Tyrone Young was all smiles Tuesday afternoon as he was officially introduced as the head coach of the Kentucky Wesleyan College football team in Rogers Hall on campus.
Surrounded by his assistant coaches and his family, Young spoke about how much even getting the chance to lead the Panthers meant to him.
“Man, I’m blessed,” he said. “This is the opportunity that I’ve thought about and prayed about for a long time. I feel on top of the world. It’s just a state of happiness, and I can’t express how excited I am to be here. “
Young joined the KWC coaching staff in December 2018 as an assistant under former coach Craig Yeast, who resigned from the post in mid-February. Since then, Young has been listed as the interim head coach.
This week, KWC administrators removed the “interim” tag for good.
“Tyrone has already built great relationships on our campus, in our community, and across the state,” said Mark Shook, KWC’s vice president of intercollegiate athletics. “His commitment di lui to growth, the student-athlete model, alumni relations and the sport will take our football team to a new level. He has worked hard for this opportunity, and I’m excited for him and his family’s future di lui here. “
Young recalls his disbelief when he was first given the news.
“I was just thanking God at every single turn that this blessing was happening in my life,” he said. “I told my daughter, and she was running around saying, ‘Dad, he’s the head coach now.’ So it’s just been amazing. “
Panthers junior quarterback Wiley Cain, who missed last season with a shoulder injury, expressed his excitement in keeping a familiar face within the locker room.
“That’s something that you’re always a little bit worried about, going through a coaching transition,” Cain said. “… Coach Young, he was the first person that contacted me three and a half years ago when I was recruited here. We’ve been together every step of the way, so there’s not a person here that wasn’t recruited in some way, shape or form by Coach Young. “
Wesleyan administrators even sought out advice from players during the hiring process.
“It feels great,” said Clay Games, a freshman quarterback. “I know that everybody on this team is confident that Coach Young is going to the job done. It’s not really a question. We know his capability of him, he knows our capabilities. One of the biggest things that was important to me, and I’m sure was important to everybody us, is we feel the love from him and we know that he feels the love from us. “
Now, Young can’t wait to get started – especially with 18 of 22 starters set to return from last year’s 3-8 campaign.
“We have a really good program coming back, but then also some of the guys that we’re developing and the guys are lifting well right now – there’s an energy and a buzz around the program that, in the second semester, you don ‘ t always necessarily have, ”he said. “The program is doing really well.
“This is a place I wanted to be at. This is the opportunity that I want. “
Prior to joining Wesleyan, Young had assistant coaching stints at Division III Anderson University, Division II Lock Haven and Division III King’s College. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Kentucky Christian, from which he graduated in 2012.
Young lives in Owensboro with his wife, Shiloh, and their young daughter, Payton.