According to Yahoo Sports! Pete Thamel, Syracuse is losing Justin Lustig, its special teams coordinator.
Lustig, who also served as assistant head coach and outside receivers coach with the Orange. In 2018, he was a nominee for the 2018 Broyles Award, given to the best assistant coach in college football. Prior to coaching outside receivers, Lustig was a running backs coach in 2017.
In the past two seasons, Syracuse’s Nolan Cooney and Sterling Hofrichter were two of the best punters in the nation.
Cooney’s 44.8 yards per punt this season was third best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. His 24 punts downed inside the 20-yard line were tops in the conference, and he also had 25 punts travel at least 50 yards.
Hofrichter was one of the best punters in Syracuse history, starting all 49 games for the Orange from 2016-19. Hofrichter was a four time Ray Guy award candidate, and was one of three finalists for the premiere punter award in 2019.
Andre Szmyt also set kicking awards as a redshirt freshman and was awarded the Lou Groza award — as the nation’s best kicker — in 2019.
Lustig is joining new Vanderbilt head coach, Clark Lea’s staff. Lea was Syracuse’s linebackers coach from 2013-15. However, Lustig was hired in 2017, so he didn’t coach with Lea on The Hill.
Without Lustig, Syracuse may have to replace both its kicker, punter, and now special teams coordinator. While both Cooney and Szmyt could return due to the NCAA’s free year of eligibility, 2020 was Cooney’s fifth year at SU. Szmyt just wrapped up his fourth season with the program.
As outside receivers coach, Lustig played an important role in the collegiate careers of Trishton Jackson, Jamal Custis and Taj Harris. While SU’s special teams has been elite under Lustig, he also had control of the most prominent position group in head coach Dino Babers’ up-tempo offense.