December 21, 2015

(STATS) - Eastern Kentucky hired 38-year-old Mark Elder as its coach two weeks ago.

A relative dinosaur considering what's happened in the FCS since then.

On Monday, Austin Peay named 30-year-old Chattanooga wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Will Healy as its coach, continuing the recent trend of young hires.

Last week, two programs hired coaches from within, with Maine making 29-year-old Joe Harasymiak the youngest head coach in Division I and Fordham promoting 31-year-old Andrew Breiner to the top spot.

Healy, now the second-youngest coach in Division I, will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday.

"Will is a bright, outstanding up-and-coming coach," Austin Peay athletic director Ryan Ivey said. "As a rising star in the profession, he brings an energy and enthusiasm into the program that will allow us to be at our best both on the field and in the community. His pedigree with Coach (Russ) Huesman at Chattanooga and the success they had in resurrecting that program places him in a unique position to help us get our program turned around and places us on a successful trajectory for the future."

Healy was a team captain and backup quarterback on Richmond's 2008 FCS national championship team. After graduating, he returned to his hometown in 2009 to join the Chattanooga staff under Huesman.

He spent his first season coaching quarterbacks and then took over duties with the wide receivers as well as recruiting coordinator, adding passing game coordinator to his title this season. Chattanooga won a share of its third straight Southern Conference title and finished 9-4 this season, its second straight qualifying for the FCS playoffs.

Austin Peay fired Kirby Cannon last month after he went 1-34 in three seasons, including 0-11 this year when the Governors were the only winless FCS team. But 40 of the 44 players on the final two-deep roster are scheduled to return next season.

Young head coaches are not new to the FCS level. Six of the seven youngest entering the Division I season were in the FCS.

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