A 30-year old Will Healy was hired to lead the Austin Peay (FCS - TN) program back in December of 2015, and the Governors were in the midst of a losing streak that stretched back more than a few seasons.
You're probably aware of the story from there - how Healy went 0-11 that first season and started his second season 0-2 before they snapped their 29-game skid with a resounding 69-13 win over Morehead State. Healy would go on to capture the nation's attention with an 8-4 mark that second season that had everyone talking.
Yahoo! Sports pushed an article recently highlighting the "country's most unconventional young coach" that caught my attention for a variety of reasons today.
First of all, it's clear that the more traditional approach wasn't working at Austin Peay with previous hires, and that was just a small part of the bigger issues that contributed to their . dismal stretch there for a while. Healy brought in not only a new energy, and renewed focus, but he also brought with him some stuff that I've never heard football programs at any level do before.
For example, one of the things that the article points out is there are cameras at practice, but they aren't focused on what you'd typically expect those cameras to be focused on, like individual drills, skelly sessions, or team periods.
"There are cameras at practice solely focused on players’ body language. There’s mandatory exuberance after big plays captured by an end zone celebration camera."
Cameras focused on players body language? That's brilliant for someone coming in and trying to overhaul a culture.
Also, Healy doesn't fit the "grinder" mold that so many other coaches wear as a weird badge of honor. In fact, he pays for his assistant coaches babysitters so that they can take their wive's on Wednesday date nights.
It's those kinds of small things, combined with everything else Healy, the administration, his staff, and his players are doing in the more traditional sense, that have sparked one of the most incredible turnarounds in recent college football memory.
The Govs are sitting at 2-2 currently, and they welcome an always tough Jacksonville State squad this weekend in a big Ohio Valley matchup.
Head here to read the full piece from Yahoo!, including plenty more on Healy's unique approach, the program he inherited, and how they've turned things around.