Georgia Southern Eagles football

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Georgia Southern Eagles football
2018 Georgia Southern Eagles football team
Georgia Southern Eagles wordmark.svg
First season1924
Athletic directorTom Kleinlein
Head coachChad Lunsford
1st full season, 12–7 (.632)
StadiumPaulson Stadium
(Capacity: 25,000)
Field surfaceArtificial turf
LocationStatesboro, Georgia
ConferenceSun Belt Conference
DivisionEast
All-time record326–142–1 (.696)
Bowl record2–0 (1.000)
Claimed nat'l titlesDiv. I FCS: 6 (1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2000) College Football Playoff FBS: 0
Conference titles11
RivalriesAppalachian State (rivalry)
Georgia State (rivalry)
Consensus All-Americans85
ColorsBlue and White[1]
         
Fight songEagle Fanfare
Georgia Southern Fight Song
MascotFreedom (live); GUS (costume)
Marching bandSouthern Pride Marching Band
OutfitterAdidas
Websitegseagles.com

The Georgia Southern Eagles football program represents Georgia Southern University in football as part of the Sun Belt Conference under head coach Chad Lunsford. The Eagles have won six FCS (I-AA) national championships and have produced two Walter Payton Award winners. The Eagles first continuously fielded a football team in 1924; however, play was suspended for World War II and revived in 1981. The Eagles competed as an FCS independent from 1984 until 1992 as the Eagles' main conference at the time, the Trans America Athletic Conference (now known as the Atlantic Sun Conference), did not sponsor football, and as a member of the Southern Conference from 1993 until 2013, winning 10 SoCon championships. Georgia Southern joined the Sun Belt Conference upon transitioning to the FBS level in 2014. The Eagles won the Sun Belt Conference championship outright in its first year as an FBS member. Georgia Southern's main Sun Belt rival is Appalachian State.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

As First District A&M, the school began organizing football teams as early as 1909.[2] However, the college first continuously fielded a team in 1924. In 1929, B.L. "Crook" Smith, a sports standout from Mercer University, was hired as football coach and athletics director and would lead the football team for 13 seasons. Football was suspended in 1941 at the outset of World War II and would not return for 41 years.

Erk Russell era (1981–1989)[edit]

In 1978, President Dale Lick decided that football should be revived at Georgia Southern College. Despite a faculty senate vote against renewing the sport, Lick worked to generate support for the endeavor. In 1982, the school hired Erk Russell, the popular and charismatic defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia, to coach the new football team. On the hire, humorist Lewis Grizzard said, "When they landed Erk Russell, they got themselves a franchise."[3] The Eagles fielded a club team in 1982 and 1983 and began official NCAA Division I-AA play in 1984. The next year, the Eagles would win their first Division I-AA national championship in Tacoma, Washington, defeating Furman University, in only the team's fourth year in existence, second as a varsity team. The Eagles would return to Tacoma the next year and win the championship vs. Arkansas State. In 1989, the Eagles became the first college team to go 15–0 in the 20th century, winning the national championship on their home field vs. Stephen F. Austin. Soon after the game, Russell retired.

Tim Stowers era (1990–1996)[edit]

Tim Stowers was hired to succeed Russell after Georgia Southern's 1989 (15–0) national title. Stowers was the 1989 offensive coordinator, one of only two coordinators since 1900 to direct an offense of a team with a 15–0 record. However, Stowers was never able to live up to the expectations set by Russell and was fired in 1995 after a 9–4 record, ranked as one of top 8 teams in 1995 (lost at Montana the eventual I-AA/FCS National Champion and beat No. 1-ranked Troy State 11–0 on the road), by new athletics director Sam Baker, who never saw Stowers coach a game. Stowers had an overall record of 51–23 (.689) vs. FCS/I-AA opponents. FBS/D-IA losses-Miami Hurricanes twice, Georgia Bulldogs, Auburn Tigers, and Bobby Bowden and Florida State Seminoles. Stowers had a 6–2 playoff record and a 51–18 (.739) overall record vs. I-AA/FCS opponents and lower. Stowers won the 1990 I-AA national championship (12–3) and was named AFCA Kodak National Coach of the Year. He also won Georgia Southern's first Southern Conference Title in 1993 (first year in the league) and was named 1993 Southern Conference Coach of the Year. He was succeeded by interim coach Frank Ellwood for one year. The 1996 season was the first losing season in the modern era as the Eagles fell to 4–7.

