MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Murray State has hired Kentucky special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach Dean Hood as head football coach.

Hood returns to the Ohio Valley Conference, where he went 44-19 with two conference titles and three FCS playoff berths from 2008-15 at Eastern Kentucky. He had spent the past three seasons with the Wildcats and contributed to a successful run that included earning their fourth consecutive bowl appearance this fall. The 30-year veteran also has coached at Wake Forest, Colgate, Ohio and Charlotte.

Hood replaces Mitch Stewart, who was reassigned within the Racers' athletic department after going 19-27 in five seasons including 4-8 (2-6 OVC) this past season. Athletic director Kevin Saal praised Hood's character and integrity in a release and added, “I look forward to partnering with him to accomplish our shared vision for the program.”

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/APTop25CollegeFootballPoll and https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25