Southern cans Hatcher

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

STATESBORO -- Chris Hatcher is out at Georgia Southern.

That was the decision handed by A.D. Sam Baker on Saturday just hours after the Eagles closed out their season by beateing The Citadel, 13-6, though nonetheless finishing with a losing record at 5-6.

Baker said a national search will begin immediately to find a replacement and that the decision had already been made prior to the game.

"We have had ongoing discussions this past week," Baker told The Macon Telegraph. "The outcome of the game with The Citadel had no bearing on the decision. We felt we must move as quickly as possible to do this. We felt we owed it to the (new) coach and the program. In getting a new coach hired now, we will give him every opportunity to put together a staff and recruit. It's very, very important he be able to go out and get a good recruiting class."

Hatcher completed his third year in charge of the Eagles and posted an 18-15 record during his tenure. The Eagles finished with just their third losing season in the 28 years.

In Hatcher's first year, the Eagles were one game away from winning a Southern Conference championship and berth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs. Last year Georgia Southern won the season finale to finish 6-5. This season the Eagles failed to win consecutive games, and snapped a three-game losing streak following Saturday's win over The Citadel. The all-time winningest program in FCS playoff history (38-10), Georgia Southern failed to reach the postseason for the fourth year in a row.