This time Bill Curry is “enjoying the process”

 Bill Curry is often asked why, at a time of life when most men can’t wait to ease into the mental couch of retirement, he STILL wants to be a football coach. And not just a coach of any team, but to start a college football program from scratch—to build at a place like Georgia State where nothing stood before he arrived.

Curry answered that question in the most personal and compelling way when he spoke to the Northside Athletes Foundation  Wednesday night at the Marist School. The NAF (www.northsideathletes.com) was founded in 1990 with a core mission of using sports as an important tool to develop the character of young people.

It is a subject about which Curry is most familiar. He’s lived it. He’s coached it. He still feels very passionate about it. That is why, when other men are playing checkers or going fishing with their grandchildren, Curry is running around a hot practice field frantically trying to get Georgia State ready to play its first-ever football game against Shorter on Sept. 2 at the Georgia Dome.

He looked around the arena at Marist and asked all of his former players and current players to stand. More than a dozen men at various stages in life rose to their feet and looked proudly at their coach.

“Some of these men I coached 30 years ago,” said Curry, who was the head coach at Georgia Tech (1980-86), Alabama (1987-89) and Kentucky (1990-96). “Some of these men I coached today.”

On Wednesday Curry met individually with 27 of his Georgia State football players. Football was discussed but most of the time was spent talking about academics and life. On those fronts some of managing better than others. Curry got a summer job as a camp counselor when he was 15 years old and at that moment he knew he would spend his life working with and influencing the lives of young people.  He still approaches that aspect of the job with the zeal of a missionary.

“This time around I think I’ve learned something important,” said Curry, who worked as a college football analyst for ESPN for 10 years before taking the job at Georgia State. “Before there were times when I was fixated on the next game and trying to get the next win. This time I am really enjoying the process.”

Spring practice is over. Final exams are coming. Then there is the nervous summer where every coach hopes there are no issues or problems that will negatively impact the team. Georgia State’s first football team will reassemble in August and have 29 more practices. Then it will be show time. There are seven home games at the Georgia Dome on a maiden schedule that concludes with a trip to (gulp!) Alabama, the defending national champion.

Curry worked there 20 years ago and led the Crimson Tide to the No. 2 national ranking in 1989. He was named the SEC Coach of the Year. The year before, however, a brick was thrown through his office window after a Homecoming loss to Ole Miss. It will be an interesting return to Tuscaloosa for Curry.

But Nov. 20 is a lifetime away. May draws near and it will be time to start looking to the next recruiting class willing to buy into Curry’s dream. There are speeches to make, money (lots of it) that must be raised and alumni to be inspired and excited about what Georgia State could become. It is the life of a coach and Bill Curry, like all great leaders, is convinced that he still has something to give and one more team to build.

Curry played for Bobby Dodd, Vince Lombardi, and Don Shula. As a center, he snapped the ball to Billy Lothridge, Bart Starr, and John Unitas. He has coached at Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Kentucky. He’s had an incredible journey. Georgia State has become the next leg of that journey and Bill Curry has decided that he is going to enjoy every minute of it.

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94 comments Add your comment

P-Man

April 29th, 2010
9:07 am

I truly wish Bill Curry and the rest of the Georgia State team the very best!

GATA Eagles!

April 29th, 2010
9:08 am

A great man Bill Curry is, but he is no Erk Russell. Good luck State, you’re gonna need it!

SimpleDawg

April 29th, 2010
9:13 am

GSU was very fortunate to attract a man like Bill Curry to lead the program. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been; he will be successful at GSU, also.

RomeDawg

April 29th, 2010
9:14 am

This is a HUGE job but Curry is the man for the job! Good luck State and Curry!

Sam

April 29th, 2010
9:21 am

Why in the world is Alabama playing Georgia State?

Gatorzone

April 29th, 2010
9:29 am

Alabama dumped all over this fine coach. If he would not have built the program up, they would not have won their National championship in 1992.

Brick through the window… Stay classy Alabama!!!

Bamazone

April 29th, 2010
9:34 am

Florida dumped all over Coach Zook. If he would not have built the program back up with recruits, they would not have won their National championship in 2006.

Work em, Silly Gators…Stay classy Florida!!!

