His press conference will begin at 1 p.m. I’ll post quotes (some may be paraphrased) here as fast as I can, so please bookmark this link.
From athletic director Cheryl Levick:
For the past four years Georgia State University has been blessed by Bill Curry. I say university and not football team.
He has been the perfect coach to develop and lead Georgia State football.
It’s time to let [him] go.
The integrity, leadership, value and class, every day, all day in everything he does is what makes him so special and the cornerstone of this program.
Curry asked Levick not to call him a legend. Instead he’s a hero to his players, an ambassador for the university and a life-long friend.
There will be a time for thanks and reminiscing and happiness and sadness at the end of the season, but my reason for doing this now is so Georgia State football and be focused on this season.
Georgia State has become a part of the mythology of the Curry family. A big part of that is Carolyn Curry’s education. When I was lightly recruited coming out of high school, it was assumed I would go to Georgia. There was the geographical thing. Agnes Scott [where Carolyn went as an undergrad] was closer to Georgia Tech than Georgia. Carolyn earned her mastes and Ph.D. from Georgia State.
[Curry is now getting a bit teary]
Georgia State was always special to us when we were approached about this opportunity.
Curry is now telling a story about Sept. 13, 2001. Because people didn’t want to fly, Curry was given an assignment he could drive to from his home in North Carolina to Birmingham, Ala. He didn’t think games should be played. He got as far as Atalla, Ala. He stopped at a gas station and began talking football. He got the call to go home, the game was cancelled.
The guy said, “well in attalla, Ala. on Friday night, we play football. Football means a lot to us.”
Curry said he got back in his car and was stunned. He hadn’t felt the pull of football with that intensity.
He decided to figure out why football was such a big deal. He concluded that the reason football means so much is that for so many young men, it is the only rite of passage left.
It brings communities together.
When I was asked to bring this back to my hometown, to this wonderful institution….to get a chance to do anything here was special to Carolyn to me. This has been more than an athletic job. This has been an opportunity to add to the fabric of a culture and community.
We are going to throw our heart and soul into this season….
I won’t discuss who might be next or where I might be going because this is over… we are dedicated to this season.
I have a commitment to Cheryl and Dr. Becker to stay affiliated with the university and we will work through that.
I’m praying that what we get this year is the next step in performance on the field and in the classroom…
I’m glad to get this out of the way because people have been asking about it for a long time.
Curry again says that his five grandchildren are the one thing that’s highly rated. “I’m going to know those children. We are going to get to be there with them.
“My health is excellent.”
Curry again says working 80- to 90-hour weeks aren’t good.
Curry says he would like to be part of the solution to the quandary that intercollegiate athletics has gotten itself into.
Curry says there’s no chance he will re-consider his decision.
Somebody’s got to grab this thing and come in here and run with it.
I had to be sure and Carolyn and I spent many, many hours and we are sure.
For me to presume that I will be a part of the coaching search is a bad mistake people like me make all the time.
Would love to see the guys on staff stay on, but that’s problematic. If asked, he will participate. If not, he won’t be offended.
On building Georgia State:
It has been humbling, it has been embarrassing.
On the differences between his first job and the Georgia State job:
There’s a way to do it without working all those hours, but no one’s doing it.
I missed my children growing up and I won’t do it again. I don’t think people ought to do that.
The leash is much, much shorter. We were given a long time at Georgia Tech to get that thing back together. I hadn’t been a graduate I don’t know if I would have gotten that much time.
I think coaches can do the job in shorter hours, and should.
Levick, on the coaching search:
Following the season, we will do a national search. I want to keep the focus right now on the season. I can’t tell you how old or what region he will be from. They will have integrity, will be a teacher, a motivator, a educator, a leader. We will find that person.
I will talk with each assistant during the season and find out what there goals are. I will be an advocate for them as well.
Curry, on his great moment:
58 consecutive years in football is one criteria for certifiable insanity.
the best single moment…I don’t know. There’s so many. Among them, is the privilege of working at this place and seeing this place come out of the ground. Seeing this group, I call them children and they don’t like that, and seeing them grow. That’s been a great job.
That’s in the top few.
Levick, on ways to honor Curry:
We will put together a plan of action [on how to promote Curry]
He will become a special assistant to the athletic director to help me with fund-raising and other things.
He will also help Dr. Becker with the centennial. Lots of great plans, none of them finalized.
Curry on effect of his decision on recruits:
We can’t call the recruits because we are in a dead period until Sept. 1. Coach Pugh and his organization are in touch with all the student-athletes we’ve evaluated [ via email].
I believe the presence of one person or another won’t change the commitments.
– Doug Roberson, AJC