After a successful first two seasons at the helm of the Austin Peay State University women’s basketball program, head coach Brittany Young has agreed to a contract extension through the 2027-28 season, Austin Peay Vice President and Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison announced Wednesday.
“I could not be more excited to extend Coach Young’s time here in Stacheville,” said Harrison. “She has earned this opportunity by turning our women’s basketball program from one that hopes to win to one that expects to compete for championships. Brittany values the principles of the ‘Total Gov Concept’ and the long-term importance of an outstanding student-athlete experience for our Governors.
“I can’t wait to see where this program goes next and look forward to hanging a few banners in the new F&M Bank Arena under Coach Young’s leadership.”
Young became the first head coach in program history to lead the Governors to back-to-back conference tournament semifinal appearances to begin their APSU career, and her 37 wins are the most by a head coach in their first two seasons.
“I am truly honored, and I thank God for a renewed commitment to Austin Peay today,” said Young. “We have been working towards this moment and so many individuals have played a significant part. I am thankful for the foundation established by my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. It has provided a sustaining grace in the midst of success and adversity.
“I am thankful for humble beginnings on this path to leading a program. Opportunities for growth provided by Dawn Staley, Cal Cochran, Lynn Bria, Nikki McCray, President Michael Licari, and Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison have proved to be invaluable.”
During the 2022-23 season, Young coached one of the nation’s best defensive units, as the Governors finished top 25 in Division I in scoring defense (56.3, 24th) and three-point percentage defense (.259, 13th) – both were program records and led the ASUN Conference.
Austin Peay has earned eight postseason recognitions under Young’s leadership, including five this season, as the Govs finished fourth in the ASUN.
Shamarre Hale earned Second Team All-ASUN recognition and was named the ASUN Sixth Player of the Year, while Mariah Adams was Third Team All-ASUN and Anala Nelson received ASUN All-Freshman Team honors.
This season marked just the fifth time in program history – and first since 2003 – that a trio of Govs received postseason honors. Hale and Adams were just the fourth duo in the last 20 years to be named all-conference recipients.
Hale also became the first Austin Peay student-athlete in any sport to earn ASUN Championship All-Tournament recognition after helping to lead the Govs to a semifinal matchup against the regular-season and tournament champions in Florida Gulf Coast.
Young led the Govs to 20 wins during her first season in Clarksville, becoming just the second coach in program history to accomplish the feat in their first season and the fourth overall to do so.
Her 20th win last season came in the Women’s Basketball Invitational where APSU defeated Furman, 73-59, to capture its first national postseason tournament victory in program history.
Yamia Johnson earned WBI All-Tournament Team honors and both she and APSU alumna Karle Pace earned First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference recognition following APSU’s fourth-place finish during its final season in the league.
Johnson and Pace were the first duo since 2004 to earn First Team All-OVC honors in the same season, it also was the first time the Govs had had more than one First Team, Second Team, or All-Newcomer selection in the same season since the 2009-10 season.
The women’s basketball program has achieved unprecedented success in the classroom under Young’s tutelage as well, as the team achieved a program-record 3.567 team GPA last fall. During her two years at APSU, the program has had 21 student-athletes named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and 17 named to the Dean’s List.
“I am thankful for every staff and support staff member that has been a part of our program’s success,” said Young. “I am thankful for every young woman that learned the value of academics and that the sacrifice of individual glory for team success is a lesson that will be replayed throughout our journey of life. To our fans, thank you for your support! We will continue to excel in the classroom and play a brand of basketball that makes you proud!
“Austin Peay is a hidden gem. I believed that when I made a commitment to the program two years ago, and I believe it with even more conviction today. The best days of our program lie ahead because there are few things that can disrupt a group of individuals on one accord, working towards a common goal. I cannot promise you what our record will be in the upcoming seasons, but what I can promise you is that you have a program that is committed to the process of becoming champions!”ASUN Austin Peay