2021 will be the last season for Austin Peay in the Ohio Valley Conference. The school announced on Friday that they will be joining the ASUN beginning on July 1, 2022.
Austin Peay has been in the OVC since 1962 and won 69 league titles during that span. The school will be the 13th member of the ASUN and will bring all 17 athletic programs to the conference.
Austin Peay director of athletics Gerald Harrison released a statement, calling the move a win for now and the future.
“This is an incredible day for our University, our athletes and coaches, and all citizens of Stacheville,” Harrison said. “I could not be more excited to help lead Austin Peay into a new era of growth, which will help expand and enhance our brand, our footprint and the quality of our product both athletically and academically. As challenging as this opportunity is—and make no mistake, we are facing a step up in competition level—it’s even more exciting to embark on this journey to elevate the profile of this department.
“From the beginning, I’ve said Austin Peay is a sleeping giant, a juggernaut hiding in plain sight with the right people in place to become great. Today is the next step down the path to greatness, and we are closer than ever to achieving the status we covet—to be the most complete athletics department in our league. And now, that league will be the ASUN.”
The 2022-2023 season will be the first season that the ASUN offers football. The conference will be comprised of six members who will have a shot to earn an automatic bid in the FCS playoffs. The six members are Austin Peay, Central Arkansas, Kennesaw State, Jacksonville State, Eastern Kentucky and North Alabama. The ASUN also has seven other teams who will compete in various other sports.
ASUN conference commissioner Ted Gumbart said on Friday that Austin Peay will be a valuable member to the conference.
“The ASUN will provide a tremendous home for Austin Peay, and our entire membership will benefit from having APSU as an ASUN member,” Gumbart said. “This is a perfect example of a win-win partnership.”