STATESBORO — The trip to Statesboro on I-16 is a familiar one for Chad Lunsford. Georgia Southern’s new wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator has made the journey before.
Coach Jeff Monken recently announced the hiring of Lunsford, a slotbacks coach for the Eagles from 2003-06, to his coaching staff. Lunsford brings both on-field coaching experience and an administrative background to the Georgia Southern program as it begins the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
“We are so excited to have Chad Lunsford return to Georgia Southern as a part of our staff,” Monken said. “Chad was a part of an era of Eagle football that experienced great success and we are confident that he will be instrumental in our success this season and in our move to FBS. He brings with him extensive experience in recruiting at Auburn the past few seasons, including the 2010 National Championship season. He will certainly be an asset in our expanded recruiting efforts as we transition.”
Lunsford spent the previous four years in an administrative position with the Auburn football program, serving as director of scouting from May 2009 through December 2012, and most recently as director of player personnel. He assisted with the day-to-day operations of Auburn football, with an emphasis on recruiting, organizing and overseeing the evaluation process.
Credited with making advancements in technology and introducing new ideas to assist the Tigers in their recruiting wars, Lunsford assisted with and organized numerous other aspects of Auburn recruiting. The Tigers boasted three of the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2010, 2011 and 2012, with top-five rankings for the first two classes and top-10 ranking for 2012. Success in the Tigers’ recruiting translated to success on the field as Auburn won the 2010 BCS national championship, 2010 Southeastern Conference Championship and made appearances in two other bowl games.
Lunsford coached the slotbacks in his three seasons (2003-05) on the Georgia Southern staff, including the Eagles’ eventual all-time receptions leader Raja Andrews, who finished his career with 127 catches and as the record holder for receiving yards in a single season with 873. Armed with the ability to run and deliver blocks as well as catch passes in the triple option offense, his slotbacks contributed physically and statistically to three-straight NCAA Division I rushing titles to go along with a Southern Conference championship in 2004.
After departing Georgia Southern in 2006, Lunsford spent a year at Griffin High School as a special education teacher and served as the outside linebackers coach. The Bears posted an overall record of 11-2 that season for a winning percentage of .917, highest in the program history to that point, and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
Two years back at Georgia Military College followed his time at Griffin with Lunsford at linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. The Bulldogs continued their winning ways, posting an 18-4 record over those two seasons, with trips to the Pilgrim’s Pride and Mississippi bowls. A punter and two linebackers earned national accolades with another linebacker, eventual Eagle Calvin West, recognized as an honorable mention for NJCAA All-America honors.
A two-year letterman at Elbert County High School, Lunsford was a two-way starter at linebacker and center for the Blue Devils. During high school, Elbert County made four-straight appearances in the state playoffs and posted a 20-3 record in his junior and senior years. He graduated from Georgia College and State University in May 2000 with a B.S. in biology and minor in mathematics and earned a master’s of sport science degree from the United States Sports Academy in 2002.
While at GCSU as an undergrad, he served as a student assistant with Georgia Military College, beginning his career coaching the tight ends. In February 1997, he was hired as the running backs coach and handled several of the program’s administrative areas. The Bulldogs would play in three straight Golden Isles bowl games, capture the 1998 NJCAA rushing title with an average of more than 300 yards per game, and bringing home the 1999 Golden Isles bowl championship.