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More coaching changes for Eagles
Chad Lunsford speaks at an Oct. 23 press conference naming him the interim head coach for the Georgia Southern football team. Lunsford has since been given the permanent head coaching title, but has started to make additional changes to the rest of the coaching staff, dismissing offensive coordinator Bryan Cook, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Costantini, and strength and conditioning coach Dwayne Chandler.

Georgia Southern AMR
    Georgia Southern head football coach Chad Lunsford announced Sunday that he will not retain offensive coordinator Bryan Cook and defensive coordinator Lorenzo Constantini, along with strength & conditioning coach Dwayne Chandler.

Lunsford was promoted from assistant head coach to the interim head coach of the Eagles on Oct. 22 after the dismissal of head coach Tyson Summers. Lunsford was named the head coach of the program on Nov. 27.

    Cook was in his first year as offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern.

    Prior to coming to Georgia Southern Cook spent four seasons at Georgia Tech where he helped game plan one of the most dangerous offenses in college football. Prior to his time in Atlanta, he spent four seasons (2009-12) as co-offensive coordinator at Cal Poly.

    In 2016, the Yellow Jackets rushed for over 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns and passed for 1,574 and nine scores en route to an eight-win season, one that included wins over Virginia Tech and Georgia en route to a TaxSlayer Bowl bid. Tech featured a top-10 rushing attack nationally and also led the country in yards per completion under Cook’s tutelage.

    During Georgia Tech’s 2014 Orange Bowl championship season, Cook tutored All-ACC signal caller Justin Thomas, who set the school’s single-season quarterback record with 1,086 rushing yards. Thomas also led the Jackets with an impressive pass efficiency rating of 153.90. Tech’s 2014 backfield consisted of three career 1,000-yard rushers — Thomas, Zach Laskey and Synjyn Days.

    Georgia Tech led the nation in rushing offense in 2014 with 4,789 rushing yards, averaging 342.1 yards per game. Both marks shattered the previous school records. B-Backs Laskey (851) and Days (924) accounted for 1,775 of Tech’s 4,789 total rushing yards as well as 18 total rushing touchdowns (nine each).

    The Jackets also led the nation in third-down conversion percentage and passing yards per completion. Georgia Tech led the ACC in 11 offensive categories in 2014.

    Lorenzo “Zo” Costantini was in his second year at Georgia Southern and served as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles. Costantini came to Statesboro after serving as the defensive line coach for UCF.

    In his second stint at UCF, Costantini coached three seasons with the Knights, working as their defensive line coach. Relentless on the recruiting trail, Costantini was responsible at UCF for recruiting the Florida Panhandle (from Escambia County to Franklin and Liberty County), southern Alabama, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and Mississippi.

    In 2016, his first season in Statesboro, a pair of linebackers both tallied over 100 tackles to lead the way. Ironhead Gallon (102 tackles) was named first-team all-conference and Ukeme Eligwe (104 stops) was named to the Sun Belt’s All-Newcomer Team.

    A native of Houston, Texas, Costantini has been a defensive line coach at five schools in his career. He spent 2012 with Southern Miss after serving on the UAB staff from 2007-11.

    Georgia Southern is scheduled to return 18 of 22 starters (nine on both sides of the ball) in 2018, including 87.2 percent of its scoring from the 2017 season.