After a baffling coaching search, the Charlotte 49ers are expected to name a new head coach hailing from the FCS ranks. Will Healy is set to take over the 49ers program after guiding his Austin Peay Governors to a 5-6 record this season in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Will Healy began his coaching career in 2009 and spent seven years as an assistant coach for his hometown school Chattanooga. After playing an influential role in restoring the Mocs to their previous glory, Healy made the jump to Austin Peay, where he took over the winless Governors in 2016. After an 0-11 first season, the rebuild began with a miraculous turnaround, leading to an 8-4 season for Austin Peay.
During the 8-4 season, Healy received Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors, along with the Eddie Robinson award, awarded to the top coach in the FCS. The 2017 season rewrote the offensive record books for Healy’s unit, as they placed sixth nationally with 3,105 yards on the ground. Pouring in 45 touchdowns and 4,646 total yards on the season, the Governors offense was a well-oiled machine.
At 33 years of age, Healy brings young blood to the Queen City. After revoking Mike Houston’s offer due to circumstances out of their control, Charlotte’s search for a new head honcho is expected to come to a close. After three years and a 13-21 record as the Governors’ head man, Healy will take the reins of a program with an incredibly high ceiling. With stud running back Benny LeMay set to return for his senior season, the 49ers offense will be poised for success.
Healy is known for his success developing quarterbacks through his young coaching career, headlined by Jerimiah Oatsvall’s performance at Austin Peay. Oatsvall took the starting job mid-way through his freshman season and posted the second-best pass efficiency (135.8) in Austin Peay history.
After taking over a 1-45 team on a 16-loss streak at Austin Peay, the task isn’t so daunting in Charlotte. Following a 5-7 season and a solid 4-4 record in C-USA play, the 49ers return a ton of talent and a stout defensive unit. Bringing in an offensive-minded coach with quarterback coaching experience will aid Chris Reynolds in his second season under center. With a young receiving core headlined by Victor Tucker and Rico Arnold, the 49ers’ offense has the potential to add another dimension to their offensive repertoire.
Healy’s effective recruiting tactics have shown at both of his stops on the coaching trail, and we expect no different with a fertile recruiting area in the Southeast. Healy brings three years of head coaching experience to a program that’s ready to take the next step. Following a 22-48 record under Brad Lambert, the 49ers have the potential to take a tremendous jump in Healy’s first year at Charlotte.