Central Michigan's Kirby Cannon to be named Austin Peay head coach

Central Michigan's Kirby Cannon to be named Austin Peay head coach

New Austin Peay head coach Kirby Cannon spent the past three seasons at Central Michigan. (CMU)

New Austin Peay head coach Kirby Cannon spent the past three seasons at Central Michigan. (CMU)

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]entral Michigan defensive backs coach Kirby Cannon will be named Austin Peay’s head coach at a 10 a.m. press conference Tuesday morning.

Cannon was head coach at Missouri S&T for 11 seasons before resigning to join the CMU staff in 2010. He has been eager to become a head coach again, sources said.

Missouri S&T was 28-27 in Cannon’s final five seasons as head coach.

He was named Great Lakes Football Conference Coach of the Year in 2008 after leading the Miners’ to their first conference title since 1983.

Missouri S&T’s 7-4 record in 2005 marked the first winning season since 1985 for the program, and Cannon was named the Independent Football Alliance Coach of the Year. A 6-5 record in 2006 completed the first back-to-back winning seasons for the program since 1984-85.

Cannon replaces Rick Christophel, who stepped down in January to be tight ends coach for the Arizona Cardinals. Christophel was 20-46 in six seasons.

A 1981 graduate of Missouri State, Cannon began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Iowa State in 1983. He had stints as an assistant at North Central (Ill.), Truman State, Northern Michigan and Western Illinois.

Ashley Ingram, offensive line coach at Navy, and Lance Leipold, head coach at D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater, were both offered the job but turned it down.

Other candidates interviewed include the Governors’ interim head coach and defensive coordinator Granville Eastman, and former Wisconsin offensive line coach Mike Markuson.

Gary Shepard, Austin Peay’s linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator the past two seasons, resigned last week.

However, the majority of the Governors’ staff, including Eastman, is expected to remain.

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