Lunsford earns full-time job as head football coach

Thomas Jilk

It’s official: Chad Lunsford will be the 10th full-time head coach of Georgia Southern football.

After leading the team to two consecutive conference wins as interim head coach, Lunsford has the program in a state of positivity after the doubt and worry that plagued the Tyson Summers era.

“When this thing all started, it was an opportunity to provide consistency to our guys, and that’s why I jumped all over it, and I felt like I was the right guy for that,” Lunsford said. “There’s no doubt in my mind I’m the right guy now.”

At a Monday press conference, GS director of athletics Tom Kleinlein officially announced the hiring of Lunsford as the next head coach of the GS football team at the beginning of the press conference.

From search to contract

Kleinlein said Lunsford’s contract will be for four years and have a base salary of $650,000.

“He didn’t get the job. Nobody is given anything at Georgia Southern,” Kleinlein said. “He earned the job.”

Kleinlein first thanked the coaching search committee, including deputy athletic director Lisa Sweany and former GS quarterback Tracy Ham.

“This process was a very collaborative process,” Kleinlein said. “When we began this journey, we wanted to sit down and identify candidates that fit criteria for this job.”

Kleinlein said the GS athletic foundation and President Jaimie Hebert had heavy input on the specific criteria. Lunsford has served two stints at GS, serving most recently as special teams coordinator and assistant coach.

Lunsford said he approached the interim job as a full-time one from the beginning.

“We talk about the process every day, we talk about living in the moment,” Lunsford said. “We learn from the past, we work for the future, but we’re going to live in the moment.”

He emphasized the process versus just achieving results on the field, but he also stressed that he expects to win and knows the expectations of the fan base.

The power of Twitter 

In recent days, GS fans and former players on the Internet have been lobbying for Lunsford to get the job with the hashtag #WeWantLunsford, used by current players like quarterback Shai Werts and former players.

GS will finish its regular season at Coastal Carolina on Saturday with a chance to end on a three-game winning streak.

Mcclain Baxley contributed reporting.