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Syracuse football: Special teams coach Justin Lustig hired by Vanderbilt, per report

Major loss for the Orange this offseason.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year? If 2020 hadn’t already supplied enough bad news, here’s some more for the Syracuse Orange football program:

Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reports that Syracuse special teams and assistant coach Justin Lustig is on his way to the Vanderbilt Commodores to head up special teams there for Clark Lea. While that certainly looks like a lateral move (at best) on paper, perhaps Lustig will handle some other duties for the former Orange assistant and newly-minted head coach. Money could also be a factor since SEC schools do take in significantly more per year than those in the ACC.

Congrats to Lustig on the new gig, though obviously this could be a big blow to the Syracuse staff. Lustig’s been in high demand for the last couple offseasons, and there were rumors he may have even turned down Penn State’s overtures. Orange special teams have been among the best in the country in recent seasons, and Lustig’s been a big part of that along with the likes of Sterling Hofrichter, Andre Szmyt and others.

Dino Babers already had enough on his plate this offseason, and this becomes another item to handle. Hopefully Lustig’s replacement can make a similar splash with special teams in 2021.