Dog Island Gator

April 29th, 2010
9:37 am

A class act. The best to Bill Curry and Georgia State.

The rest of us

April 29th, 2010
9:37 am

Sam

April 29th, 2010
9:21 am
Why in the world is Alabama playing Georgia State?

There is nothing wrong with giving your former coach a payday to come home and get beat.

Miles

April 29th, 2010
9:43 am

How old is Curry?

Gatorzone

April 29th, 2010
9:48 am

From the minute Curry was hired, he was reviled. Also, no bricks were thrown through Zook’s window at home. He lost dumb games, but yes he did recruit some of the players who won it all in 06 and deserves credit. Again, though, no bricks through the windows of his home…

Gatorzone

April 29th, 2010
9:50 am

Oh, and also I do not recall Zooker ever getting UF to number 2 in the country. Yeah he was fired, but so are lots of coaches. Curry is a class act that was treated like SH!T by Bama from the moment he was named as the head coach!

17 of 20

April 29th, 2010
9:55 am

When Pepper Rodgers was fired by Georgia Tech and Bill Curry took over he fired Steve Spurrier. Steve let his Florida teams score as many points as they could against Bill and I say Bill got what he deserved.

Jake

April 29th, 2010
9:59 am

Bill has taken care of himself,, he looks great. He still has the fire in his belly. He has the old school system in him and he makes sure his players understand who’s the boss. I still recall when he did the face mask on the kid on the side lines to gain his attention. Not sure he can do this today….

SEC powerouse not

April 29th, 2010
10:00 am

do not care for Bill Curry but Alabama throwing a brick in his window takes the prize for the school with the most inbred, backwoods, sister marrying, illiterate, country bumpkin morons in the country……

5IML

April 29th, 2010
10:03 am

The hillbilly who thought he was his doing us a favor by throwing the brick is an idiot. But BAMA should never have hired Curry.

Bad Info

April 29th, 2010
10:05 am

17 of 20, even Spurrier says that story was fake. Spurrier was let go by the Tech Administration right before Curry was hired.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 29th, 2010
10:13 am

The best coach Alabama ever had.

Gen Neyland

April 29th, 2010
10:22 am

I wonder where that brick is today..? We come here today to praise Bill Curry, not to bury him. Bill Curry gathered my respect for what I know of the guy from his pro career right on through today. Good luck to CBC and GSU. Gotta wonder though, who will be GSU’s first upset win and what first major will eventually fall to GSU..? Will I be young enough to even care..?

Typical Gator Fan

April 29th, 2010
10:59 am

Do not question me or my logic. I am above reproach.

Ron Mexico

April 29th, 2010
11:03 am

#1 worst matchup of 2010, Georgia State at Alabama. The BCS formula should add an extra point to the Tide’s score for scheduling that virtual bye week.

Anonymous

April 29th, 2010
11:08 am

Hey, 5IML.

“The hillbilly who thought he was his doing us a favor by throwing the brick is an idiot. But BAMA should never have hired Curry.”

Just like DuBose, Franchione and Shula?!!!

POAD

April 29th, 2010
11:15 am

Ron M what do you call UGA playing 1-10 Idaho St?

5IML

April 29th, 2010
11:16 am

Anonymous,

On paper, Franchione was a good hire. Regarding DuBose and Shula, yes, BAMA should never have hired either.

Alabama Jack

April 29th, 2010
11:27 am

I had classes with Bill at Tech. One day the English prof opened class by announcing we had a celebrity in our midst. Bill had just been named an All-American, but had not said a word about it. One of the all time great guys.

BTW, did you know his name is actually William Alexander Curry as in William Alexander, Valedictorian of the class of 1912 and Tech’s third football coach..

Beelzebubba - Demon of the South

April 29th, 2010
11:28 am

Bill Curry, one of the nice guys. I met him several years ago and liked him right away. I wish him well at GSU and beyond.

BillS

April 29th, 2010
11:31 am

Actually, SEC Powerhouse not, Alabama isn’t the state with the greatest number of illiterate morons. That’s Texas, where they re-write history books to leave out the parts they don’t like or can’t remember.