Paul Johnson era (1997–2001)[edit]

The next coach for the Eagles was Paul Johnson. Johnson found instant success, taking the Eagles to the playoffs in his first season. He, along with Eagle legend Adrian N. Peterson, reached the 1998 national championship. However, the Eagles lost the game to the University of Massachusetts 55–43 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Eagles rebounded under Johnson and won back-to-back national championships in 1999 (vs. Youngstown State) and 2000 (vs. Montana). Both games were played in Chattanooga, Tenn. After the 2001 season, Johnson resigned to become the head coach of Navy.

Post-Johnson era (2002–2009)[edit]

Johnson was succeeded by Mike Sewak. Despite winning the Southern Conference championship twice in his tenure, his lack of postseason success as well as a falling out with former head coach Erk Russell led to his firing after the 2005 season. Brian VanGorder, a former defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia, was hired to succeed Sewak. In the first of many controversial moves, VanGorder scrapped Georgia Southern's famed triple-option offense and did away with certain traditions, such as the team's arrival at home games on yellow school buses. Erk Russell had also died unexpectedly of a stroke on the eve the first game of the 2006 season after addressing the team on the night before. VanGorder led the team to a 3–8 record, the worst record at the time in the modern era of Georgia Southern football. After his unsatisfactory one year as coach, VanGorder left to take a position with the Atlanta Falcons. Chris Hatcher, formerly the head coach at Valdosta State University, which he led to the 2004 NCAA Division II Football Championship, was named the new head coach on January 19, 2007. Hatcher led the Eagles back to a winning record with a 7–4 finish, barely missing the playoffs. However, Hatcher could not replicate the success of his first season, going 11–11 in the following two seasons. He was dismissed after the conclusion of the 2009 season, the team's third modern era season with a losing record at 5–6, and the second within four years.

Jeff Monken era (2010–2013)[edit]

On November 29, 2009, school officials announced that Jeff Monken, a longtime assistant coach under Paul Johnson, would become the next head coach of the Eagles. Monken's hiring signaled the return of the triple-option offense which brought success to the program in years past. In Monken's first year, the Eagles finished the regular season with a 7–4 record and made their first playoff appearance since 2005, advancing to the semifinals, where the Eagles fell to the Delaware Blue Hens.

During the 2011 season, Georgia Southern was ranked No. 1 in the FCS for the first time since the 2001 season.[4] Additionally, Georgia Southern clinched the Southern Conference Football Championship for the first time since 2004 and first time outright since 2002.[5] The Eagles finished the 2011 regular season with a 9–2 record; however, they were ousted in the semifinals for a second straight year by the eventual FCS champion North Dakota State Bison. In the 2012 season, the Eagles finished the regular season with an 8–3 record with a share of the Southern Conference Championship; however, the Eagles fell for a third straight time in what was ultimately the team's final FCS playoff game in the FCS semifinals, losing a rematch of the previous year's semifinal game against North Dakota State. In the team's final FCS season, the Eagles compiled a 7–4 record. In the final game of that season, the Eagles earned an upset win over the Florida Gators 26–20, the Eagles' first win over a Power Five FBS team, and the Gators' first loss to an FCS program. On December 24, 2013, Monken resigned to become the next head coach of the Army Black Knights.[6][7]

Willie Fritz era (2014–2015)[edit]

After years of rumors and fan speculation, Georgia Southern announced its intentions to move to the Football Bowl Subdivision level in April 2012. The university plans to raise $36.6 million over eight years to accommodate the move. Paulson Stadium would be expanded to FBS-standards by constructing a 57,000 square feet (5,295 m2) football operations center in the eastern end of the stadium and adding 6,300 seats on the north stands.[8] Additionally, students voted in favor of raising student athletic fees by $100 to accommodate the move. $25 of the fee increase would be used for the stadium expansion project while the remaining $75 is implemented as the "FBS Fee".[9]

