Georgia State Panthers football

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Georgia State Panthers football
2017 Georgia State Panthers football team
Georgia State Athletics wordmark.svg
First season 2010
Athletic director Charlie Cobb
Head coach Shawn Elliott
1st season, 0–0 (–)
Stadium Georgia State Stadium
(Capacity: 23,000)
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Conference Sun Belt Conference
All-time record 17–53 (.243)
Bowl record 0–1 (.000)
Rivalries Georgia Southern Eagles
South Alabama Jaguars
Colors Blue and White[1]
Fight song Fight Panthers, Panther Pride
Mascot Pounce

The Georgia State Panthers football team is the college football program for Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. The Panthers football team was founded in 2010 and currently competes at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team is a member of the Sun Belt Conference.


The crowd of 30,237 during the inaugural game against the Shorter University Hawks

Bill Curry era (2010–2012)[edit]

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 April 15, 2007, former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Reeves was hired by Georgia State as a consultant.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7] The following month, the program signed its first recruiting class of 27 players, including the three-star running back Parris Lee.[8]

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.[9] By June 11, the CAA announced that they Georgia State was joining the conference and would officially begin CAA play during the 2012 season.[10]

The Panthers wouldn't play football until the 2010 season, and so the 2009 season was spent practicing at an NFL facility in downtown Atlanta. 71 players reported on August 14.[11]

Athletic director Cheryl Levick trades helmets with Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson at the Georgia Dome on April 9, 2012

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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.

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.[18] The Sun Belt participates in Division I FBS, as opposed to FCS. The Panthers were not eligible for postseason play until the 2014 season.[19]

Trent Miles era (2013–2016)[edit]

After Coach Bill Curry announced his retirement in August,[20] the administration hired Parker Executive Search to help find potential candidates.[21] On November 30, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the university had hired Trent Miles, head coach of Indiana State University.[22]

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.[23] 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 non-school color and lack of GSU emblem.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] Before each game, the seniors and captains will decide which combination will be worn that week.[26] The uniforms drew praise from Atlanta area fashion professionals, who cited it as "a modern take on a classic style."[27]

Miles was fired as head coach in November 2016.[28]

Shawn Elliott era (2017-present)[edit]

On December 8, 2016, it was announced that Shawn Elliott accepted the head coaching position at Georgia State.[29]

Year-by-year results[edit]

Statistics correct as of the end of the 2015–16 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
Games Win Loss Tie Pct. Games Win Loss Tie Pct. Standing AP Coaches'
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
2012 FCS CAA N/A 11 1 10 0 .091 8 1 7 0 .125 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 13 6 7 0 .462 8 5 3 0 .625 4th Trent Miles
2016 FBS Sun Belt N/A 12 3 9 0 .333 8 2 6 0 .333 9th Trent Miles
Totals 82 20 62 0 .323 39 8 31 0 .194

Bowl games[edit]

Georgia State Panthers bowl games by year
Result Date Bowl Opponent PF PA Coach
L December 19, 2015 AutoNation Cure Bowl San Jose State 16 27 Trent Miles
Overall bowl record: 0–1

All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:

Opponent Won Lost Percentage Streak First Last
Appalachian State 0 3 .000 Lost 3 2014 2016
Arkansas State 0 4 .000 Lost 4 2013 2016
Coastal Carolina 0 0
Georgia Southern 2 1 .667 Won 2 2014 2016
Idaho 0 1 .000 Lost 1 2016 2016
Louisiana–Lafayette 0 3 .000 Lost 3 2013 2015
Louisiana–Monroe 0 2 .000 Lost 2 2013 2016
New Mexico State 1 1 .500 Won 1 2014 2015
South Alabama 2 4 .333 Lost 1 2010 2016
Texas State 2 2 .500 Won 2 2013 2016
Troy 1 3 .250 Lost 1 2013 2016
Totals 8 24 .250

Head coaches[edit]

Former head coach Trent Miles

Head football coaches at Georgia State have included:

Bill Curry[edit]

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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32]

Trent Miles[edit]

On November 30, 2012, former Indiana State head coach Trent Miles was announced as the new Georgia State head coach.[33][34] Miles had previously coached his alma mater Indiana State, taking a team that had won one game in its previous three years to being ranked #18 at the end of his final season as head coach there.[35] Miles took over a similar situation at Georgia State, which had won only four of its own games in the previous two seasons and was moving to the FBS after only three seasons of existing as a program.[36][37] During his first season at GSU, the Panthers won no games, and only one in his second season. However, during his third season as head coach, after accruing a record of 2–6, the Panthers would win their final four games, including a 34–7 defeat of in-state rivals Georgia Southern to a record of 6–6 and their first bowl game.[38] The Panthers would fall at the Cure Bowl to San Jose State, 16–27.[39] With a final record of 6–7, Miles would mirror almost exactly the turn-around that he had achieved at Indiana State, with both teams winning no games in their first season, one game in their second, and six games in their third. On November 12, 2016 after losing to conference foe ULM, it was reported that Trent Miles was fired, leaving with a career record of 9–38 at Georgia State.[40]

Shawn Elliott[edit]

On December 9th, 2016, Georgia State announced that it had hired former South Carolina co-offensive coordinator (2012-15), interim head coach (2015), and offensive line coach Shawn Elliott to lead the Panthers as head coach. [41] His first recruiting class, shortened due to his late arrival at Georgia State, would be the highest ranked in school history according to rankings by ESPN and 247Sports. [42] [43]

NFL Players[edit]

As of 4/29/2017



From the program's inception in 2010 until the 2016 season, the Georgia State Panthers played home games in the Georgia Dome, located just north of the Georgia State main campus in Downtown Atlanta. It was the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world and had a football capacity of 71,228.[44] The regular capacity for GSU football games was 28,155 (the capacity of the lower bowl),[45] however, the middle and upper bowls could be filled as overflow when necessary[46] as has occurred twice [47][48] since the program's inception. The Georgia Dome was closed in March 2017 and is scheduled to be demolished once its replacement, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, opens in August 2017.

After the Atlanta Braves announced their intent to leave Turner Field after the 2016 Major League Baseball season for SunTrust Park in Cobb County, 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.[49] 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.[50] On December 21, 2015, it was announced that Georgia State had been selected, along with the development company Cousins Properties, to buy and develop the Turner Field area.[51] On August 18, 2016, Georgia State and the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority reached a tentative purchase agreement for Turner Field, and the purchase and redevelopment plan was approved by the Board of Regents on November 9, 2016.[52][53] The university officially took ownership of the ballpark, since renamed Georgia State Stadium, on January 5, 2017, and stadium reconstruction began on February 27, 2017. The stadium conversion will occur over multiple phases, with the first phase scheduled to be completed in time for Georgia State's opener on August 31, 2017 against Tennessee State.[54]

Practice facility[edit]

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.[55][56] 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.[55] The first practice was held on March 29, 2010.[55] 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.[57] 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)[58] a 1,570 square-foot equipment room, a 2,144 square foot training room, and a 365 square foot hydro therapy room.[59]

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

As of Sept 2015 the Panthers' future non-conference opponents include:[60]

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
vs Tennessee State vs Kennesaw State vs Furman at Alabama vs Army vs North Carolina at Charlotte vs Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt
at Charlotte at NC State at Western Michigan vs Savannah State at North Carolina vs Charlotte
at Penn State at Memphis at Tennessee at Charlotte vs Charlotte at Army
vs Memphis vs Western Michigan at Auburn


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External links[edit]