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Penn State reportedly will hire Vanderbilt assistant as special teams coordinator

Justin Lustig, who has been a college football coach for more than 20 years, will become Penn State’s next special teams coordinator, according to an ESPN report.

Lustig spent the last three seasons at Vanderbilt, where he was associate head coach, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. He’s expected to replace Stacy Collins, who left Penn State last week after two seasons to return to the Boise State staff.

Nittany Lions coach James Franklin has already hired offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki and defensive coordinator Tom Allen since the end of the regular season. Kotelnicki replaced Mike Yurcich, who was fired in November by Franklin; Allen replaced Manny Diaz, who left Penn State after two seasons to become head coach at Duke.

Lustig is a Pennsylvania native who graduated from Erie Cathedral Prep in 1997 and from Bucknell in 2000. He was a four-year starter at defensive back and a team captain his senior year with the Bison.

He began his coaching career at Christopher Newport in 2001 and also has been an assistant coach at Villanova, Eastern Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, Ball State and Syracuse. He has coached special teams for 19 seasons.

Lustig spent one season (2016) as a head coach at Edinboro, where he guided the Fighting Scots to a 9-2 record one year after they were 0-11. It was the biggest turnaround in Division II history.

He moved on to Syracuse, where he was special teams coordinator from 2017-20. Orange freshman Andrew Szmyt won the Lou Groza Award in 2018 as the nation’s top placekicker. Sterling Hofrichter was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter) in 2019.

At Vanderbilt, Lustig coached 2023 Ray Guy Award finalist Matthew Hayball and two-time All-Southeastern Conference long snapper Wesley Schelling.

Before Lustig’s arrival, the Commodores had among the worst special teams in the country. They finished 41st and 44th the last two seasons, in ESPN’s special teams rankings.

Penn State has not yet made an official announcement of Lustig’s hiring.

Source: Berkshire mont

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