On July 27, 2012, then-Athletics Director Sam Baker resigned. Baker was an ardent supporter of remaining in the FCS despite university president Brooks Keel's proclamation, mainly due to the financial ramifications of moving to a higher level. On November 12, 2012, President Keel named Tom Kleinlein as athletics director.[10] On March 27, 2013, Georgia Southern announced its move to the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2014, becoming bowl-eligible in 2015. In the 2013 season, Georgia Southern's football schedule remained the same, but the team was ineligible for the Southern Conference title as well as postseason play. The university paid the Southern Conference $600,000 in exit fees.[11]

On January 10, 2014, Willie Fritz, formerly the head coach of the Sam Houston State Bearkats, was named as the Eagles' ninth modern era head coach and first of the FBS era.[12] In the Eagles' first FBS season, the team finished the season 9–3 overall and was undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play at 8–0, winning the outright conference championship. The Eagles became only the third team ever to win a conference title in its first FBS season, after Nevada in 1992 (Big West Conference) and Marshall in 1997 (Mid-American Conference). They were also the first team ever to go unbeaten in conference play in their first FBS season.[13] Since the Eagles were under transitional status, the university filed for a postseason waiver to allow the Eagles to play in a bowl game; however, the NCAA denied Georgia Southern's waiver request and a subsequent appeal since enough full member FBS teams became bowl-eligible during the season. In the 2015 season, Fritz led the Eagles to an 8-4 record, receiving their first bowl bid to the GoDaddy Bowl on December 23, 2015 against Bowling Green.

On December 11, 2015, Fritz resigned as the Eagles head coach to accept the head coaching position at Tulane University.[14] Assistant head coach and running backs coach Dell McGee was appointed as interim head coach for the GoDaddy Bowl game, where Georgia Southern defeated Bowling Green 58–27.

Post-Fritz era (2016–present)[edit]

Tyson Summers was hired on December 21, 2015 to succeed Fritz. In addition to serving as safeties coach for Georgia Southern during the 2006 season under Brian VanGorder, Summers had previously served as defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Colorado State in 2015.[15] During Summers' first season in 2016, Georgia Southern suffered its first losing season in the FBS era, and fourth overall in the modern era.[16] Summers was fired on October 22, 2017 after starting the 2017 season with a six-game losing streak. Assistant head coach Chad Lunsford was initially appointed as interim head coach for the remainder of the season[17] and was officially named head coach on November 27, 2017.[18] Lunsford finished out the 2017 season at 2–4, giving the Eagles an overall record of 2–10, the worst record in the program's overall history, and the first time in the modern era that the Eagles posted back-to-back losing seasons.

In Lunsford's first official season as head coach, he led the Eagles back to a winning record and bowl eligibility, finishing the regular season with a 9–3 record, with a 6–2 record in conference play. Georgia Southern defeated Eastern Michigan 23–21 in the Camellia Bowl on December 15, 2018, giving the Eagles their first 10-win season since the FCS-to-FBS transition.

Head coaches[edit]

No. Coach Alma Mater Seasons Years Games W L T PCT
1 E.G. Cromartie Mercer 3 1924–1926 13 7 5 1 .583
2 H.A. Woodle 2 1927–1928 18 11 6 1 .647
3 B.L. Smith Mercer 13 1929–1941 117 44 66 7 .415
4 Erk Russell Auburn 8 1982–1989 106 83 22 1 .790
5 Tim Stowers Auburn 6 1990–1995 74 51 23 0 .689
6 Frank Ellwood Ohio State 1 1996 11 4 7 0 .364
7 Paul Johnson Western Carolina 5 1997–2001 72 62 10 0 .861
8 Mike Sewak Virginia 4 2002–2005 49 35 14 0 .714
9 Brian VanGorder Wayne State 1 2006 11 3 8 0 .273
10 Chris Hatcher Valdosta State 3 2007–2009 33 18 15 0 .545
11 Jeff Monken Millikin 4 2010–2013 54 38 16 0 .704
12 Willie Fritz Pittsburg State 2 2014–2015 24 17 7 0 .708
13 Tyson Summers Presbyterian 2 2016–2017 18 5 13 0 .278
14 Chad Lunsford Georgia College & State 1 2017–present 19 12 7 0 .632

