Who will be Georgia State’s next coach?

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

91 comments Add your comment


August 16th, 2012
7:12 am

First, it appears our players are motivated and want to send Curry out with another winning season. Won’t be easy but when you have the will lots of good things can happen.


August 16th, 2012
8:12 am

Mike Bobo….Teacher….w/ QB’s / Leader and Motivator….from what I have seen quiet and subdued…/ Recruiter…..probably his best quality and what Ga State really needs / Winner…..he has won @ UGA, but not enough big games!!! My take and just an opinion!!!

GSU freshman

August 16th, 2012
8:22 am

Since we badly need money for our growing program, can we hire someone who has a strong PR, and fund raising experience?


August 16th, 2012
8:40 am

Pat Hill. Took Fresno St to a no 10 ranking and a 10-8 record against BCS schools.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

August 16th, 2012
8:49 am

How about Chan Gailey? This would afford the Panthers an opportunity to have another Tech reject coach. Then, after five years and eleven wins, he could retire as a “legend”. Two back-to-back legends at Georgia State!


August 16th, 2012
8:58 am

Pat Hill is helping the Falcons finally have a decent OL.
And I think Chan Gailey is doing pretty good these days coaching the Bills.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

August 16th, 2012
9:03 am

The legendary Bill Lewis is available. He has experience with one-win seasons.


August 16th, 2012
9:37 am

@Georgia Tech is in Atlanta, scared much? Your posts drip with your quivering insecurities. Are the Dawg fans too much for you to handle so you have to come act like queen bee here?


August 16th, 2012
9:53 am

Glenn Spencer – co-Defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and former head coach at West Georgia.
Spencer played defensive tackle at Georgia Tech for Curry on the “Black Watch” defensive unit, and has lived his life with the character and integrity that Curry instilled in him on the Flats. Spencer had a very successful run at West Georgia (28-7 in three seasons with two conference championships and two NCAA Division II playoff appearances). He drew a lot a admiration for how he carried himself last season coaching, raising two teenage sons and coping with the death of his loving wife, and carrying on that integrity from Curry is just what Georgia State needs.


August 16th, 2012
9:59 am

If I would pick a coach, it would be Kirby Smart the defensive coordinator from last years National Championship Team Alabama. He has the ability to lead and build men to winners in a very short time and want I was took can recruit, too!


August 16th, 2012
10:17 am

How about Bobby Petrino. Yes, he is hated by Falcons fans and may be afraid to return to the area, but he will no doubt be on his best behavior after his public humiliation. He is a great coach, but right now is too toxic for most teams to touch. However, by the end of football season this year, most of the toxicity will have subsided.

He says he wants to coach again, and most larger and traditional schools probably won’t go after him until he proves himself at a smaller school. I think he is looking for a chance to redeem himself, and what better place to start than in a state he burned bridges with a few years ago. If he starts winning big early, most will forgive and forget. And he can coach, that is undoubted.

I personally don’t care for the guy, but more than anything else right now, the school needs to make a splash and win. If he wins, he will probably jump ship after 3-4 years, but by winning he is only proving that a coach can come here and win and succeed, which is part of the battle the school is fighting so early in its development.

Another option would be Phillip Fulmer. He is a winner with a recruiting reputation among southern football high schools. He is a name and he wants to coach again, so much so that he applied for the UConn job a couple of years ago.

One last name to throw out there is Ralph Freidgen. He is a winner and is good friends with the owner of “Under Armour,” which could lead to sponsorship by that company and add much needed money to the pot. He used to coach at GT, I believe and he has proven to be a winner in a non-typical winner location like Maryland.


August 16th, 2012
10:19 am

Bobby Petrino, get over his leaving the Falcons. He would win big here early.

Phillip Fulmer. Name recognition, recruiter and winner.

Ralph Freidgen. Winner, familiar with the area and could bring on sponsorship from his good friend, the owner of Under Armour.


August 16th, 2012
10:30 am

Jason, we can only pay 500K max, if that. I would guess that takes those 3 clearly off the table.


August 16th, 2012
10:40 am

I think Arthur Blank has a shoot on sight order for Petrino. So home games would be difficult.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

August 16th, 2012
10:48 am

Forget about Bobby Petrino. He’ll never coach in the ATL again. Besides, it’s doubtful that Georgia State could afford him.

My pick for the Cats would be GT O-Line Coach Mike Sewak. A lot of the folks on here would reject him because of his Statesboro and Southern ties, but he’s a great coach and a winner. He’s got head coaching exerience, ability to recruit, and he’s already in Atlanta. Very likeable guy like Bill Curry…

Friedgen might be an outside bet but he’s close to Curry’s age.


August 16th, 2012
11:24 am

You get bobo the hell away from GSU


August 16th, 2012
11:27 am

How about someone cheap since GSU will continue to be in the red for years with their ill-conceived decision to start Division I football in the first place? Maybe then GSU could then reduce the student fees back to a reasonable level for a school created for commuters.



