ATHENS — Former Georgia Southern coach Tyson Summers has joined the Georgia football staff, where he will work again with Kirby Smart, his longtime friend.
Summers was at Calhoun High School on Thursday night recruiting for UGA, Calhoun coach Hal Lamb confirmed Friday morning. It appears Summers is joining in a quality control, off-field role, but he was on the road Thursday night in a recruiting role.
Georgia has yet to fill the newly allowed 10th assistant coaching spot, so until then the team is allowed to send somebody on the road to fill that role in a recruiting capacity. Jay Valai, who had been a quality control coach at UGA, was among those also recruiting this month before accepting a similar role with the Kansas City Chiefs.
There was no immediate confirmation from UGA on the hiring of Summers, a native of Tifton who will turn 38 in April. Summers could not be immediately reached for comment. It’s not clear how long Summers has been working for UGA.
Summers was let go by Georgia Southern on Oct. 22, less than two years after being hired by the Statesboro school. Georgia Southern was 0-6 this year after a 5-7 season the year before.
Summers has a defensive background, having been the defensive coordinator for Mike Bobo at Colorado State in 2015, prior to getting the Georgia Southern job.
Smart and Summers were roommates in 2005, the year Smart was Georgia’s running backs coach and Summers was a graduate assistant. The two have known each other for years before that and remained in touch, going on recruiting trips together over the ensuing decade, occasionally with Bobo in tow.
In fact, the trio held a satellite camp together the summer of 2016, officially hosted by Summers and Georgia Southern, but with Smart (Georgia) and Bobo (Colorado State) and their staffs also participating.
The three coaches talked about their friendship and going into coaching together last year for this story.