STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – The Georgia Southern Eagles have fired head coach Chad Lunsford after a disappointing 1-3 start to their season.
This information was first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel and then confirmed by Georgia Southern’s athletic department.
“After a thorough review and evaluation of our football program, I have made a decision that a change in leadership is in the best interest of our team and University,” athletic director Jared Benko said in a statement. “I want to thank Coach Lunsford for his hard work and the impact he has had on the student-athletes within our program. I wish Chad and his family success in the future.”
Cornerbacks coach Kevin Whitley will be the interim head coach for the rest of the season.
Georgia Southern is coming off a 28-20 loss to Louisiana in its conference opener, the team’s third straight defeat. The Eagles have been especially porous in the third quarter; through four games, opponents have outscored Georgia Southern 55-0.
When asked at his Monday press conference prior to the Louisiana game how he dealt with frequent criticism from the fan base, Lunsford said he tried to stay positive and focus on his job.
“Why worry about things that you don’t control?” Lunsford said. “I control how we practice, I control the different things we do in practice, we control the depth chart, we control who plays. I have to focus on the things I have control over.”
“If our fans don’t like the product on the field, they have every right to get upset about it. We’re a form of entertainment. We’re a production. That’s my job, it’s our job to go out there and perform for our fanbase.”
In addition to the slow start, fans and alums were also upset about a video of defensive tackle Gavin Adcock standing on top of a bus and drinking a beer prior to the Louisiana loss.
It is not known to what extent the video influenced the decision to fire Lunsford.
Lunsford was in his fourth full season with the Eagles after taking over as the interim coach during the 2017 campaign. He had compiled a total record of 28-21 overall and 17-14 in conference. The Eagles had gone to bowl games in all three of his complete seasons, most recently a 38-3 win over Louisiana Tech in the 2020 New Orleans Bowl.
There will be a press conference with Whitley and Benko on Monday at 1:30 p.m.