August 16th, 2012
11:40 am

Curry was a pretty decent sized name. I think we need to look at a big name, but one that may need to repair their image at a smaller program for a while. There are a lot of bigger named guys out there who would like the chance to coach again more than just wait for a huge payday. They know if they do well here, it will lead to a bigger payday elsewhere. We will always be a school that can be plucked for a coach by a money-factory school.

I would think Petrino needs to repair his image and bigger programs won’t give him another shot until he proves himself. He is getting no money right now, and 500G would be a nice payday for him for a few years. Fulmer even tried to get the UConn job, he wants to coach again so badly. I think any money would be appealing to him right now. Freidgen wants to coach again as well, and 500G would not be a bad payday for him to get back into things. I think he likes ATL anyway.

Tommy Bowden might be an option. Butch Davis has baggage from UNC, but he can recruit and is a decent coach. I would suggest OK State’s offensive coordinator, but he doesn’t have HC experience.


August 16th, 2012
11:53 am

Randy Shanon– can recruit South FL, great motivator


August 16th, 2012
11:55 am

Petrino will not be on our list…. We need someone who has integrity.


August 16th, 2012
11:56 am

The trolls always give me a smile… Welcome to the GSU BLOG!


August 16th, 2012
12:06 pm

Chirs Hatcher – currently Murray St.’s HC, and formerly HC at Valdosta State.

His offense with GA State’s talent, on the Georgia Dome playing surface, man-o-man…


August 16th, 2012
12:08 pm

I guess we could rule out Donnan.

The world passes me by and leaves me in the dust

August 16th, 2012
12:30 pm

GSU must always stay a commuter school!
Women should only be housewives!
Segregation should still be enforced!
America should still be under British Rule!


August 16th, 2012
12:30 pm

I just hope we get someone sooner than later….we have to pull in a solid recruiting class heading into the belt.

malcom - x

August 16th, 2012
12:33 pm

i sure hope he is black…it would be nice to finally have a black man lead a major college team here in the atl..this is after all a black run city

Highly Respected Southern Troll

August 16th, 2012
12:37 pm

@blazerdawg – Hatcher was in over his head in the Southern Conference. Do you think it would be any different in the Sun Belt Conference?


August 16th, 2012
12:42 pm


August 16th, 2012
12:53 pm

Joe Hamilton!!!!!!! next coach


August 16th, 2012
12:56 pm

Mostly likely Mike Bobo.

Malcom - X

August 16th, 2012
12:58 pm

Should we have expected anything less than yet another racist comment from a Georgia Southern fan.

This is Dixie not Nigeria

August 16th, 2012
12:59 pm

i sure hope he is black…

This is a racial comment. Why can’t it be a good qualified white person, or Chinese.


August 16th, 2012
1:10 pm

Maybe Shane Beamer? Was on the coaching staff at Georgia Tech. Now assiociate coach for Virginia Tech. Played with Anthony Midget at Virginia Tech.


August 16th, 2012
1:18 pm

for the uga fans, jim donnan might need a job to pay back his lawyers if they can delay things long enough and keep him out of jail.

then again, maybe by then derek dooley might be available as well by then. he has good ga connections and great experiences doesnt he?

Stephen A, Dogg

August 16th, 2012
1:20 pm

I nominate Mike Bobo. He’s ready to step outside Richt’s shadow now !


August 16th, 2012
1:27 pm

Dooley might become available. The Buford HS coach.The ex Georgia OL coach just released from Alabama Birmingham ( can’t think of his name) And who ever said Kirby Smart, uh don’t think so. He makes a million at Bama and this is a 300K gig, plus he’ll land big time soon with a 5 year 15 mil+ deal.


August 16th, 2012
1:30 pm

Go get Bill Cowher, if he say no then bring Parcells out of retirement.


August 16th, 2012
1:43 pm

Someone help me figure out why the color of the coach’s skin matters at all. I’d take an alien if he would turn this into a consistent 9-10 win per season program


August 16th, 2012
2:08 pm

Nice try, World Passes, but the majority of students, faculty, and alumni want GSU to be an affordable school, commuter or not, and could not care less about big time athletics. Raising student activity fees to unheard of levels just to placate a few alumni or desperately try to sucker the Board of Regents is asinine.

And, guess what? Students, alumni, faculty, and Atlanta residents are voting with their feet by not attending the games. The football program is dragging the once reasonable GSU Athletics Department down the tubes. In order for football to be financially viable, it has to have a base of support and have success on the field. Despite the multitude of alumni in the area, the base of support is not there and the money is not there to get to a level of success even with the move to the Sun Belt.

Expect more mediocrity on the field, empty stands, and fee increases to justify GSU football in the future.


August 16th, 2012
2:27 pm

Student fees per semester:
$1190 – GT
$1098 – UGA
$1064 – GSU
$992 – Georgia College & State University
$936 – GSoU
$902 – Georgia Gwinnett College

I don’t see it being that bad for a division 1 FBS school that is inside the city of Atlanta.


August 16th, 2012
2:29 pm

And those student fees have turned the campus in to a much nicer one since I was a student there 10 years ago.


