Former Edinboro Coach Lustig Up for Broyles Award

Sports

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Syracuse special teams coordinator and outside receivers coach Justin Lustig is among the 53 nominees for the 2018 Broyles Award, released by the Frank and Barbara Broyles Foundation on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
 
Created in 1996 and named after the late Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, the award honors the top assistant coaches in college football. This year’s candidates were selected from approximately 1,500 assistant coaches representing 130 Division I programs across the country.
 
Under Lustig’s guidance, the Syracuse special teams have performed at a consistently high level and have been a major factor in the Orange’s 7-2 start. Syracuse ranks in the top 25 nationally in kick return defense (7th -15.6), punt returns (17th – 14.4), and net punting (24th – 40.4). They’ve also been responsible for two touchdowns (1 punt return, 1 blocked punt return). In addition, Syracuse ranks fourth in ESPN’s special teams efficiency ratings, which calculate the unit’s contribution to scoring margin on a per play basis.
 
Individually, placekicker Andre Szmyt and Sterling Hofrichter are two of the best at their positions in the country. Szmyt, a Lou Groza Award semifinalist, leads the nation in field goals per game (2.56), made field goals (23), field goals attempted (25), points (114) and points per game (12.7). He was selected as a midseason All-American by several media outlets last month, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News and the Associated Press.
 
A team captain for the second year in a row, Hofrichter was voted a USA Today Second Team Midseason All-American. He is second in the ACC in punting average (44.0) and he’s tied with Duke’s Austin Parker for the conference lead with 20 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Hofrichter has kicked 48 times this season for 2,114 yards with only three touchbacks. Fourteen of his punts have traveled at least 50 yards.
 
Junior return man Sean Riley is another of Lustig’s outstanding special teams performers. Riley is third in the FBS in punt return average (16.0) and ran one back 69 yards for a touchdown on Sept. 22 versus Connecticut. On Sept. 8 against Wagner, Riley blocked the punt that resulted in Syracuse’s other special teams touchdown.
 
As the Orange’s outside receivers coach, Lustig has been instrumental in senior Jamal Custis’ breakout campaign. Custis, who entered 2018 with 13 career catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns, has 40 receptions for 734 yards and five TDs on the year. He is tied for fourth nationally with 10 catches of 30 or more yards.
 
A native of Erie, Pa., Lustig has been a college coach for 18 seasons, including a five-year stint (2011-15) at Ball State. He has developed 42 all-conference players during his career and joined the Orange staff in 2017 after being named the 2016 D2Football.com Coach of the Year as the head coach at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.
 
A 19-member selection committee of distinguished former head coaches, along with a committee representing the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), will select the 15 semifinalists and five finalists from the list of nominees. Those finalists will be invited to the Marriott Hotel in Little Rock, Ark. on Tuesday, Dec. 4 where the 2018 Broyles Award winner will be announced.
 
Tony Elliott, co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Clemson, was last year’s recipient.
 
For more information on the Broyles Award, visit www.broylesaward.com.

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