Georgia State’s first football players arrive today

Georgia State coach Bill Curry gets to lose the tie and put a whistle back around his neck as the Panthers' first 70 football players report to campus this morning. (Photo courtesy of Georgia State Athletics)

Georgia State coach Bill Curry gets to lose the tie and put a whistle back around his neck as the Panthers' first 70 football players report to campus today. (Georgia State Athletics)

History will be made this morning.

Around 8 o’clock some 70 football wannabes will show up at Georgia State. And with their arrival the Panthers will, for the first time in the school’s history, have an actual football team on campus (sort of).

The players will spend the first few hours of Tuesday checking into the University Commons dormitories on Piedmont Road. About 11 a.m., Georgia State’s first coach, Bill Curry (you may have heard of him), will hold a brief news conference in the school’s football offices. A few of the 27 scholarship players signed so far will also be available for interviews. I’ll be there to check out the scene.

After three days of orientation — “We’re going to teach them our rules, our systems, what we expect on and off the field,” Curry said — Georgia State will hold its first practice on Friday.

So much about the Panthers’ new program is makeshift. The football offices are in a suite in Citizens Trust Building. They will hold their practices at MLK Middle School on campus. They’ll also get the use of the 70-yard artificial turf field next door at the Boys & Girls Club.

“It’s only 1.2 miles away from campus,” the eternally optimistic Curry points out.

When they finally get on the field it will have been 14 months since Curry was hired as coach. They won’t play their first game for another 13 months. There is much work to be done between now and then. Curry has spent more time trying to raise funds for facilities than he has on actual football. Now comes the fun part.

“I am so delighted,” said Curry, who has 17 years of head coaching experience at Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky. “This is what I love. What I love is being with the student-athletes and getting a chance to influence them and get them off to the right kind of start, not just to their college career but the rest of their lives. This is a riveting time for a young person, and I’m thrilled that it’s finally here.”

33 comments Add your comment

Bob

August 11th, 2009
8:31 am

I was raised a tech fan but the self-righteous Curry makes me sick. Just coach football and let all that other stuff about being the leader of young men down the right path to model citizenship and denizens of good in the world…the world is sick of it Bill, just coach football and talk about football. You are not the self-proclaimed savior of young men like you think you are.

Buzz Belle

August 11th, 2009
8:39 am

Tech fan all the way. However, I would like to extend a “welcome” to Bill Curry, The Ga. State Panthers, and the football team. Best of luck to you guys! It will be fun to watch! THWG

dagnabit

August 11th, 2009
8:54 am

Bill Curry is everything good about college football.

lorenzo

August 11th, 2009
9:42 am

Ga St will rock. Watch out Ga Tick and UGA.

ahope3

August 11th, 2009
10:00 am

lorenzo, not sure what kinda drugs you’re taking but Ga St will never be on the same level with Ga Tech or as much as it pains me, UGAG. Stop dreaming and get real.

rickwilson

August 11th, 2009
10:17 am

Enter your comments here

ike

August 11th, 2009
11:25 am

Seems to me that you got a real problem Bob. Curry is one of a few things that is still right about college football.

eternally optomistic

August 11th, 2009
11:28 am

BC has a long journey. Ga. State will fall by the wayside just like other start ups in Ga. Only Ga Southern has had the success worth writing about, and AJC ignores them on a regular basis. In a few weeks, Curry will not even get a byline. Nice guy; horrible situation.

BIG BEE

August 11th, 2009
12:13 pm

eternally optmistic, apparently you don’t know much about Georgia football, as Valdosta State has a pretty good track record. Check it out!!!

EJ

August 11th, 2009
12:29 pm

Will Bob and the other bitter tech fans take their Curry hatred somewhere else please? This is a great story for a great school that continues to transform itself. Can’t wait for kickoff! Go Panthers!

Bob

August 11th, 2009
4:37 pm

Look, Curry is a good guy and I’ve followed his football playing and coaching career with admiration. But he comes across as holier than thou, like he is the next Billy Graham or something. He coaches football. So why he just talk about football instead of all about how is going to make every player the next Mr. Perfect America. Football, Bill, Football. That’s your job. If you want to preach, find a church.

rhynster

August 11th, 2009
8:18 pm

“eternally optomistic”, seriously?

You don’t know what you’re talking about.

First of all, you didn’t spell optimistic correctly.

Secondly, Ga Southern doesn’t get as much coverage because it’s 3.5 hours away doing 80.

Third, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Mike

August 11th, 2009
11:40 pm

Cant you boobs just say welcome to GSU football and leave your ignorant comments out just one time. You would think you would get tired of the negativity.

gthrip

August 12th, 2009
10:46 am

I believe Coach Curry will build this program and build it well. Even if they are not on the SEC level, who cares? They will be a solid squad in time.

