January 15, 2004
STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern University Head Football Coach Mike Sewak officially announced Wednesday that assistant football coaches Rusty Russell and Levorn Harbin will not be retained for the 2004 season.
Russell has served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since 1997 while Harbin coached defensive ends and was responsible for the Eagle special teams since his arrival in 2002.
Harbin spent one season coaching the defensive line at Valdosta State before he was hired at Georgia Southern.
"There are times when it is necessary to make difficult decisions, and this is certainly one of those occasions for me," said Sewak.
"Coach Russell and I have come to an agreement that it is time for him to explore other opportunities beyond Georgia Southern football. He and I have been a part of the same program for the past seven seasons, and that makes this change especially hard. "However, because of philosophical differences and in an effort to make the necessary adjustments, I will be selecting a new defensive coordinator to implement these changes," Sewak added.
Sewak went to say "In addition, I feel improvement and consistency in our special teams play is warranted as well. After continual evaluations over the past two seasons, I have concluded that a search for new leadership in this area is evident also."
Sewak indicated that a search for hiring new assistants is already underway. "Georgia Southern Football is beyond a winning tradition, it's a championship heritage, " Sewak explained. "While we certainly fell short of our standards, ideals and expectations last season, I am confident that the changes we have made will be in the best interest of the team and program."
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