August 16th, 2012
2:32 pm

Before football, the athletics department was a joke (basically non-existent) and has made huge strides since football came here, so it is not dragging it down, it is actually bringing it up. The support is growing, you just have your GT or Southern blinders on.

In Denial

August 16th, 2012
2:33 pm

Please don’t post numbers b/c it makes me look bad :(


August 16th, 2012
2:55 pm

Hey, stop whining about the student fees. If you can’t afford the fees, Atlanta Metro, Clayton State, West GA, and GA Perimeter are still open for you to attend.

The campus life you guys enjoy at GSU is lightyears better than what it was over a decade or so ago when many of us were dragged there kicking and screaming because 1) we couldn’t get into any of the schools we really wanted to go to, 2) got kicked out of the school we were originally in and didn’t want to join the military, or 3) needed a second degree but could only attend classes at night. GSU Athletics were less than a footnote when there were no dorms, no campus life, no new buildings, and was better known as the ‘concrete campus’. GSU could’ve scheduled Duke and Kentucky for home games back then and would still not come close to selling out.

So many folks just take that stuff for granted when so many of us GSU grads and alums never got to see a football team or have nearly the campus life when we attended school there as many of the current students do.

If you have a beef with your tuition, take that up with the SGA and Board of Regents because none of you guys were around screaming bloody murder four years ago when football was voted for UNANIMOUSLY. In the meantime, pay your effin’ fees and stop complaining; if you don’t like it, transfer to another school and graduate there.


August 16th, 2012
2:59 pm

Keep on believing Pantherfan93 & Wrong, but the increase in fees was and will continue to be substantial, especially considering the transient nature of the majority of GSU students. Tech, UGA, and Georgia Southern (a more recent example, admittedly, but in a rural area) are primarily schools where the vast majority of students live and breathe the school experience full time. Even with the advent of dorms, most GSU students work, live off campus, and do not care about extraneous b.s. that a football program brings. That is why the majority of students were against bringing in the program in the first place and continue to show their disdain by not attending games.

Georgia State University is a great school and a benefit to Atlanta, but bringing in football was, is, and will continue to be a big mistake that wastes money and takes away from what makes the school worthwhile.

Wrong 2.0

August 16th, 2012
3:09 pm

Most GT, UGA, and Southern students don’t live or work on the actual campus, if you believe that then you need to have your head examined. GSU is changing and you cannot wrap your head around it, the students will gravitate to our athletics and yes, football. Building tradition overnight isn’t gonna happen with either students or alumni, but withing the next 10 years you are gonna be dead wrong…book it b/c Mark Becker is smarter than you


August 16th, 2012
3:09 pm

You are talking about an increase of $85 a semester. It hasn’t gone up again. It doesn’t appear to be unheard of levels Whatever. And what is going to happen now that football has been accepted into an FBS conference? The facilities are going to get even better. Adding to that student experience. Georgia State University’s Mandatory Student Fee Committee voted unanimously to approve, and they were students.


August 16th, 2012
3:19 pm

If soooo many students were against bringing in football, it never would’ve gotten to a vote by the SGA, GSU’s Executive Board, and the Board of Regents. Then-GSU Prez Carl Patton hated football with a passion that words couldn’t truly describe. He put it off for years, saying things like ’sell out for volleyball and wrestling first’ whenever it was brought up in a discussion. He was dying for a reason, ANY reason not to bring in the sport and drew straws at anything that would delay/kill off the idea. Hell, his crew even put out a questionaire about having football in the SUMMER semester, when a majority of students and faculty members are normally gone, hoping that it would be ignored or that the ones remaining would be more like you; you know, the type who thinks that little things like athletics aren’t important to a college institution. Only when that backfired and the likes of Kennesaw State started piping up about starting a program did he begin backpedaling like an NFL cornerback facing Aaron Rodgers.

If college athletics is a car, football is the engine that makes it go. Do you ever stop to wonder why losing programs like Duke, Vandy, and Kentucky hasn’t let go of their programs while their other sports flourish? Ever figure why Indiana and Minnesota still has football limp around, even if the stands are half full? It’s because that’s the one sport that brings in the male donors and the high $$$; if that wasn’t the case, it would’ve been dropkicked years ago.

Same deal with GSU. What was GSU Athletics before football got there? Want to bring up the Lefty years? Fine. How many national stories did his GSU teams have in ESPN, CNNSI, or FOX Sports? He could’ve won 42 games in a row and he would’ve still been in the back page of the AJC sports page, alongside golf and tennis results. The opener GSU had last year was more than an entire season’s worth of basketball games that the school had in years past.

Again, if you don’t like the fact that football is ‘wasting soooo much money’, it’s your right to voice your opinion. But afterwards, take time out to look over the brochures at AIU or Devry. You don’t have to worry about such things there…


August 16th, 2012
3:24 pm

Students that live on campus
28% – UGA
27% – GSoU


August 16th, 2012
3:30 pm

Your stats hurt my feelings…boohoo