Former MSU assistant Mark Hudspeth steps down as head coach at Austin Peay

Joel Coleman

Only a couple of months before the scheduled start of college football season, former Mississippi State assistant coach Mark Hudspeth has suddenly resigned from his post as the head coach at Austin Peay.

"This was not an easy decision, but a very personal one," Hudspeth said in a school release. "I need to take some time away from the game with (my wife) Tyla and the kids. I could not be more thankful for my time at Austin Peay and will be a fan forever. I will miss the players and coaches incredibly and will never forget their commitment to each other and this team. I will return to coaching in the future at the right time."

The 51-year-old Hudspeth spent just one season leading the Governors and guided them to an 11-4 overall record before losing in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. The 11 wins were a program record as the school won the Ohio Valley Conference championship. Hudspeth was tabbed the OVC's Coach of the Year for his efforts .

Now though, there will be no encore for Hudspeth at Austin Peay.

"First, I want to thank Mark for his work in moving Governors football to new heights," Austin Peay Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison said. "His dedication to Governors football has laid the foundation for our football program to reach even greater success. We'll get to work immediately determining our next steps to build on the momentum Mark built."

Austin Peay has announced it will retain the remainder of its coaching staff as the school plans to begin organized team practices on July 31. That staff includes former Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis as wide receivers coach and former MSU defensive graduate assistant Marquase Lovings as associate head coach and defensive line coach.

Previously, Hudspeth spent three total years as an assistant for the Bulldogs and had two different stints at MSU. Hudspeth served as State's wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator under then-head coach Dan Mullen in 2009 and 2010, then Hudspeth returned to the Bulldogs as assistant head coach and tight ends coach under Joe Moorhead in 2018.

Hudspeth, a Louisville, Mississippi native, has had other head coaching stops at North Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette in addition to his year at Austin Peay.  

At Louisiana-Lafayette, the NCAA forced Hudspeth and the Ragin' Cajuns to vacate 22 wins from 2011 to 2014 due to NCAA violations. He was then let go after the 2017 season, when he landed at MSU for a year ahead of returning to head coaching at Austin Peay this past season.