Traditions[edit]

Nickname[edit]

The athletics teams of Georgia Southern University are referred to as the Eagles. However, the school has gone by a number of different nicknames. From as early as 1907 the teams of the then First District A&M school were referred to as the Culture to reflect the agricultural background of the school.[19] From 1924 to 1941, the nickname was the Blue Tide. After World War II, athletic teams were referred to as the Professors reflecting the school's status as a teacher-training college. However, in 1959 when the school was renamed Georgia Southern College, a student vote was held to determine the new mascot; among the 104 entries, voters chose Eagles over Colonels by a narrow margin. In 1997, a contest was held to select the official name of the mascot, incoming freshman Imen Edmond and Heidi Barber won with the name GUS.[20]

Beautiful Eagle Creek[edit]

Beautiful Eagle Creek

When Georgia Southern resurrected football in 1981, it lacked tradition. A drainage ditch that the team had to cross several times a day during football practice came to be called Beautiful Eagle Creek by Coach Erk Russell. When the Eagles traveled to Northern Iowa during the 1985 playoffs, Russell took along a jug of this Eagle Creek water to sprinkle on the field.

The Hugo Bowl[edit]

In 1989 ESPN was to broadcast a Thursday Night Football game between Georgia Southern and the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. However, Hurricane Hugo, a category 4 storm, was headed straight toward the coast of Georgia. Hugo ranked as the 11th most intense hurricane at time of landfall to strike the United States this century, with the highest ever recorded storm surge on the East Coast. Nevertheless, the decision was made to continue with the game. For safety purposes, an open line was kept between the press box at Paulson Stadium and the National Hurricane Center in Florida. The Eagles went on to defeat MTSU by a score of 26–0 in a classic that will forever be known in Eagle history as the Hugo Bowl.

This was the first night game played at Paulson Stadium. Temporary lighting was used for the game because the stadium was not outfitted with permanent lighting until the 1994 season. Many feared that the booms used to hoist the stadium lights would tip over due to the heavy wind. While it was expected initially to be a sellout crowd, due to the approaching storm the actual attendance was in the neighborhood of only 3,000.

Plain uniforms[edit]

The uniforms consist of plain white pants, blue helmets with a white stripe down the middle and the player's number on the sides, and blue jerseys. This minimalist look was adopted more or less out of necessity. When the program was revived in 1982, the school did not have a large budget. Indeed, the equipment budget was so limited that only plain white practice pants could be purchased. Hence, the practice pants doubled as game pants. Russell bought solid blue helmets and had the players put a piece of tape down the middle.[21] With the subsequent success of the Eagles, the basic design has remained the same, with the only real changes in recent years being a white stripe down the middle of the helmets and the addition of names to the backs of the jerseys. Sports Illustrated has ranked the uniforms as being the third best in college football.

Yellow school buses[edit]

When the football program was restarted in 1981, money was tight. In fact, there wasn't enough money to furnish transportation to home games. The Bulloch County school system sold two buses for a dollar each to the team. The buses have been used by the team ever since as transportation to Allen E. Paulson Stadium. This tradition continued even when the Eagles rose to powerhouse status. This briefly ended with the arrival of Brian VanGorder, following his scrapping of the Eagles' triple-option rushing attack. The tradition was revived after VanGorder's departure.

Black flag[edit]

In 2011, Coach Jeff Monken's team took the field leading with a solid black flag. The flag symbolized their motto "No quarter given, no quarter taken." During the game it was placed behind the bench. The flag was carried by safety Derek Heyden, who suffered a career ending neck injury early in the season.

Bowl games[edit]

The Eagles have participated in two bowl games with a record of 2–0.

