Charleston Southern names Gabe Giardina as new head football coach

Albany state football head coach Gabe Giardina
Albany state football head coach Gabe Giardina((Source: WALB))
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 3:20 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern Athletic Director Jeff Barber announced Gabe Giardina has been named the new head football coach on Wednesday afternoon.

Giardina becomes the sixth Charleston Southern head football coach in program history. He comes to the Buccaneers after coaching stops at the University of Alabama, Charleston Southern, Delta State and Albany State.

“I would like to welcome Gabe Giardina back to Charleston Southern University,” said Barber. “As a Godly man, and with his experience and knowledge of our university and the Buccaneer football program, Gabe separated himself early as a strong candidate for this position. When combining all this with the success he and the Golden Rams team had as the Head Coach at Albany State, it became abundantly clear that he is the right person to lead our young men on the field and off. We all welcome Gabe, Wimberly and their boys to Buc Nation!”

Giardina comes to the Buccaneers after spending the last five-plus seasons as the head coach at Albany State after taking on the role in 2017. He has compiled a record of 37-17, including a 26-5 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) record, in that time frame including wins over multiple nationally ranked teams.

The Giardina family is extremely excited to be coming home to Charleston Southern,” stated Giardina. “I would like to thank Dr. Costin, Jeff Barber, Courtney Hall and their team for making our dream a reality. I am honored to be the Head Coach at a place that has meant so much to us in the past and puts Christ first in everything it does. Wimberly, our boys, and I cannot wait to connect with the CSU football players, alumni and the Low Country.”

In his tenure at Albany State, Giardina found much success on and off the field, including a combined 17-5 record over his last two seasons and a SIAC Conference Championship in 2021 after having the No. 1 total defense in all of Division II football. Along with that storied 2021 season for the Rams, Giardina was named the SIAC Coach of the Year. Following that season, Giardina was selected to take part in the 2022 HBCU Legacy Bowl as a co-head coach. The HBCU Legacy Bowl is a post-season all-star game, showcasing the best NFL-eligible players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Before arriving at Albany State, Giardina served as the Offensive Coordinator under Head Coach Jamey Chadwell, winning 36 games in four years at the height of Charleston Southern football. He called the plays for the first playoff teams in CSU program history (2015 and 2016), including the 2016 Big South Championship team. The 2015 team was ranked in the top-8 nationally and earned the first ever FCS playoff bid after a 10-3 output.

Before returning to Charleston Southern, Giardina served as the offensive coordinator at Delta State for one season after being the assistant head coach as well as special teams coordinator and running backs coach at CSU for a season. That season, he coached six All-Big South players, including NFL veteran Charles James. In those four seasons, CSU blocked six punts, had four kickoff returns for touchdowns and three punt returns TDs. His kickoff coverage teams ranked second in the Big South for three years and led the Big South in net punting in 2011.

Giardina started his coaching career at the University of Alabama after a three-year playing career for the Crimson Tide, serving as a graduate assistant under both Mike Shula and Nick Saban. In two years under Shula, Giardina and the Crimson Tide won the Cotton Bowl in 2005. His final year at Alabama came under Saban, where he tutored the likes of Andre Smith, Antwan Caldwell and Mike Johnson.

Giardina is married to the former Wimberly Edwards from Greenville, Alabama and together they have three sons, Frank, DeAra and Whitt.