line coach Joshua Eargle.
Following Eargle’s departure from ETBU, Walden became the head coach at 26, making him the youngest head of a program in the country. The Tigers accumulated close to 50 points per game and 564 yards of offense in his lone season at the helm.
At Southern Miss, the former wide receivers coach took over for Jay Hopson in September. Hopson stepped down following the Golden Eagles’ first game this season.
“Callie, Luca, and I are incredibly blessed and thankful to be a part of the Governor family,” said Walden. “Becoming the head football coach for an up-and-coming program like Austin Peay is a dream come true for myself and my family.
“I am looking forward to meeting the players and getting to work as soon as possible. We appreciate (Interim APSU President) Danelle Whiteside, (Director of Athletics) Gerald Harrison and the entire Austin Peay community for the amazing opportunity and belief in us. Let’s go do something special together!”
Walden is expected to replace Marquase Lovings, the current interim of the program. The Governors were 0-3 in their abbreviated fall slate and were outscored 134-37. Lovings served in the temporary role following the unexpected departure of Mark Hudspeth in July. Lovings remarked on his first head coaching experience after their finale against Cincinnati.
“I got better and better each game,” he said. “I think I got better in terms of managing the games a little bit better. I think I got better at managing people.
“I know the scoreboard doesn’t reflect any coaching whatsoever, and we’ve got to get better at that obviously, but we have a great staff. We really do. I hope we get to do things together going forward and I hope we get to go to the OVC and defend our title.”
The Govs begin their OVC portion of the football season Feb. 21 at Tennessee Tech.