Austin Peay introduces head basketball coach Matt Figger

Matt Figger (Courtesy: WKRN)

CLARKSIVLLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Austin Peay State University has a new basketball coach for the first time since 1990.

Thursday, in Clarksville, the school introduced Matt Figger who takes over for Dave Loos as the twelfth head coach in program history.

Figger replaces Loos who retired after 27 years on the job and for him it’s a virtual dream come true.

“To be a kid that always loved basketball and to be in this situation, these jobs are hard to get, there’s only 350 of them and to be blessed to have one of these jobs I’m excited. It’s my Christmas Day right here, I hope it’s my Christmas Day for a long, long, time because I’m really excited about this situation and opportunity,” he said.

Figger spent the last 10 years as an assistant to head coach Frank Martin, the first five at Kansas State and the last five at South Carolina.

Martin said he’s a fan, “Austin Peay just hired a tireless worker who is an unbelievable coach and a more dynamic person. He is a winner, and he will make every young man and the program into ultimate winners.”

Do not look for Figger and Martin to square off any time soon.

Figger said Martin told him from the beginning they are never going to play because winning is hard enough before putting friendship in the mix.

“I’ve stated many times that our goal at Austin Peay is to create champions,” said athletics director Ryan Ivey during Figger’s introduction. “Champions on the competition surface, champions in the classroom and champions in life.