Georgia State Panthers football
|Georgia State Panthers football|
|Athletic director||Charlie Cobb|
|Head coach||Trent Miles
3rd year, 6–29 (.171)
|Home stadium||Georgia Dome|
|Conference||Sun Belt Conference|
|All-time record||16–52 (.235)|
Blue and White
|Fight song||Fight Panthers, Panther Pride|
The Georgia State Panthers football team is the college football program for Georgia State University in Atlanta. The Panthers football team was founded in 2010 and currently compete at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team competes in the Sun Belt Conference.
- 1 History
- 2 Year-by-year results
- 3 All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams
- 4 Head coaches
- 5 NFL Players
- 6 Facilities
- 7 Future non-conference opponents
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Pre-football feasibility study
In November 2006, a study commissioned by Georgia State was completed and submitted back to the school. It found Georgia State to be in a good position to begin a competitive football team, and based its remarks on the location and resources of the university. It estimated that total annual expenses by 2012 would be $3.1 million.
On November 1, 2007, the university began discussing the possibility of adding football. It found that total costs would cost between $6.2 million and $33.8 million depending on several different factors, including whether a stadium would be built or a preexisting stadium would be used.
Launch of football at Georgia State
On April 17, 2008, Georgia State launched its football program. On June 12, 2008, former Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Kentucky head coach Bill Curry was named as the Georgia State head coach, working on a 5-year contract. This was followed by the hiring of John Bond as offensive coordinator, John Thompson as defensive coordinator, and George Pugh as assistant head coach, as well as Chris Ward and Anthony Midget.
On November 20, 2008, ground was broken for a downtown practice facility at 188 Martin Luther King Drive. The facility would eventually be expanded to include a 100-yard artificial turf field and a 50-yard natural turf field. The existing buildings were converted into facilities and offices for the football team.
On January 4, 2009, Mark Hogan, son of former Georgia Tech player Mark Hogan, Sr., enrolled to play as wide receiver on scholarship, making him the first football player to receive a scholarship from Georgia State. The following month, the program signed its first recruiting class of 27 players, including the three-star running back Parris Lee.
On February 25, 2009, Georgia State named Cheryl Levick as athletic director. Levick left leaving Maryland, where she had served as the school's executive senior athletic director. By June 11, the CAA announced that they Georgia State was joining the conference and would officially begin CAA play during the 2012 season.
The first seasons
Georgia State's second recruiting class was signed on February 3, 2010. The team would go on to hold spring practice beginning on March 23, and would begin working out at the new practice facility by March 27.
On September 2, Georgia State played its first football game and home opener against the Shorter Hawks, winning the game 41-7. The first touchdown was recorded by Parris Lee. A crowd of 30,237 was present at the Georgia Dome including then Georgia governor Sonny Perdue, former mayor Andrew Young, amongst other dignitaries. Later during the last game of the season on November 18, Georgia State would play FBS defending national champion and number 10 ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, losing 63-7. The single touchdown was earned during a kick return by Albert Wilson. Georgia State would finish its inaugural year with a 6-5 record.
During its second year of play, the Panthers would record a 3-8 record. The season would be marked by a constant shuffle of quarterbacks after the 2009 starter Drew Little was suspended for the first four games and the second string quarterback Kelton Hill was arrested prior to the season opener, leaving the punter, Bo Schlecter as starting quarterback.
The 2012 season marked the last with Bill Curry as head coach as he had stated that he would retire after the end of the season. Throughout the season, the Panthers were plagued with inconsistencies on both the offense and defense, made worse by injuries on either side and inexperienced quarterbacks. Curry would end his final season (and only year in the CAA) with a 1-10 record. The Panthers were not eligible for a post season berth (through neither the conference's automatic bid nor an at large bid) due to their reclassifying status as the team prepared to move up to FBS football in the Sun Belt Conference. This reclassifying status did allow for the Panthers to use more scholarships than the allowed 63 scholarships at the FCS level. On opening day Matt Hubbard surpassed the NCAA record for highest punting average in a single game, but it would end up not counting in the record books due to the reclassification.
Move to FBS
Georgia State officially announced that it would join the Sun Belt Conference on April 9, 2012, during a press conference at the Georgia Dome. The school began full membership on July 1, 2013. Georgia State was a founding member of the Sun Belt Conference in 1976. The Sun Belt participates in Division I FBS, as opposed to FCS. The Panthers were not eligible for postseason play until the 2014 season.
After Coach Bill Curry announced his retirement in August, the administration hired Parker Executive Search to help find potential candidates. On November 30, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the university had hired Trent Miles, head coach of Indiana State University.
