APSU’s search for a new head football coach ended this past Monday, March 18, when they announced the hiring of Kirby Cannon to lead the program.

Cannon accepted the job after previously working as a secondary coach for Central Michigan University for the past three seasons. Before taking the position with Central Michigan, Cannon was the head coach at Missouri University of Science and Technology, an NCAA Division II program, for a decade from 1999-2009.

Cannon rebuilt the football program at Missouri S&T, compiling winning seasons in three of his last five seasons as their head coach. He led the Miners of Missouri S&T to their first conference title since 1983 after compiling a 7-4 record in 2008 and was named Coach of the Year in the Great Lakes Football Conference.

Cannon was introduced to the university and media on Tuesday, March 19 and got right to work, as spring practice is under way for the Governors.

A native of Alexandria, Missouri, Cannon graduated from Missouri State in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He started his coaching career two years after graduating and served as a graduate assistant at Iowa State University from 1983-1984.

Cannon arrives at APSU with, above all other things, a defensive background. He was a defensive coordinator at three different schools–North Central University, Truman State University, and Northern Michigan University–before accepting his first head coaching position with Missouri S&T.

Becoming the eighteenth head football coach in APSU history, Cannon replaces Rick Christophel, who left the Govs to accept the tight end coaching position with the Arizona Cardinals.

Christophel went 20-46 in six seasons as the head coach for the Governors, including a 14-34 record in Ohio Valley Conference play.