Tyson Summers came to UCF as defensive assistant coach in January 2012 and earned the title of linebackers coach one month later. For the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and that spring season, he was named interim defensive coordinator before being promoted to full-time defensive coordinator in April when spring camp concluded.
In his first full season at the DC level in 2014, Summers guided the top defense in the American Athletic Conference. UCF ultimately went 9-4 on the year with a spot in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl and back-to-back conference titles. Opponents averaged less than 300 yards per game (298.5), including six which posted less than 100 rushing yards and nine schools had less than 200 passing yards.
Summers had the pleasure of working with three Knights who made the all-league first team and three more who were on the second team. That included cornerback Jacoby Glenn who was The American's Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and UCF's first Associated Press All-American (second team) since it joined the FBS level in 1996.
One Knight who excelled every year with Summers mentoring the linebackers was Terrance Plummer, who was on the All-American Athletic Conference First Team in 2013 and 2014. He also was a two-time national defensive player of the week his final two years in Black and Gold.
Capping off an incredible 2013 season, Summers helped call the plays in UCF's upset victory over high-powered Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The win enabled the Knights to set a school record with 12 victories overall and achieve a program-high by being ranked No. 10 in the final AP Top 25 Poll.
After that win over Baylor, Plummer would be named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP. He also was on the American Athletic Conference First Team, producing 110 tackles with 8.5 for a loss.
Leading the UCF linebackers in 2012, Summers tutored three Knights into consistent starters en route to a C-USA East Division crown, a Beef `O' Brady's Bowl win and a 10-4 record. Plummer was in his first year as the Knights' middle linebacker, and he went on to rack up 108 tackles with seven for loss. On the outsides, Ray Shipman broke out in just his second full season as he amassed 91 tackles. Previously a running back, Jonathan Davis was named the team's Most Improved Defensive Player, capping off the year with 99 tackles, including nine for a loss.
Summers had been on UAB's staff since December 2006 as the Blazers' linebackers coach and was their safeties coach and co-special teams coordinator in the final season of his tenure.
In his first year working with the UAB safeties in 2011, Summers helped mentor Jamie Bender in his senior season as he led the Blazers with 119 tackles. Bender also posted 7.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, six break-ups and four forced fumbles. He was voted on to the All-C-USA Second Team for that performance. On special teams, UAB ranked 17th in the nation by allowing just 4.71 yards per punt return, while freshman kicker Ty Long was named a 2011 Freshman All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Preview.
Summers took over UAB's linebackers in 2007, where Joe Henderson was named to the All-C-USA Second Team. In 2008, Henderson climbed up to the first team thanks to a team-high 87 tackles as well as 12.5 tackles for loss, and went on to play for the BC Lions of the CFL from 2010-11. With a new wave of linebackers under Summers' control in 2010, Marvin Burdette paced the Blazers with 114 tackles en route to All-C-USA Honorable Mention accolades. While Summers was with UAB, kicker Swayze Waters was an All-C-USA First Team pick in 2007 and 2008, and has appeared in NFL preseason games highlighted by a stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.
Hailing from Tifton, Ga., Summers coached the safeties at Georgia Southern in 2006 a year after serving as a graduate assistant for Georgia in 2005. That season the Bulldogs won the SEC title and earned a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Summers worked with the secondary and witnessed three UGA defensive backs get selected in the NFL Draft: Tim Jennings (second round, First-Team All-SEC), DeMario Minter (fifth round, First-Team All-SEC) and Greg Blue (fifth round, First-Team All-American).
During the 2004 season Summers was a graduate assistant at Troy, which reached the postseason and the Silicon Valley Classic, and in 2003 he helped guide the defensive backs at Presbyterian. Summers earned his first coaching position at Tift County High School in Georgia where he was taking care of the defensive backs in 2002.
A four-year letterwinner at Presbyterian, Summers earned All-South Atlantic honors as a linebacker in 1999 and was selected as team captain as a senior. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from Presbyterian in 2002.
Summers is married to the former Beth King, and the couple has three sons, Jake, Walker and Anderson. Summers' father was a running back at the University of Florida.