Jeff Koonz, a former assistant at Georgia Southern, begins his third year in his second stint as part of the Georgia Southern coaching staff. Koonz will work with the defensive line and kickers under coach Chris Hatcher.
The Eagle defense led the Southern Conference averaging 7.0 tackles for a loss (22nd nationally) and ranked third recording 2.4 sacks per game (26th in the nation). All-America defensive end Dakota Walker not only led the league in sacks but also tackles for loss. He earned First Team All-SoCon honors.
Two of his freshman special team players also earned a spot on the SoCon ‘All-Freshman Team’, Adrian Mora and Charlie Edwards. Mora earned his first collegiate start in game four and solidified the kicking game. The redshirt-freshman made a field goal in all eight games played, finishing 10-of-12 on the year. In addition he was 37-37 in extra points and would also earn Second Team All-SoCon honors. Edwards spent most of the season as the leader in punt average before finishing fifth in a close race for the lead. His 40.0 yard average ranked seventh on the GS season ‘Top 10’.
Koonz mentored two All-Southern Conference performers in 2007: Larry Beard (media and coaches) and Damon Suggs (coaches).
His kickers enjoyed a record-breaking season. Jesse Hartley set school records for consecutive extra points (47) and field goals (17, tie) en route to All-America honors. The punting unit, led by four-year starter Daniel Jordan, ranked first in the SoCon in net yardage.
The previous seven years Koonz served as an assistant coach at Presbyterian College, the last six as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
In 2006 PC finished in a tie in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) at 5-2, 7-4 overall. Koonz’s defense again ranked among the SAC leaders, allowing 13.2 points (sixth nationally), 89.8 rushing yards and 223 total yards per game.
Koonz’s 2005 PC defense finished first in the SAC in rushing (106.0 ypg) and scoring defense (14.2 ppg) and was fourth in the league in total defense (314.2 ypg). The 14.2 ppg allowed by the defense was good for eighth-best nationally at the conclusion of the year.
In the 2004 season, the Koonz-led defense finished second in the South Atlantic Conference in scoring defense and passing defense.
In 2002, PC’s defense led the SAC in scoring defense (14.0 ppg), pass efficiency defense (87.1 rating), opponents’ first downs (162), opponents’ third down conversion (25.4%), and red zone defense (51.5%). In addition, PC allowed only 10 points in the fourth quarter during the entire season.
Koonz came to Presbyterian College after serving six years as an assistant football coach at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss. He served as defensive coordinator from 1995-1999 and was defensive line coach his first year. During his tenure at Holmes, the program compiled a 35-25-1 overall record and won the 1996 North State Championship.
Koonz brings a wealth of knowledge to Georgia Southern, having coached four players at Holmes who went on to play in the NFL (Duane Starks - Baltimore Ravens, Dick Butkus Award winner Corey Moore - Buffalo Bills, Alvin McKinley - Denver Broncos and Javor Mills - Jacksonville Jaguars).
A native of Wallkill, N.Y., he played football at SUNY-Plattsburgh and returned to his high school alma mater, Wallkill H.S., to become head coach from 1987-91. During that time, Wallkill compiled a 33-13-1 overall mark and won the 1991 Section 9 Class B championship while being named Coach of the Year on two occasions (1987 and 1991).
His coaching career sent him to Statesboro in 1992 where he spent two seasons as defensive line and strength coach at Georgia Southern University. Koonz was a coach on the Eagles’ 1993 Southern Conference championship team. During his time he was the position coach for All-America defensive lineman Alex Mash.
Koonz earned a B.S. degree in therapeutic recreation from SUNY-New Paltz in 1992 and a master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Georgia Southern University. His wife, Patti is from Wallkill, N.Y. They are the parents of one son, Jeffrey. A 2003 graduate of Auburn University, Jeffrey has served as an assistant coach at Auburn, Iowa State and Texas.
EXPERIENCE: 5th YEAR ON GSU STAFF
- Category: Football
- Published on Friday, 21 September 2007 00:06