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
2015 Dell McGee GoDaddy Bowl Bowling Green W 58–27
2018 Chad Lunsford Camellia Bowl Eastern Michigan W 23–21

Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs results[edit]

The Eagles have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs 19 times with an overall record of 45–13. They are six time National Champions (1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2000) and two time National runner-up (1988, 1998).

Season Coach Playoff Opponent Result
1985 Erk Russell First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
Jackson State
Middle Tennessee State
Northern Iowa
Furman
W 27–0
W 28–21
W 40–33
W 44–42
1986 Erk Russell First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
North Carolina A&T
Nicholls State
Nevada
Arkansas State
W 52–21
W 55–31
W 48–38
W 48–21
1987 Erk Russell First Round
Quarterfinals
Maine
Appalachian State
W 31–28 OT
L 0–19
1988 Erk Russell First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
The Citadel
Stephen F. Austin
Eastern Kentucky
Furman
W 38–20
W 27–6
W 21–17 2OT
L 12–17
1989 Erk Russell First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
Villanova
Middle Tennessee State
Montana
Stephen F. Austin
W 52–36
W 45–3
W 45–15
W 37–34
1990 Tim Stowers First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
The Citadel
Idaho
Central Florida
Nevada
W 31–0
W 28–27
W 44–7
W 36–13
1993 Tim Stowers First Round
Quarterfinals
Eastern Kentucky
Youngstown State
W 14–12
L 14–34
1995 Tim Stowers First Round
Quarterfinals
Troy State
Montana
W 24–21
L 0–45
1997 Paul Johnson First Round
Quarterfinals
Florida A&M
Delaware
W 52–37
L 7–16
1998 Paul Johnson First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
Colgate
Connecticut
Western Illinois
Massachusetts
W 49–28
W 52–30
W 42–14
L 43–55
1999 Paul Johnson First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
Northern Arizona
Massachusetts
Illinois State
Youngstown State
W 72–29
W 38–21
W 31–17
W 59–24
2000 Paul Johnson First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship Game
McNeese State
Hofstra
Delaware
Montana
W 42–17
W 48–20
W 27–18
W 27–25
2001 Paul Johnson First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Florida A&M
Appalachian State
Furman
W 60–35
W 38–24
L 17–34
2002 Mike Sewak First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Bethune-Cookman
Maine
WKU
W 34–0
W 31–7
L 28–31
2004 Mike Sewak First Round New Hampshire L 23–27
2005 Mike Sewak First Round Texas State L 35–50
2010 Jeff Monken First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
South Carolina State
William & Mary
Wofford
Delaware
W 41–16
W 31–15
W 23–20
L 10–27
2011 Jeff Monken Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Old Dominion
Maine
North Dakota State
W 55–48
W 35–23
L 7–35
2012 Jeff Monken Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Central Arkansas
Old Dominion
North Dakota State
W 24–16
W 49–35
L 20–23

Stadium[edit]

Georgia Southern home football games are played at Allen E. Paulson Stadium. Paulson Stadium was dedicated on September 29, 1984, and has an official seating capacity of 25,000. The record attendance was on September 17, 2016 in the Georgia Southern-University Louisiana Monroe game.The Eagles beat UL Monroe 23-21 and set a new attendance record of 25,735. Prior to the Eagles' first FBS season, Paulson Stadium underwent a major expansion project that includes the addition of a new football operations center and an addition of more than 6,000 new seats.

All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:

Opponent W L T PCT STRK First Last
Appalachian State 14 19 1 .426 Won 1 1934 2018
Arkansas State 2 2 0 .500 Won 1 1986 2018
Coastal Carolina 4 1 0 .750 Won 1 2006 2018
Georgia State 2 3 0 .400 Won 1 2014 2018
Louisiana–Lafayette 1 1 0 .500 Won 1 2016 2017
Louisiana–Monroe 5 3 0 .625 Lost 1 1987 2018
South Alabama 5 0 0 1.000 Won 5 2014 2018
Texas State 3 1 0 .750 Won 3 2005 2018
Troy 6 12 0 .333 Lost 2 1934 2018

Awards[edit]

The Eagles have won six NCAA FCS National Championships; the Eagles held the record for the most FCS championships until the North Dakota State Bison tied the record in 2017.

