Summers Promoted to Hilltopper Defensive Coordinator
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Football has promoted Tyson Summers to defensive coordinator, head coach Tyson Helton announced on Wednesday.
Summers recently joined the Hilltopper football staff in January as the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, boasting a resume that includes 20 years of coaching experience.
“I’d like to thank Coach Helton for giving me the opportunity to lead our defense,” said Summers. “I’m looking forward to working with our student-athletes and staff as we continue to build off our program’s success.”
Before coming to The Hill, Summers most recently served as a defensive analyst for Florida during the 2021 campaign, where the Gators finished the season ranked 25th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game.
Prior to his stint in Gainesville, Summers was the defensive coordinator at Colorado in 2019 and 2020. The Buffaloes compiled a 4-2 record during their shortened 2020 season, finishing the year ranked third in the country in defensive fourth down conversion percentage and 13th in third down conversion percentage. Colorado also ranked seventh in tackles for loss as a team, with Carson Wells ranking first in the nation individually in tackles for loss per game.
Summers saw three of his former players taken in the 2020 NFL Draft in Colorado safety Davion Taylor (Philadelphia – 3rd Round) along with Georgia Southern cornerback Kindle Vildor (Chicago – 5th Round) and placekicker Tyler Bass (Miami – 6th Round). A fourth former player, Georgia safety J.R. Reed, also signed as a free agent with Jacksonville following the draft.
Summers came to Colorado from Georgia, where he spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons working in defensive quality control. While in Athens, the Bulldogs won two SEC East Division titles. Georgia also won the SEC Championship in 2017 before eventually advancing to the National Championship game.
Prior to his time with the Bulldogs, Summers spent two years in nearby Statesboro as the head coach at Georgia Southern. In his first season as the head coach of the Eagles, the team saw seven players tabbed as all-conference members. That included placekicker Younghoe Koo, who was named a Third Team All-American and finalist for the Lou Groza Award.
Summers earned the promotion to head coach at Georgia Southern after spending the 2015 season at Colorado State as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach. The Rams’ defense made impressive strides defensively under Summers’ tutelage, improving from 32nd to ninth nationally in passing defense and 114th to 21st in tackles for loss.
Before being hired at Colorado State, Summers was at UCF from 2012-14, with the Knights posting a 31-9 record during his time there. Summers served as the linebackers coach in 2012 and 2013 before being named the defensive coordinator heading into the 2014 campaign. In his first year coordinating a defense, Summers saw the Knights emerge as the top defense in the American Athletic Conference, and one that ranked in the top 10 among FBS schools in total defense (5th – 298.5 yards per game), rushing defense (6th – 104.3 yards per game), redzone defense (6th – 71.4 percent) and scoring defense (9th – 19.2 point per game).
Summers joined the UCF staff after coaching at UAB from 2007-11, where his time coincided with Helton, who was in Birmingham from 2007-12. Summers served as the linebackers coach during his first four years at UAB before transitioning to the safeties coach and co-special teams coordinator during his final season with the squad.
Prior to his time at UAB, Summers spent short stints in the college coaching ranks at Georgia Southern (2006 – Safeties Coach), Georgia (2005 – Graduate Assistant), Troy (2004 – Graduate Assistant) and Presbyterian (2003 – Defensive Backs Coach).
Summers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Presbyterian College, where he also lettered four times on the football team from 1998-2001 while earning All-South Atlantic Conference honors as a sophomore and serving as team captain his senior year.
Summers is married to the former Beth King, and the couple has three sons, Jake, Walker and Anderson.