Charlotte hires Austin Peay’s Healy as new football coach

Clemson's Dabo Swinney called the 49ers' choice of Healy "a home run hire"

Will Healy coaches from the sideline during Austin Peay's game at Georgia this season (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

CHARLOTTE AP) — The Charlotte 49ers say they have hired Will Healy as their head football coach.

Healy most recently coached at Austin Peay, where he was an Eddie Robinson Award winner in 2017 as the National FCS Coach of the Year. Healy was hired after Mike Houston backed out of the job and decided to go to East Carolina.

Charlotte 49ers director of athletics Mike Hill says in a release that Healy is “one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the nation.” At age 33, the former quarterback who led Richmond to the 2008 FCS national championship is one of the youngest coaches in college football.

“When we set out to hire a coach, our goal was to find someone who will energize and transform the 49ers into a championship program,” Hill said. “Will is that man. His name came up time and again throughout our search as someone who is a relentless, proven recruiter who has seen remarkable success.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney called it “a home run hire” for Charlotte, adding that “this guy is as sharp as they come.”

Healy replaces Brad Lambert, who was fired last month.