Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers announced on Thursday that special teams coordinator and outside receivers coach Justin Lustig has been promoted to assistant head coach.
Lustig earned the promotion after working as Syracuse’s special teams coordinator and running backs coach in 2017, and serving as the program’s special teams coordinator and outside receivers coach last season. Lustig will continue to oversee both special teams and the Orange’s outside receivers in his new role.
“Justin has been instrumental to the success we’ve had here,” Babers said. “His special teams units are outstanding and he’s an excellent teacher and mentor for our student-athletes. We’re fortunate to have him as part of our football family.”
In 2018, Lustig’s work helped propel the Orange to a 10-3 record, the program’s best season in 17 years. His special teams units led the ACC in net punting average (39.3) for the second year in a row and topped the conference in kickoff return yardage defense (18.3 ypr). Additionally, the Orange ranked among the top three in the conference in four more special teams categories.
Lustig has coached five All-ACC selections in his two years with the Orange, including punter Sterling Hofrichter (Valrico, Fla.) and kicker Andre Szmyt (Vernon Hills, Ill.). Both players were named to the 2018 All-ACC First Team, with Szmyt garnering unanimous All-America honors and winning the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker. Szmyt led the country in virtually every kicking category. He made an ACC-record 30 field goals and became the second placekicker in FBS history to lead the nation in points per game (11.6).
Lustig’s guidance was also critical to the development of wide receiver Jamal Custis, who more than tripled his career receiving totals last season. Custis was voted to the 2018 All-ACC Second Team and earned an invitation to this week’s NFL Scouting Combine.
Prior to joining the Orange, Lustig was the head coach at Edinboro University (Pa.) where he earned 2016 D2Football.com Coach of the Year honors after inheriting an 0-11 team and leading the Fighting Scots to a 9-2 record in his one season at the helm.
A native of Erie, Pa., Lustig spent his first 15 years in coaching as an assistant at different five schools, including four Division I institutions – Villanova (2003), Eastern Illinois (2006-08), Louisiana-Lafayette (2009-10) and Ball State (2011-15). He also served two stints as an assistant coach at Division III Christopher Newport (2001-02, 2004-05).
Lustig earned his bachelor’s degree in English and history from Bucknell in 2000. He also holds a master’s degree in human resource management from George Washington University.
Lustig and his wife, Beth Ann, have two sons – Samuel and Henry.
Syracuse opens spring practice Sunday, March 3.