National championships[edit]

  • 1985 – Coach Erk Russell and the Eagles won their first national championship vs. Furman University in the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. Quarterback Tracy Ham threw for 419 yards and rushed for another 90 to overcome a 28–6 deficit.
  • 1986 – The Eagles returned to Tacoma to defeat the Arkansas State Indians. Tracy Ham earned 486 rushing and passing yards and three touchdowns.
  • 1989 – In Erk Russell's final game, the Eagles defeated Stephen F. Austin in Statesboro, Georgia, in front of 25,725 fans to complete a perfect 15–0 season. Quarterback Raymond Gross engineered 17 fourth-quarter points, including a game-winning field goal with 1:41 remaining in the game.
  • 1990 – Tim Stowers' Eagles win their fourth national championship vs. Nevada
  • 1999 – Paul Johnson won his first national championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, vs. Youngstown State in Jim Tressel's last national championship game as a Penguin (Jim Tressel's last game as a Penguin was against the Richmond Spiders in the playoffs in 2000). Adrian Peterson ran for a championship game record 247 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns.
  • 2000 – The Eagles defeated the Montana Grizzlies to win their sixth and final FCS championship.
Year Coach Selector Record Score Opponent
1985 Erk Russell NCAA DI (FCS) Playoff 13–2 44–42 Furman
1986 Erk Russell NCAA DI (FCS) Playoff 13–2 48–21 Arkansas State
1989 Erk Russell NCAA DI (FCS) Playoff 15–0 37–34 Stephen F. Austin
1990 Tim Stowers NCAA DI (FCS) Playoff 12–3 36–13 Nevada
1999 Paul Johnson NCAA DI (FCS) Playoff 13–2 59–24 Youngstown State
2000 Paul Johnson NCAA DI (FCS) Playoff 13–2 27–25 Montana

National runners-up[edit]

Conference championships[edit]

Year Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1993 Southern Conference Tim Stowers 10–3 7–1
1997 Southern Conference Paul Johnson 10–3 7–1
1998 Southern Conference Paul Johnson 14–1 8–0
1999† Southern Conference Paul Johnson 13–2 7–1
2000 Southern Conference Paul Johnson 13–2 7–1
2001† Southern Conference Paul Johnson 12–2 7–1
2002 Southern Conference Mike Sewak 11–3 7–1
2004† Southern Conference Mike Sewak 10–3 6–1
2011 Southern Conference Jeff Monken 11–3 7–1
2012† Southern Conference Jeff Monken 10–4 6–2
2014 Sun Belt Conference Willie Fritz 9–3 8–0

† indicates shared title.

Walter Payton Award[edit]

Georgia Southern is one of five schools to have multiple Walter Payton Award winners honoring the top offensive player in the Football Championships Subdivision. Running Back Adrian Peterson won the award in 1999 and quarterback Jayson Foster won it in 2007.

Eddie Robinson/AFCA Kodak Coach of the Year Award[edit]

Two Georgia Southern coaches have won the Eddie Robinson Award winners honoring the top coach in Division I-FCS. Erk Russell won it in 1989 and Paul Johnson in 1998. Tim Stowers also won the 1990 AFCA Kodak Coach of the Year Award voted on by his peers. Same award with a name change, with all three of the aforementioned voted on by the (AFCA) American Football Coaches Association membership.

Players[edit]

Retired Numbers[edit]

Player Position Pos Tenure
8 Tracy Ham QB 1982–86
3 Adrian Peterson RB 1998–01

Notable Alumni[edit]

