Georgia Southern fires head coach Tyson Summers

Dr. Saturday
Tyson Summers finished with a 5-13 overall record at Georgia Southern, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Tyson Summers finished with a 5-13 overall record at Georgia Southern, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

After dropping to 0-6 on Saturday, Georgia Southern is making a coaching change.

The school announced Sunday that Tyson Summers has been relieved of his duties as head coach. Summers was in just his second season with the program, and finishes his tenure with a 5-13 overall record. Saturday’s loss, a 55-20 decision to UMass, was rock bottom the Eagles, who gave up 670 yards of offense to the previously winless Minutemen.

“I thank Tyson and his family for their contributions to Georgia Southern,” athletic director Tom Kleinlein said. “Being the leader of a college football program is more than just coaching games; it’s managing academics and leading 120 young men. Tyson did a great job in areas that the public doesn’t see, but at the end of the day, the results on the field weren’t where we needed them to be as we continue our growth as an FBS program. I wish he and his family all the best moving forward in their future endeavors.”

Summers arrived at Georgia Southern after the 2015 season, when Willie Fritz left to take the Tulane job. Fritz guided Georgia Southern’s transition from the FCS to FBS level, but Summers could not build on Fritz’s 17 wins in two years.

Summers moved away from the program’s usual triple option offense and almost lost his job after the Eagles went 5-7 in his first season, but a win over Troy in the season finale gave Summers a shot at year two.

Summers fired his co-offensive coordinators from 2016 (both of whom are suing the athletic department) and brought back the triple option in 2017, but it has not yielded any success. Through six games, Georgia Southern ranks No. 121 nationally in total offense (303.5 ypg) and No. 122 in scoring offense (18.0).

Before his time at Georgia Southern, Summers was the defensive coordinator at Colorado State and UCF. He also was an assistant at UAB from 2007-11 and coached safeties for Georgia Southern in 2006.

In Summers’ absence, Kleinlein has named special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Chad Lunsford the team’s interim head coach. The Eagles travel to Troy on Saturday.

“Chad is as ‘True Blue’ as they come and I’m excited to have him lead our team for the remainder of the 2017 season,” Kleinlein said. “The players respect him and I have full confidence in his abilities as we head into the final six games of the season.”

Georgia Southern becomes the third FBS job to open during the season, joining UTEP and Oregon State.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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