Sonny Clusters

August 15th, 2009
9:57 pm

Coach Curry, if you was reading this we’d like to try out for the team. We was always a pretty good player in high school.

JC-N-Germany

August 17th, 2009
3:54 am

Good luck GSU Football and know that regardless of how the first season goes I am glad it’s starting with a good man as it’s builder of the foundation and know that within time it will prosper!

May the creator bless the program throughout the years

Antonio DeLaine

August 27th, 2009
2:51 am

Good luck Georgia State on your new football program. I hope Jacksonville State will be on your schedule soon because we would love to play you. In your area I know you will compete well with Georgia and Georgia Tech for good football talent. In MY opinion I think that’s what their fans are afraid of. GO PANTHERS!

Maxx

September 3rd, 2009
4:53 am

So, who can tell me who the 27 players that are on the team are?

Camdione

October 10th, 2009
4:32 pm

As a graduate of GA State. I cant wait to take my son to the first game.

Class of '99

October 17th, 2009
11:37 pm

I live in Ohio now, but you can bet I will come back for the first game!

Bird Dawg 6 (Afghanistan)

October 25th, 2009
2:05 am

A plethora of Students, Graduates, and Alumni (Keys to a successful football program): Maybe Curry is smarter than some of you guys think? And to add, I guess you guys haven’t been downtown in a while to notice how many of the buildings there have Georgia State posted on them…hummm??? Ga. State Univ. will have a big program sooner than you think and will draw top prospects, fans, and supporters! Go Panthers!

DaRock37

November 9th, 2009
10:17 am

Good luck GSU!!! Coach Thompson’s defense will rock in a few years!!! He has been successful everywhere he’s been!!! Arkansas, Southern Miss, South Carolina, Memphis…

Scott Chadderdon

November 17th, 2009
1:36 pm

I would like to congradulate Bill Curry on his new job. Most people don’t know that he reciuted some of the players that won a national championship at Georgia Tech, and at Alabama he was unfairly fired at Alabama after three years and 30 wins because he did’nt beat Auburn. You have one of the best coaches in the nation. Good Luck.

letsgo

November 28th, 2009
5:04 am

Ga State is going to be a single A program in about 5 years. They are also in the middle of Atlanta which is where most of the top talent in GA is. If they get some good recruiters in, they have a shot to be as good as Tech and UGA a few years down the road

Jack

January 10th, 2010
10:26 am

What’s wrong with motivating young men to be a better citizen? Coach Curry’s approach is a better way than many of the other dunderheads in the business!

Marie

February 3rd, 2010
6:06 pm

Bob (comment one) – you’re an idiot.

Congrats to Coach Curry and GSU for a great recruiting class!

3 Straight

March 8th, 2010
7:36 am

Come to http://norcrosshighbasketball.blogspot.com/ to see the video of the Norcross Milton controversy

Marty

March 11th, 2010
3:06 pm

Did anyone notice that Alabama is on their inaugural schedule ??? The school is setting this young team up for major damage…emotionally and physically. Aside from the obvious financial benefits of the game, what is going to be proved by losing by 70 pts to the reigning national champions ?

Ms D

March 23rd, 2010
10:45 pm

To all you haters just want to say why are you suited up to play…hmmmmm. Thanks to Bill Curry for being a motivator for these young men. So often we miss opportunities to raise someone up by being so busy knocking them down to where you are. Last, just because Alabama won this pass season don’t mean they are going to have the same season. Get over yourself and wish a new team success!

DawgNation

March 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Ms D.,

I’m not suited up because I’m 50 y’s/o and they would kill me. I truly hope the best for this new team and will be following them for years to come. Except for Tech I pull for every Georgia team. I know Alabama is not the same team that won the National Championship late year but I think they will compete for it again this year so I too have concerns for the Panthers when they play Bama. Nobody wants to see a 70 or 75 point spread on a fledgling team and I certainly don’t want to see any of them get hurt while they are putting out what I know will be 110% effort on the field. The match up was for publicity and the oddity of an old coach coming back with a new team to play them and of course the honor of collecting a big pay day for the match up. I have nothing to get over, as you put it, and look forward to the up coming games.

Go Panthers!

[...] not a guarantee for the Panthers, but Jackson has a good shot at being the starter this season and an even better shot to be under [...]

rasmus

June 20th, 2010
11:55 am

Dawggrl

August 3rd, 2010
12:13 am

I stopped reading the comments after the first two from GT fans. As a UGA grad and huge fan, I am looking forward to Georgia State and Bill Curry starting another program in the state. How great would it be for the state of Georgia to keep all of the in-state talent we can hold. I root for Tech when they aren’t playing Georgia and I will cheer for State all fall long.

Welcome to the field Georgia State and Curry!