Both coordinators fired as football staff shaken up again

Thomas Jilk

A spokesman for Georgia Southern football announced on Sunday the dismissals of offensive coordinator Bryan Cook, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Costantini and strength and conditioning coach Dwayne Chandler.

Cook and Chandler were let go following their first season in their jobs, and Costantini after his second.

Cook’s contract was for two years, so he will be paid installments of one-twelfth of his salary each pay period until his contract expires, according to the contract. Costantini’s contract was set to expire in February 2018, clearing the university of much further financial obligation to him.

Cook is the third offensive coordinator to be fired in the last two years, after both co-offensive coordinators of the 2016 team were fired around the same time last year.

The statement from GS football included a reminder that the team “is scheduled to return 18 of 22 starters (nine on both sides of the ball) in 2018, including 87.2 percent of its scoring from the 2017 season.”

The statement said head coach Chad Lunsford announced on Sunday that the coaches will not be retained, but it is unclear whether the idea was originally Lunsford’s, if it was director of athletics Tom Kleinlein, or if both men agreed to it. Kleinlein has the final say.

In the 2017 season, Costantini’s defense allowed 32 points per game. The uinit showed improvement after Lunsford took over at the helm, but ended the season nonetheless averaging 410 yards allowed per game. The talented secondary gave up too many explosive plays, which Lunsford has alluded to many times since he took over.

For Cook’s part, the offense also showed improvement over the course of the season, but not enough to Lunsford’s liking. GS only averaged 4.1 yards per carry on the season, and the Eagles fumbled 36 times (some on special teams), losing 13 of them.

Hard evidence is scant as to the reasoning for Chandler’s dismissal, but GS did at times look overpowered by opponents, unable to stop opposing defenses from invading the backfield.

The dismissals came the day after GS lost, 28-17, to Coastal Carolina, and finished with a 2-10 record, its worst of the modern college football era.