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New Georgia Southern coach Tyson Summers wants to build 'off the offense that is in place'

Summers was previously the defensive coordinator at Colorado State.

Todd Bennett/Getty Images

The final coaching vacancy of 2015 has been filled, with Georgia Southern hiring Colorado State defensive coordinator Tyson Summers. The news was first reported by Football Scoop. Summers will replace Willie Fritz, who went 17-7 in two years as the Eagles' coach before leaving for Tulane.

Summers was previously the defensive coordinator at UCF, including the team that won the Fiesta Bowl over Baylor. Before that, he was both a defensive assistant and defensive coordinator for UAB. He also spent a year coaching the safeties at Georgia Southern, so there is some familiarity there.

However, this is an interesting hire in that Summers doesn't have offensive experience. Georgia Southern has typically hired offensive-minded coaches who run the triple option. That system was installed by Paul Johnson, and after Johnson left for Navy, he admonished the new coach, Brian VanGorder, for moving away from the triple option.

What Southern feared most was a repeat of the man referred to throughout Statesboro as "That Coach," Brian VanGorder. The current Notre Dame defensive coordinator was GS' head coach in 2006. He dumped tradition -- the triple-option, the buses, etc. -- in favor of appealing to top recruits.

The move infuriated Johnson, who wanted his Navy program to schedule Southern so he "could beat 'That Coach's' ass," as the story goes.

"Oh yeah, it really sounded sexy when someone came in and said they were going to throw the ball all over the field, until they didn't win any playoff games and started losing five, six times a season," Johnson said. "Then it wasn't so much fun."

Summers worked on VanGorder's staff at GSU. It's unclear what system Summers will run at GSU, but this is a departure from the last two hires, Jeff Monken and Willie Fritz — both of which worked well.

Update: Summers seems to imply he will continue to run the triple option, or at least incorporate it, in a statement:

"Besides the day I married my wife and the days my children were born, this is right up there as one of the most exciting moments in my life," Summers said. "This is home for my wife, Beth, and I and we're excited to be able to get to Statesboro and carry on the proud traditions of both Georgia Southern University and the Eagle football program. I'm looking forward to building off the offense that is in place and continuing to progress with the defense. I'm just exceptionally excited to be a Georgia Southern Eagle!"