STATESBORO — Georgia Southern hired Colorado State defensive coordinator Tyson Summers as coach Sunday night.
Summers, from Tifton, Georgia, will replace Willie Fritz, who left Georgia Southern to become Tulane’s coach. Fritz was formally introduced as Tulane’s coach Tuesday.
Summers served as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern in 2006 before stints at Alabama-Birmingham and Central Florida. He said Statesboro is home and he plans to “carry on the proud traditions of both Georgia Southern University and the Eagle football program.”
“I’m looking forward to building off the offense that is in place and continuing to progress with the defense,” Summers said.
Georgia Southern plans to introduce Summers at a press conference on Saturday. Interim President Dr. Jean Bartels, athletic director Tom Kleinlein and the Georgia Southern board of regents announced Sunday night that Summers had accepted the offer from Georgia Southern.
Kleinlein said Summers is a “great fit” for the Eagles.
“What we get in Tyson is someone who knows Georgia, someone who was born and raised in Georgia, someone who has recruited Georgia his entire career, and someone who has been a part of a … school that has played on New Year’s Day, which is the level we’re aspiring to get to,” Kleinlein said.
Before his move to Colorado State, Summers spent three seasons at UCF. He was defensive coordinator in 2014, when UCF’s defense led the American Athletic Conference and ranked fifth in the nation in yards allowed. He was interim defensive coordinator when UCF upset Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.
Georgia Southern will play Bowling Green in the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, on Wednesday. It is the first bowl game for the Eagles in their first season eligible as a FBS team.
Summers’ Colorado State defense ranks 20th in the nation in pass defense.