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

KR

April 29th, 2010
1:28 pm

I have to side with Tide Rising on this. (Stop the Presses! An Auburn guy agrees with an Alabama guy!…)

The “FIRE RON ZOOK” website was the modern day equivalent of a brick through the window, but with a lot more impact.

Jake

April 29th, 2010
1:36 pm

Bama vs Ga. State,, Let me get this right,, National Champion plays GA.State. do Bama fans go to these games? Practice,, We are talking about practice,, Practice?

5IML

April 29th, 2010
1:51 pm

Jake,

I’m a BAMA fan, and I’m going to the game. As a matter of fact, I’m taking the kids, too. As a family we attend BAMA’s patsy game every year. My kids are young so I’m constantly having to escort them to the restroom and concession stand. During a big game, I might miss some pivotal action.

Every team plays these types of games. When the NCAA extended the regular season to twelve games, they neglected to add another bye week. So, schools schedule patsies in lieu of a second bye week. I too was shocked when the game was announced but obviously Curry still has friends in Tuscaloosa. GSU will reportedly get somewhere around $450K for their troubles.

Sharissa Monet

April 29th, 2010
1:53 pm

Oh, and Jake – Bama fans do go to these games – we had over 91,000 at the final spring practice scrimmage this year, and would have had more except the end zone which is undergoing construction to add even more seats, was mostly off-limits. You can’t just walk up to the window at Bama on game day and buy a ticket. The only way to get tickets through the system at this point is to hope somebody dies, and that just ain’t good karma.

Sharissa Monet

April 29th, 2010
1:59 pm

Don’t go feelin sorry for Curry about that brick thing. I worked in Athletic Academics before, during and after him, and from what was really going on with him behind the scenes, it could have been a lot worse if the Bama nation knew. Ask the players – but they mostly are gentlemen who won’t say anything. Talk about your whited sepulchre!!! Most Bama fans, and none of the rest of ya, don’t know what kind of crap was going on while the public halo hovered over a press-conference idol with feet of clay. I wish him the best at GSU. I hope they have a great season, and I hope they play Bama hard. They surely will be well compensated to show up, but they will also be on a national stage, so I hope they give us a fantastic game.

Bernie

April 29th, 2010
2:02 pm

A Class man and coach whom I met years ago.Just the right coach to start a program from scratch,can’t think of a better person.Good Luck to him and the rest of the GSU Staff.The brick was not called for either.From Gator Nation all the best Coach.

What?!

April 29th, 2010
2:08 pm

So a web site is just as bad as a brick through the window?! Wow! People trash Tony on this site every day, and often there’s someone who says he should be fired. Think he worries about that? Now, if Tony got a brick through his window, I wonder what he’d do. Something tells me the police would be involved.

Stop trying to rationalize!

Typical Gator Fan

April 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

Do not question me or my logic. I am above reproach. A website with thousands of hits is nothing.

Bob H.

April 29th, 2010
2:20 pm

Brick through the window never happened. It’s a myth perpetuated by Curry to help justify his jump to Kentucky. Curry couldn’t deal with the constant scrutiny that comes with being the head coach at a program like Bama, especially after his Iron Bowl losses (he never beat Auburn).

Die In The Wool Panther Blue

April 29th, 2010
2:23 pm

I’ll have a couple of what Bob H. is drinking.

Have met Curry twice. What you’re saying is inconceivable. If you ever get a chance to meet him you will walk away saying, is this guy for REAL or is he just from 1946? LOL!

He IS the real deal.

Anonymous

April 29th, 2010
2:23 pm

Bob H. is this blog’s Ahmadinejad.

And the Holocaust never happened either!

Gatorzone

April 29th, 2010
2:25 pm

Date: October 5, 1989 Publication: The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution Page Number: C/6 Word Count: 1775

Update: Shortly after last year’s 22-21 homecoming loss to Ole Miss, someone threw a brick through coach Bill Curry’s window. “That will be a motivation,”tight end Lamonde Russell said. . . . Quarterback Gary Hollingsworth, pressed into service after Jeff Dunn suffered a knee injury against Kentucky, will start again after throwing two touchdown passes against Vanderbilt.

Next game: Saturday vs. Mississippi, (Jackson), 2:30

Gatorzone

April 29th, 2010
2:37 pm

yes, lets all pretend it did not happen. Revisionist like you are probably part of the “DRILL BABY DRILL” crowd.

Where are they now that we are on the verge of the largest environmental disaster since Valdez?

Gatorzone

April 29th, 2010
2:40 pm

Oh, and now those same Redstates are asking for the Government to help clean this disaster up.

We need less government! Yeah

dawg85

April 29th, 2010
2:42 pm

I don’t blame Bama for playing them. With the twelve game schedule and the SEC tough enough already you need some weak sisters to be able to work on things, get guys some rest and a chance to get patched up and, and give the subs a chance to play. Damon Evans needs to take a lesson. Now as far as GSU is concerned … ouch. Surely they could have found an easier payday.

collegeballfan

April 29th, 2010
2:54 pm

“…he fired Steve Spurrier.”

The correct story is that Curry was considering Spurrier for the job of Off Coor and Spurrier got tired of the wait and resigned. There was a long story in the AJC.

Typical Bama Fan

April 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

Don’t question me. Bear Bryant and Nick Saban are above reproach. As for everyone else, what’s wrong with a brick through a window here and there, just to keep them on their toes?