Player Class Distinction(s)
Tracy Ham 1987
  • Member of the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Former CFL QB for the Edmonton Eskimos
  • 2 x Grey Cup Champion
  • 1 x Grey Cup MVP
  • 1 x CFL Most Outstanding Player
  • 1 x CFL All-Star
  • NFL Draft: Round 9 / Pick 240
Fred Stokes 1987
  • Former NFL DE for the Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins
  • Super Bowl Champion XXVI
  • 1987 NFL Draft: Round 12 / Pick 332
Kiwaukee Thomas 2000
  • Former NFL DB for the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • NFL Draft: Round 5 / Pick 159
Rob Bironas 2001
  • Former NFL K for the Tennessee Titans
  • NFL Record Holder: Most FGs in single game - 8
  • 1 x NFL Pro-Bowler
  • 1 x NFL Player of The Month
  • 3 x NFL Player of The Week
Adrian Peterson 2002
  • Member of the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Former NFL RB for the Chicago Bears
  • 1999 Walter Payton Award Winner
  • FCS Record Holder: Most Career Rushing Yards - 6,559
  • FCS Record Holder: Most Career Rushing TDs - 84
Jayson Foster 2008
  • 2007 Walter Payton Award Winner
J.J. Wilcox 2013
  • NFL DB for the New York Jets
  • NFL Draft: Round 3 / Pick 80
Jerick McKinnon 2014
  • NFL RB for the San Francisco 49ers
  • NFL Draft: Round 3 / Pick 96
Edwin Jackson 2015
  • Former NFL LB for the Indianapolis Colts
  • Edwin Jackson Memorial Walk-On Tryouts held annually
Antwione Williams 2016
  • NFL LB for the Minnesota Vikings
  • NFL Draft: Round 5 / Pick 169
Ukeme Eligwe 2017
  • NFL LB for the Kansas City Chiefs
  • NFL Draft: Round 5 / Pick 183
Matt Breida 2017
  • NFL RB for the San Francisco 49ers
  • 1 x NFL FedEx Ground Player of the Week

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of July 12, 2018.

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
at LSU at Boise State vs Gardner–Webb at Nebraska vs The Citadel vs Boise State vs Liberty vs Houston at Houston
vs Maine vs Campbell at Arkansas at UAB vs UAB at BYU at Liberty
at Minnesota vs Florida Atlantic at Florida Atlantic vs Ball State at Wisconsin
vs New Mexico State at Ole Miss vs BYU at Ball State

[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GSU Identification Standards Guide (PDF). April 19, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Delma Eugene Presley, The Southern Century. Statesboro: Georgia Southern University, 2006. 47.
  3. ^ Delma Eugene Presley, The Southern Century. Statesboro: Georgia Southern University, 2006. 227
  4. ^ "Georgia Southern football returns to No. 1". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Saturday's Football Roundup: November 12, 2011". SoCon Sports. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  6. ^ Johnston, Andy. "Georgia Southern's Monken heading to Army". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Jeff Monken Named Army Football Coach". Army Black Knights. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Georgia Southern announces steps for FBS move". Fox News. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  9. ^ Gorla, Lauren. "GSU students vote in favor of proposed student fees". George-Anne. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Tom Kleinlein Georgia Southern's New Athletic Director". Savannah Morning News. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  11. ^ Heath, Donald. "Eagles to make Sun Belt home". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Georgia Southern Introduces Willie Fritz as New Football Coach". Georgia Southern Athletics. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Georgia Southern Claims Outright Sun Belt Title – Sun Belt Winners Score Big on Saturday" (Press release). Sun Belt Conference. December 1, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  14. ^ "Georgia Southern Begins Search for New Football Coach".
  15. ^ "Georgia Southern football: Eagles hire Tyson Summers as head coach". National Collegiate Athletic Association. December 21, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  16. ^ "Southern Can't Overcome Early Deficit, Falls 30-24 to State". The Official Website of Georgia Southern Athletics. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Summers Relieved Of Georgia Southern Coaching Duties". Georgia Southern. October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  18. ^ "Chad Lunsford Officially Named Head Coach of Georgia Southern Football". Georgia Southern. November 27, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  19. ^ Delma Eugene Presley, The Southern Century. Statesboro: Georgia Southern University, 2006. 40.
  20. ^ Georgia Southern Football Media Guide, 2004. 188
  21. ^ Delma Eugene Presley, The Southern Century. Statesboro: Georgia Southern University, 2006. 230.
  22. ^ "Georgia Southern Eagles Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10.

External links[edit]