New football coaching situation looks strong

Mcclain Baxley

After Tyson Summers’s first season as head coach of the Eagles didn’t go as well as hoped, many Georgia Southern fans called for a termination.

Following the Troy win in the season finale, athletics director Tom Kleinlein assured fans they were going to stick with Summers. With the head coach in place, however, several changes would occur on the rest of the football staff. Over winter break, a total of 7 changes were made.

The majority of transitions happened on the offensive side of the ball, including a new wide receivers coach, offensive line coach, and offensive coordinator.

Juston Wood is the new wide receivers coach and has quite a diverse football background. Upon graduating from Portland State, Wood played three seasons in the Arena Football League as quarterback. After his Arena football career was up, he went to David Douglas High School to assistant coach. From 2009 to 2016, Wood coached at California Polytechnic State University, where he held the roles of wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator before leaving the Mustangs for GS.

If the name Bob Bodine seems familiar, it’s because he has been a coach for the Eagles before. Bodine was OLB coach, wide receivers coach, and assistant coach from 1999 to 2002, helping Head Coach Paul Johnson win back to back championships. Following his departure from GS, he took a role coaching on many military schools, including Virginia Military Institute, the Citadel and most recently, Army West Point as offensive line coach. Having experience as an offensive line coach for an option team should be good, as GS runs the same offense.

Perhaps the biggest name and biggest spot to fill was Bryan Cook being hired as the new offensive coordinator. Similar to Juston Wood, Cook also spent some of his college coaching career at Cal Poly before leaving to become quarterbacks coach at Georgia Tech. During his tenure with the Yellow Jackets, they went to a bowl every year. Cook was there including a 2014 Orange Bowl over SEC opponent Mississippi State. Coaching at a Power 5 school, running the option offense and recruiting in Georgia are all great signs for Tyson Summers and all involved with Georgia Southern Football.

Other coaching changes are Chad Lunsford promoted to assistant head coach, Olten Downs as safeties coach, Andrew Dodge as director of student athlete development and Dwayne Chandler as strength and conditioning coach to replace previously terminated Tredell Dorsey. Dorsey was released last fall following a harassment claim.