With Trent Miles' arrival as new head coach came the Panthers first complete change in uniform since the programs inception. The original uniform consisted solely of 2 different outfits; a blue home jersey with Panthers written across the chest above the player number and two white stripes on each arm; and a white away jersey with similar stylings, but with Georgia State written across the chest. Only a single helmet existed, blue and with the secondary GSU emblem on it. Both uniforms used the same white pants with panther heads on them. Initially, an anthracite colored helmet with "Panthers" written in stylized script across the sides was unveiled in April 2013, drawing criticism from fans due to its use of a none school-color and lack of GSU emblem. However, after a two day long social media event that had fans unravelling parts of a "puzzle," Miles' altered uniforms were unveiled, showing up to 12 possible variations. Two different jerseys were shown, a blue home jersey with white numbers and lettering and a white away jersey with blue numbers and lettering. Both uniforms included numbering on the sleeves and player names on the back. The uniforms also included three sets of pants, one pair copying the original whites, a blue pair, and an anthracite pair. Along with these changes, it was announced that the original blue helmet with the GSU insignia on it would still be available as a part of the uniform and would be worn at homecoming. Before each game, the seniors and captains will decide which combination will be worn that week. The uniforms drew praise from Atlanta area fashion professionals, who cited it as "a modern take on a classic style."
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2012-13 college football season
|NCAA Division I champions||NCAA Division I FCS champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||Bowl Eligible||Undefeated Season|
|Year||NCAA Division||Conference||Conference Division||Overall||Conference||Coach||Final Ranking|
|2010||FCS||FCS Independent||N/A||11||6||5||0||.545||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Curry||-||-|
|2011||FCS||FCS Independent||N/A||11||3||8||0||.273||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Curry||-||-|
|2013||FBS||Sun Belt||N/A||12||0||12||0||.000||7||0||7||0||.000||8th||Trent Miles||-||-|
|2014||FBS||Sun Belt||N/A||12||1||11||0||.083||8||0||8||0||.000||11th||Trent Miles||-||-|
|2015||FBS||Sun Belt||N/A||11||5||6||0||.455||7||4||3||0||.571||n/a||Trent Miles||-||-|
All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams
Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:
Head football coaches at Georgia State have included:
Georgia State's first head coach Bill Curry was the initial architect for the program. His tenure ended with a record of 10-23. Initially hired by the former athletics director Mary McElroy, after her termination by previous Georgia State president Carl Patton, Curry was named interim athletic director while the school searched for a new AD. During his tenure as head coach, Curry saw the program grow from an idea into a fully fledged division 1 - FCS team. He also was present for the beginning of the transition from the football championship subdivision (FCS) to the football bowl subdivision (FBS) as the school changed athletics conferences from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Sun Belt Conference. While Georgia State built the foundations for its football program with him at its helm, including new practice facilities and offices, Curry's teams experienced little success on the field. After a 6-5 record in its first season, the Panthers followed with a 3-8 record in its second season, and finally closing with a 1-10 record in his final year. However, the university honored its founding head coach by naming the locker rooms at the new football practice facility after Curry.
The Georgia State Panthers play home games in the Georgia Dome, located just north of the Georgia State main campus in Downtown Atlanta. It is the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world and has a football capacity of 71,228. The regular capacity for GSU football games is 28,155 (the capacity of the lower bowl), however the middle and upper bowls will be filled as overflow when necessary as has occurred twice  since the programs inception. The dome hosted the gymnastic and basketball events during the 1996 Olympic Games. The dome is outfitted with FieldTurf.
Between April and May 2014, Georgia State University officials expressed an interest in acquiring Turner Field and renovating it into a 30,000 seat open-air stadium for the football program. New development, including retail, residential and student housing, would also be put into use on the Turner Field site. Additionally, the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium site would be used as a new baseball field, incorporating the outfield wall where Hank Aaron hit his record-breaking 715th home run. While Mayor Reed showed preference towards Georgia State's plan, at least three offers from other developers were up for consideration. On August 13, 2015, the Braves officially gave notice to the city of Atlanta and Fulton County that the team will not exercise the option to extend their lease at Turner Field and will vacate the stadium by December 31, 2016, allowing the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority to move forward with any redevelopment plans.
Groundbreaking of a new on-campus practice facility occurred on November 20, 2008, approximately 2 years before the Panthers would play their first official game. The building (located at 188 Martin Luther King Drive, Atlanta, GA) was originally used as a warehouse for the Confederate Army during the civil war. The first practice was held on March 29, 2010. The facility is composed of a 120-yard artificial-turf field, a 60-yard natural-turf field, and a 22,00-square-foot practice building. The building contains a 1,507 square-foot meeting room, a 450 square-foot conference room, a 2,544 square foot locker room (named for the Panthers first football coach, Bill Curry) a 1,570 square-foot equipment room, a 2,144 square foot training room, and a 365 square foot hydro therapy room.
Future non-conference opponents
As of Sept 2015 the Panthers' future non-conference opponents include:
|vs Ball State||at Charlotte||vs Kennesaw State||at Tennessee||at Alabama||vs Army||at Army||at Charlotte|
|at Air Force||at Penn State||at NC State||at Charlotte||vs Charlotte||vs Charlotte|
|at Wisconsin||vs Memphis||at Memphis||at Auburn|
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