Mark Hudspeth stands with the Governors before their title-clinching game against Eastern Illinois in 2019. 

Austin Peay State head football coach Mark Hudspeth is stepping down from his position effective immediately, the school announced on Friday.

“This was not an easy decision, but a very personal one,” Hudspeth said via a release. “I need to take some time away from the game with 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.”

Hudspeth spent one season as the Governors' head coach, leading them to their first OVC championship in 42 years. Their 11 wins were the most in a single season in program history, earning them their first-ever FCS postseason berth. They defeated Furman for their first postseason victory before defeating Sacramento State to reach the FCS quarterfinal. He was named OVC Coach of the Year for his efforts.

“First, I want to thank Mark for his work in moving Governors football to new heights,” said Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison via a release. “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.”

The team will retain all remaining staff and immediately begin its search to fill the head coaching vacancy. They are scheduled to begin their season on Saturday, Aug. 29 against Central Arkansas in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff game in Montgomery, Ala. 

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