With Bill Curry’s decision to retire at the end of the season, athletic director Cheryl Levick has a lot of time to decide what she wants in the next coach and then to find the person to continue leading the team to the highest level of college football.
Levick knows what she wants: someone who “is a teacher, a leader, a motivator, a recruiter, and a winner.”
The process to find the person to fit the criteria began Thursday. Before Levick even left the practice facility after Curry’s press conference, she had received several e-mails from parties about the job.
“It really has to be someone that has I know the competency, the energy and the recruiting ability to take us into the Sun Belt and have us be very successful,” she said.
She said the university will conduct a national search and that a firm will assist them. She doesn’t yet know which firm. Parker Executive Search assisted Levick when she hired Ron Hunter to coach the men’s basketball team. Curry said he will assist with the search if asked, and won’t be offended if he’s not asked. Levick said there will be a small internal group that will help her vet the candidates. She will also talk to certain donors and other “stakeholders” about what they want in the next coach.
Regarding internal candidates, Levick said she is going to talk to the coordinators and assistants currently on staff to find out their goals. Offensive coordinator John Bond and defensive coordinator Anthony Midget said they were focused on this year’s team and would consider the future after the season.
Levick said interviews will be scheduled after the season ends at Maine on Nov. 10.
Georgia State should be able to offer a competitive pay package. Curry received a base salary of $350,000. The next coach figures to receive a salary package in the range of $400,000-$500,000, which would be in line with other coaches in the Sun Belt Conference receive.
The next coach will face several challenges, notably leading the Panthers into the Sun Belt, which plays on the FBS level, the highest in collegiate football. The change will require recruiting a higher-caliber of athlete and convincing them to attend a school that’s still developing its tradition. They will have to be able to balance the classes. The team will take on an additional 17 scholarships next year as it reaches the FBS level of 85 scholarships.
“Those have to be strategically used so that when we walk into the Sun Belt we’re competitive,” she said. She wants the next coach to lead the team to the top-half of the conference as soon as possible.
Levick said the ideal candidate can come from any background, including the NFL. She prefers someone who has head-coaching experience.
“When you’ve sat in the hot seat, you really understand the balance of roles you have to play,” she said.
Levick she doesn’t know if they will be younger or older, but she will know the ideal candidate when she sees them. She said that’s what happened when she met Hunter, who led the men’s basketball team to a 22-12 record last year.
“We will find the right person,” she said.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu