Tyson Summers was officially introduced as the new head coach for the Georgia Southern University football team on Saturday afternoon.
After an extensive search for a new head coach following the departure of Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein announced that the Colorado State defensive coordinator and Georgia native would be the next leader for the storied program.
“It was a process that lasted nine days with very specific goals,” Kleinlein said. “We wanted to find an individual that believed in the development of our student-athletes beyond the football field. We wanted someone who was gonna understand Georgia Southern, what Eagle Nation was about. And somebody who wanted to be apart of this program.”
Summers was introduced with his wife and three sons in front of a capacity crowd in the Smith Football Family Center. Summers said he was excited about coming home to Georgia, and called the opportunity a “dream job.”
“Can’t say enough about my enthusiasm and excitement about today,” Summers said. “I will coach this football team and represent your institution with class.”
Summers is the 10th head coach for the Eagles since the football program’s resurrection in 1982. He is aware of the storied history of the program, and knows what is expected from him and the Eagles every season.
“I understand the expectations,” Summers said. “What is here is a culture. A culture of winning.”
Summers said he plans to contact the returning players on the roster immediately and start building relationships with them.
“I think the most important thing is I gotta get on the phone and communicate with our current players,” Summers said. “A lot of times when there is a coaching change they can get lost in the shuffle. At the end of the day, our entire program is based off these kids.”
Summers also touched on the X’s and O’s side of things. He said that the offense will remain similar (gun-option) to what it has been with an emphasis on an effective and efficient passing game. Defensively, the Eagles will employ a four-down scheme that can mix some different looks to keep offenses guessing.
Prior to his stint at Colorado State, Summers coached primarily in the Southeast. In addition to his time as a safeties coach at Georgia Sothern in 2006, the Tifton, Ga. native previously coached at UCF from 2012-14 as a positions coach and eventually the defensive coordinator. Summers also served as a special teams co-coordinator at UAB, and spent time at UGA, Troy, and his alma mater Presbyterian College in various coaching positions.
Summers played college ball for four years at Presbyterian College from 1998-01 where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science.
The Eagles are coming off a 58-27 win over Bowling Green at the GoDaddy Bowl on Dec. 23. It was the Eagle’s first appearance in a bowl game.