Matt Figger officially named Austin Peay basketball coach – Clarksville Leaf Chronicle


Autumn Allison , USA TODAY NETWORK- Tennessee
Published 5:18 p.m. CT April 3, 2017 | Updated 1 hour ago

Matt Figger is officially the next men’s basketball coach of Austin Peay.

The athletics department announced Figger, the former associate head coach at South Carolina, as the program’s 12th head coach in a statement Monday.

The contract is for five years and $1.35 million.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Figger and his family to APSU,” athletic director Ryan Ivey said in the statement. “This is an exciting and unprecedented time for Governors basketball.

“When we (set) out with our process, we were looking for someone who could bring an excitement and energy to our program, someone who is committed to a quality student-athlete experience, someone who would be involved in our campus and community, and someone that knew and had experience with successful programs. Coach Figger brings this characteristics and more, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic to have him leading our program.”

A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Dunn Center. It will be open to the public, but parking will be limited because of classes.

Figger, a Jenkins, Ky., native, is coming off the Gamecock’s appearance in the Final Four on Saturday. South Carolina lost to Gonzaga 77-73.

Figger were in the final stages of working out a deal

Figger, 47, has played a key role in Frank Martin’s overhaul of South Carolina.

In his capacity as recruiting coordinator, Figger was key in South Carolina capturing the No. 23-ranked recruiting class in 2013, per ESPN, and securing SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell, who was named the East Regional most outstanding player for his 26 points against Florida.

He served in a similar role under Martin at Kansas State and was part of a staff that secured at least 21 wins and finished fifth or better in the Big 12 each season. While at Kansas State, Figger signed two McDonald’s All-Americans, including future first-round NBA draft pick Michael Beasley, who in 2008 was named National Freshman and Player of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association as well as the Big 12 Player of the Year.

Figger had a brief stint as the director of operations at Arkansas after five seasons as an assistant under John Pelphrey at South Alabama.

Prior to that, Figger spent 10 years as an assistant coach for various junior colleges, leading them to 20-plus win seasons eight times, captured six region and four district titles and advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament four times.

Reach Autumn Allison at aallison@theleafchronicle.com and on Twitter @Aallison25. 

MATT FIGGER FILE

Age: 47

Hometown: Jenkins, Ky.

Family: Wife Katrina, son Vincent

Playing career: Pikeville College (baseball) 1990-91

Coaching career: South Carolina assistant (2012-17), Kansas State assistant (2007-12), Arkansas director of operations (April-June 2007), South Alabama assistant (2003-07), Odessa (Texas) College assistant (2000-02), Vincennes University assistant (1994-99), Wabash Valley College (1993-94)


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