Sources close to the Cajun Football program have verified that Eastern Illinois assistant coach Justin Lustig is Head Coach Ricky Bustle's choice to replace Brian Jenkins as running backs and special teams coach. The Cajun RedZone made several attempts to contact Justin Lustig today, but he did return our messages.
Justin Lustig, joined the Panthers in the spring of 2006 as the special teams coach. He also serves as the EIU running backs coach with the Panthers producing 1,000 yard rushers in each of the last three seasons.
In 2008, Travorus Bess, a senior running back from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., became the third straight EIU running back to earn first team All-OVC honors after ranking second in the league with 90.5 yards per game. Bess rushed for 1,086 yards on the year earning OVC Player of the Week honors following his 163 yard performance in the season finale against Tennessee Tech. He also passed the 2,000 yard mark for his career.
His special teams unit ranked among the nation's best in 2007 with freshman punter Kevin Cook ranking 4th in the nation in punting while setting the EIU school record. Cook earned honorable mention All-America honors. During the season the Panthers special teams unit returned one kick off for a touchdown, blocked one punt for a touchdown and blocked one field goal. EIU ranked 4th nationally in net punting and 18th in kickoff returns.
During the 2006 season EIU ranked 18th nationally in least amount of kick return yardage allowed while ranking third in the OVC in least amount of punt return yardage allowed.
Prior to joining the EIU staff, Lustig coached defensive backs and special teams for two years (2004-05) at Christopher Newport University, a NCAA Division III program in Newport News, Va. His 2005 team blocked 11 kicks and scored six touchdowns as the Captains ranked either first or second in every special teams category in the USA South Atlantic Conference.
His 2004 team posted a 9-3 record to win a co-league championship and advance to the NCAA playoffs. In total he coached eight All-Conference players including the 2005 USA South Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2003 he coached cornerbacks at Villanova University which was ranked as high as No. 4 in that year's NCAA I-AA football poll. Lustig began his coaching career at Christopher Newport in 2001 serving as the team's recruiting coordinator and secondary coach for two seasons. Both years CNU qualified for the NCAA playoffs.
A four year starter at Bucknell University (1997-2000), Lustig was a team captain at cornerback and safety. He has also worked summer camps at Texas and Villanova.
He currently recruits the northwest suburbs of Chicago and the state of Wisconsin.
Leading Candidate to Replace Jenkins
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