October 15, 2016 Atlanta - Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and Georgia Southern head coach Tyson Summers shake hands after Georgia Tech won 35-24 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, October 15, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Paul Johnson’s comments on Georgia Southern firing

The midseason firing of Georgia Southern coach Tyson Summers did not evoke a strong reaction from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who developed his prolific spread-option offense as an offensive coordinator at the Statesboro school and later won two national championships as head coach.

“Disappointed anytime anybody gets let go,” Johnson said Wednesday.

Summers was fired Sunday after the Eagles fell to 0-6. He was in his second season at the school. The Eagles lost 35-24 last season to Tech.

The remaining staff includes former Tech quarterbacks and B-backs coach Bryan Cook, who left the Yellow Jackets to become the Eagles’ offensive coordinator last December. Cook was hired by Summers to implement the spread-option offense that is such a part of Georgia Southern’s identity, but the offense has not produced. The Eagles are creating 4.51 yards per play, fourth from last in FBS.

“It’s a big boy world,” Johnson said. “You make choices and choices have consequences sometimes. Anytime anybody loses their job, you feel bad.”

Johnson was asked about the difficulties that Georgia Southern has encountered when it has strayed from the offense he developed. The Eagles’ most successful runs since he left Statesboro to become Navy’s head coach after the 2001 season were led by past Johnson assistants, Mike Sewak (now Tech’s offensive line coach) and Jeff Monken (now at Army).

“I don’t know about that,” he said. “I’ve got my own issues. I’m sure they’ll sort theirs out.”

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