New faces to strengthen GSU athletics

Randall Hampton

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Georgia Southern University will have plenty of fresh faces on the sidelines after a slew of hires over the summer by athletic director Tom Kleinlein.

The women’s soccer team and volleyball team both have new head coaches, while the football team and the women’s basketball team added new assistant coaches.

Head football coach Jeff Monken added two assistant coaches to the sideline for this upcoming season. Monken reached back for a former player and a former coach as he rounded out his staff.  Former quarterback Jaybo Shaw and former slotbacks coach Chad Lunsford are both returning to GSU in new roles. Shaw will be providing familiar guidance from a new position as an assistant running backs coach, while Lunsford will be in charge of the wide receivers after spending the previous four years at Auburn University.  “Chad was a part of an era of Eagle football that experienced great success and we are confident that he will be instrumental in our success this season and in our move to FBS,” Monken said in a news release. “He brings with him extensive experience in recruiting at Auburn the past few seasons, including the 2010 National Championship season.”

Kleinlein did not have to look very far for former women’s soccer head coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel’s replacement. Assistant coach Brian Dunleavy’s interview helped him distinguish himself as the top candidate for the job. “What really got me to that decision was the fact that he did interview. We interviewed a couple of other candidates, and he actually won the job,” Kleinlein said. Coach Dunleavy tabbed Kelly Farrell as an assistant coach.  Farrell comes to GSU after spending the past two seasons at Monmouth University.  Dunleavy sees Farrell playing an important role in the defending Southern Conference champion’s season. “Kelly was a fantastic college player, and over the past few years has shown all the signs of a promising young coach. I expect her to help our program continue to grow,” Dunleavy said in a news release.

Women’s basketball head coach Chris Vozab added a jolt of energy to her bench when she selected Chris Gillett as one of her assistants.  Gillett joins Eagle Nation after spending the past two years as a graduate assistant for women’s basketball at Armstrong Atlantic University. “His energy level will motivate our players and push them to be their best. We’re excited to have him become a part of the Georgia Southern women’s basketball family,” Vozab said in a news release.

The new head coach of the volleyball team is Dustin Wood. Wood is coming from George Mason University, where he spent the last three years as an assistant. Wood comes to GSU with 10 years of coaching experience. “As we worked through our national search, which was headed by Senior Associate AD Jeff Blythe, it was apparent that Dustin was the leading candidate for the job,” Kleinlein said in a news release.

After a busy summer for Kleinlein and his staff, it is finally time to see if the hard work will pay off.