TommyJack

April 29th, 2010
11:56 am

2 things:

1. BillS (above) That’s an astoundingly poor post.
2. Bama should be ashamed of scheduling GA ST.

PJ

April 29th, 2010
11:57 am

Bill Curry had a brick thrown threw his office window!?!?

Why haven’t I heard about this? Why didn’t he ever mention it when he was working for ESPN?

What?!

April 29th, 2010
11:59 am

Ron Zook never got a brick through his window. Shoot, I can’t ever remember any fans other than Ala-dang-bama ever going that far.

The problem Bama fans had with Curry was that he was just too nice. Sort of like how a lot of Dawg fans feel about Richt right now.

Delbert D.

April 29th, 2010
12:01 pm

BillS – I wouldn’t characterize Texas people as illiterate, but being literate and still selecting history with an agenda probably is worse.

Pi Kappa Phi

April 29th, 2010
12:05 pm

Ron Zook didn’t throw any bricks through our windows but he sure did scare us.

Delbert D.

April 29th, 2010
12:06 pm

“selecting history with an agenda probably is worse”

That criticism is aimed at the Texas School Board, not the citizens of Texas.

David

April 29th, 2010
12:06 pm

Honky Talkin'

April 29th, 2010
12:07 pm

To PJ: it was in the eighties, that’s why.

The rest of us

April 29th, 2010
12:07 pm

Are you from Texas David?

Yep

April 29th, 2010
12:08 pm

You go, David!!

PJ

April 29th, 2010
12:11 pm

To Honky Talkin’: The sarchasm between us is vast.

Panthers Rule

April 29th, 2010
12:18 pm

The Panthers may pull the upset on Alabama with a few breaks and some luck!

DP

April 29th, 2010
12:26 pm

Bill Curry seems to be a nice man, but enough with the historical revisionism on his ability as a head coach:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1008846/index.htm

“When Bill Curry makes his less-than-triumphant return to Tuscaloosa this week, visiting for the first time since he jilted Alabama in 1990 to take the coaching job at Kentucky, he’ll be the object of considerable scorn. And that will be just from fans of the Wildcats, who have watched him do what is arguably the worst coaching job in the history of SEC football.”

SOOHSO

April 29th, 2010
12:39 pm

The rest of us

April 29th, 2010
12:44 pm

SOOHSO

April 29th, 2010
12:39 pm
Forty-Oneth

That’s AWESOME!. I just pictured you asking for directions to Forty-Oneth Street. LQTM,

CrimsonInSuwanee

April 29th, 2010
12:45 pm

The brick incident is still a mystery. However, we know for sure it wasn’t either of his quarterbacks, Jeff Dunn or Vince Sutton, as they were unable to complete a pass against Ole Miss.

YELLOW HAMMER

April 29th, 2010
12:52 pm

this story has been spun for 20 years,it wasn’t a brick through the office window ,it was a paper weight out of the office window by a p-o’ed player…….

YELLOW HAMMER

April 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

Enter your comments here

markmjtx

April 29th, 2010
1:00 pm

Tony, great story. While he may not be a winning coach, Bill Curry is a winner. People need to read his book, ‘Ten Men You Meet In The Huddle’.

Die In The Wool Panther Blue

April 29th, 2010
1:01 pm

“11/20/10-Shock The World-Beat Alabama!”

Tide Rising

April 29th, 2010
1:03 pm

SEC Powerhouse not,

If you judge an entire fan base by the act of one single idiot throwing a brick through the window then you are a person completely lacking in judgement and perspective.

Gatorzone,

Curry got the brick/window treatment after 3 years of losing to AU and it was one fan.

But at UF the infamous “FIRE RON ZOOK” website was put up literally the day he was hired and quite a few hits and support right off the back. The actions of 1 idiot after 3 years of losing to your main rival or the actions of numerous people supporting a fire the coach website the first day he is hired. Which is worst? Not picking on Florida. Just sayin….

Typical Gator Fan

April 29th, 2010
1:14 pm

Do not question me or my logic. I am still above reproach.

Georgia STATE University (the real GSU)

April 29th, 2010
1:26 pm

If Georgia Southern can win it all fron scratch, so can the real GSU !

………………..GO………PANTHERS !