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Georgia State Panthers football

Georgia State Panthers football
40px2015 Georgia State Panthers football team
First season 2010
Athletic director Charlie Cobb
Head coach Trent Miles
3rd year, 1–23 (.042)
Home stadium Georgia Dome
Stadium capacity 28,155[1]
Stadium surface FieldTurf
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Conference Sun Belt Conference
All-time record 11–46 (.193)

Blue and White

Fight song Fight Panthers, Panther Pride
Mascot Pounce
Rivals South Alabama
Georgia Southern

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. 2014 will be the first season in which Georgia State will be eligible to participate for the FBS post-season.


File:Georgia State at the Georgia Dome.jpg
The crowd of 30,237 during the inaugural game against the Shorter University Hawks

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 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]

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.[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]

The first seasons

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

For the beginning of the 2013 season, the Panthers were ranked as the worst FBS team in the country, and began their season with losses to 2 FCS teams from the Southern Conference.[18]

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.[19] The Sun Belt participates in Division I FBS, as opposed to FCS. The Panthers were not eligible for postseason play until the 2014 season.[20]

After Coach Bill Curry announced his retirement in August,[21] the administration hired Parker Executive Search to help find potential candidates.[22] On November 30, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the university had hired Trent Miles, head coach of Indiana State University.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] Before each game, the seniors and captains will decide which combination will be worn that week.[27] The uniforms drew praise from Atlanta area fashion professionals, who cited it as "a modern take on a classic style."[28]

Year-by-year results

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
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 - -
Totals 55 11 46 0 .192 23 1 22 0 .043

All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams

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

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Appalachian State 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
Arkansas State 0 2 0 .000 Lost 2 2013 2014
Georgia Southern 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
Idaho 0 0 0 - - -
Louisiana–Lafayette 0 2 0 .000 Lost 2 2013 2014
Louisiana–Monroe 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2013 2013
New Mexico State 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
South Alabama 1 3 0 .250 Lost 2 2010 2014
Texas State 0 2 0 .000 Lost 2 2013 2014
Troy 0 2 0 .000 Lost 2 2013 2014
Totals 1 15 0 .063

Head coaches

Head football coaches at Georgia State have included:

Bill Curry

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.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31]

Trent Miles

On November 30, 2012, former Indiana State head coach Trent Miles was announced as the new Georgia State head coach.[32][33]



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.[34] The regular capacity for GSU football games is 28,155 (the capacity of the lower bowl),[1] however the middle and upper bowls will be filled as overflow when necessary[35] as has occurred twice [36][37] since the programs inception. The dome hosted the gymnastic and basketball events during the 1996 Olympic Games. The dome is outfitted with FieldTurf.[1]

Practice facility

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.[38][39] 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.[38] The first practice was held on March 29, 2010.[38] 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.[40] The building contains a 1,507 square-foot meeting room, a 450 square-foot conference room, a 2,544 square foot locker room (name after the Panthers first football coach, Bill Curry)[41] a 1,570 square-foot equipment room, a 2,144 square foot training room, and a 365 square foot hydro therapy room.[42]

Future non-conference opponents

As of May 2015 the Panthers' non-conference opponents include:[43]

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
vs Charlotte vs Ball State at Charlotte vs Kennesaw State at Tennessee at Alabama vs Charlotte vs Charlotte at Charlotte
at Oregon at Air Force at Penn State at NC State at Charlotte at Auburn
vs Liberty at Wisconsin vs Memphis at Memphis
at Ball State vs Tennessee–Martin


  1. ^ a b c "Georgia Dome". Georgia State University Athletics. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Charlie. "Dan Reeves Hired as Football Consultant". Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
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  6. ^ "Football Groundbreaking". Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "#23 Mark Hogan". Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
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  16. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Wrapping up Georgia State’s football season and looking ahead to 2013". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  17. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Curry increases scholarships; Hill in the wildcat?". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Georgia State to join Sun Belt Conference in 2013" (Press release). Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  20. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Georgia State ready for bright future in the Sun Belt". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  21. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Retiring Bill Curry: "I want to finish this contract and finish it well"". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Levick gives details of Georgia State’s coaching search". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  23. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Louisiana Tech outraces Georgia State; Trent Miles hired to coach football". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "Georgia State FB Unveils New Uniforms". Lost Lettermen. Lost Lettermen. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  25. ^ Roberson, Doug (8 July 2013). "GSU will unveil uniforms soon". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  26. ^ Roberson, Doug (12 July 2013). "Georgia State unveils new uniforms". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "GSU Football Uniforms Unveiled Today". Georgia State University. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  28. ^ Roberson, Doug (12 July 2013). "Local fashionistas rate new GSU uniforms". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
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  32. ^ Gleason, Mary. "GSU names Trent Miles as new head coach". CBS Atlanta. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  33. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Georgia State hires Trent Miles as its football coach". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
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  36. ^ "Georgia State Pounds Shorter". CVN Sports. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "Clark Atlanta/Georgia State Box Score". ESPN. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
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  39. ^ Bradley, Mark (1 September 2010). "A boffo opening night for Georgia State football and its fans". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  40. ^ Bednarowski, John (13 April 2013). "Georgia State could be path for KSU to eye". The Marietta Dailly Journal. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  41. ^ Roberson, Doug (3 November 2012). "GSU naming locker room arter Curry". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  42. ^ "Georgia State Athletics Football Training Facility Fact Sheet" (PDF). Georgia State University. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  43. ^ "Georgia State Panthers Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2015-05-27. 

External links