"We want to thank Mark for his seven years of service to Georgia Southern and certainly wish him the best of luck in the future," said Benko. "We fully expect to have a very deep and qualified candidate pool as we move forward. In terms of what attributes we're looking for in our next head coach, we want someone with integrity, first and foremost. They must also be adept at player development, have a history of strong academics and NCAA compliance and also be the right fit for the Georgia Southern culture. Furthermore, this coach must also be able to put together a strong coaching staff and be a strong recruiter. We will be focusing on these primary traits when selecting our next coach. This job is a premier position not only in the Sun Belt, but nationwide, and we are confident that we will find a great basketball coach for Georgia Southern University."
Byington posted a 131-97 mark at Georgia Southern, and he coached 13 all-conference selections. Tookie Brown won Sun Belt Player of the Year and All-America Honorable Mention accolades in 2019 and Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honors in 2016. In addition, Brown became the first four-time, first-team All-Sun Belt selection in league history. Brown is the all-time leading scorer in Georgia Southern's Division I history, while classmate Ike Smith, a Byington recruit and two-time All-Sun Belt selection, ranks second.
A national search will begin immediately. Andrew Wilson, who is currently the associate head coach for the Eagles, will serve as the interim head coach effective immediately. No further comment will be made until the announcement of the new head coach.