The Window

April 29th, 2010
3:13 pm

FYI that brick hurt like hell! I prefer website images being bounced off of me, those kind of tickle.

Typical Gator Fan

April 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

I’m above reproach and a flaming liberal. I’m the perfect storm.

gdawginkalamazoo

April 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

Hey Tony do you think he might be enjoying the process this time around because there are no expectations?

Anonymous

April 29th, 2010
3:25 pm

“Drill, Baby, Drill!” has now become:

“Burn, Baby, Burn!”

5IML

April 29th, 2010
3:37 pm

Although its not something we usually do, BAMA is considering moving the GSU game to Thursday. That would give us more time to prepare for the Iron Bowl which is played on Friday. As SEC opponents tend to do, Auburn scheduled their bye week prior to the BAMA game.

gdawginkalamazoo

April 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

51ML, I thought that the ACC owned Thursday Night football. Might be tough to clear it with them.

5IML

April 29th, 2010
3:48 pm

gdawg,

If I’m not mistaken, South Carolina and Auburn play the majority of their games on Thursday nights. lol

gdawginkalamazoo

April 29th, 2010
3:58 pm

51ML, They are just getting ready for the upcoming ACC expansion.

5IML

April 29th, 2010
4:18 pm

I don’t have a problem with Auburn joining the ACC. I’m sure there’s a two-year technical college that can fill the void. Outside of swimming, Auburn contributes nothing to the conference anyway.

Drill Baby Drill

April 29th, 2010
6:14 pm

We are part of the evil crowd us drill baby drill folks.

Gatorzone has it right. Lets ignore the basic economic law of supply and demand and pricing based on this law. Lets just banish oil and walk to work since there will then be no oil to run our cars. Lets ban drilling in the sea worldwide because of this one accident. Gas will go to $10 a gallon but that’s ok with gatorzone. We’ll just all ride bikes to work,especially all you out of town people who drive 30 miles to work in Atlanta. Its beautiful outside so enjoy the walk.

Reptiles Rule

April 29th, 2010
8:53 pm

Drill Baby, Drill! sadly has become Spill Baby, Spill! That Drill Baby Drill stuff was propegated by ignorance or more likely by people with the Oil industry “greasing” their pockets. And it’s an old technology in regards to future sources of energy anyway. As outdated as going out to the car and hand cranking it. Crank Baby, Crank!

George P

April 29th, 2010
9:33 pm

SimpleDawg, is you think Curry “been successful everywhere he’s been”, then I wish Georgia that kind of success in the years to come.

If by “successful” you mean “successful in keeping his job after a one-win season”, then, yes, he did that, twice at Tech and once at Kentucky.

It’s possible that Bill Lewis was a worse coach than Curry, but we’ll never know, because Lewis was fired in the middle of his one win season and didn’t have the opportunity to improve his record. It’s easy enough to check the numbers, though, and see that every other coach Tech has had has been more successful that Curry was. Every single one.

Vince doooley

April 29th, 2010
10:49 pm

We beat curry back in the 80s!!

51-7!

We always run this state.

Nersd!!

#2 BAMA FAN

April 30th, 2010
6:01 am

Bama made a big mistake in hiring Curry. He lost to the cow college every time and was a GT guy!!
Curry is probably a nice man and gentleman, but no way ever sure have been hired for the Bama job. Bobby Bowden wanted the job a Bama but instead some how the school board voted for Curry!!
RTR

Paddy

April 30th, 2010
7:12 am

Sam and Jake….now you know why Alabama is playing GSU. don’t be so timid. The U. is trying to help one of their own(Curry). A highly respected member of the college coaching profession. And they can do that and still give GSU a check for 425,000 dollars. Curry asked for the game and he got it. Congrats to both schools.

Charlie Bama

April 30th, 2010
8:03 am

Best of luck to Ga State, Bill Curry, and the new recruits who will carry the torch for them this year! It will be a rocky road, but this state will be a better ’sports place’ thanks to them.

Eric

April 30th, 2010
8:49 am

Good luck to Coach Curry. I hope he doesn’t get another brick thown at him when he returns to that west Alabama cess pool.

Gville dawg

April 30th, 2010
9:40 am

Every father should want his son to play for Bill Curry, even us Dawg fans

mike Calvo

April 30th, 2010
8:24 pm

BILL is loser. What is it that did anywhere.n He should be happy being a talking head.They never lose.

Reggie

April 30th, 2010
8:59 pm

Is Tim Couch really going to be running the option?

M. Goodwin

May 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

Typical Gator Fan-your TOO stupid to be questioned, and to say (or think) your above anything is pathtic

Hairy Dawg

May 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

Bama needs to rehire Curry cause Dawgs beat him like Techmite he is. Dawgs should of replaced window with bullet proofing to keep Curry in Bama. Then Dawgs would be champs because Curry stinks. Dawgs hire best for champs while Bama hires Curry for chumps.

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Vick=Dog killing thug

May 4th, 2010
9:21 am

Have to chuckle at big bad Alabama scheduling GSU in their 1st year. I wonder if Saban will run the score up and use it as a recruiting tool?

coach Bill C

May 7th, 2010
2:27 pm

!@#$% all bamma fans, your all BRICKS!!!

bitter bamma fan

May 7th, 2010
2:30 pm

bricks come natural to ussa here in tide country. ya stop haten. N.C. baby, “o” 1+1=3

Curry's Window

May 7th, 2010
3:04 pm

Brick, baby, brick!