Tyson Summers’ run as defensive coordinator at Colorado is over.
BuffZone.com sources have confirmed a report by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that Summers is being let go by head coach Karl Dorrell. According to sources, Summers informed players Tuesday morning that he was being let go.
Several players reacted on social media with surprise that Summers was out.
Safety Isaiah Lewis, arguably the most improved player on defense this season, wrote on Twitter, “Forever thankful for helping me develop my defensive knowledge. Much love coach.”
Summers was hired in December of 2018 by former head coach Mel Tucker and retained when Dorrell was hired as head coach in February.
Summers, 40, had one year remaining on the three-year contract he signed two years ago. He earned $500,000 annually in base salary and will be owed the remainder of his contract by CU. That amount would be mitigated if Summers were to get another job this year.
This is the second staff move off the season by Dorrell, who has elected not to renew the contract of strength and conditioning coordinator Drew Wilson, who had been with the program for five years.
Under Summers’ direction this season, the Buffs ranked 77th nationally in scoring defense (31.7 points per game) and 76th in yards allowed (420.3). Those numbers took a major hit in the Buffs’ 55-23 loss to Texas in Valero Alamo, when CU was missing several players because of injuries and COVID-19 protocols.
During the five-game regular season, the Buffs allowed 27.0 points and 376.8 yards per game.
Even with the bowl game, the Buffs improved their rankings from 2019, when they were 95th in points allowed (31.8) and 104th in yards allowed (441.9).
CU’s defense showed improvement late in the 2019 season and carried that over to most of the 2020 season.
This season, the Buffs made significant progress in several categories, including third downs, red zone and tackles for loss.
One of the worst teams in the country in 2019 on third downs (125th, 47.44 percent), the Buffs ranked 13th this year (31.76 percent). They were 65th in the red zone in 2019 (83.72 percent scoring rate) and jumped to 42nd this year (80.0 percent).
The Buffs also ranked seventh nationally in tackles for loss (8.17 per game), compared to 123rd in 2019 (4.33 per game).
Summers came to CU after spending the 2018 season as a quality control coach with Tucker at Georgia. Summer was the head coach at Georgia Southern from 2016-17 and was the defensive coordinator at Colorado State in 2015. His only other season as coordinator came in 2014, at Central Florida.