Report this image
The Georgia State Panthers football team is the college football program for Georgia State University in Atlanta. The Panthers football team was founded in 2010 and currently compete at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team competes in the Sun Belt Conference, although it is still in transition into the FBS through the 2013 season (and therefore will not be eligible to compete in the post season until 2014).
In November 2006, a study commissioned by Georgia State was completed and submitted back to the school. It found Georgia State to be in a good position to begin a competitive football team, and based its remarks on the location and resources of the university. It estimated that total annual expenses by 2012 would be $3.1 million.
On April 17, 2008, Georgia State launched its football program. On June 12, 2008, former Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Kentucky head coach Bill Curry was named as the Georgia State head coach, working on a 5-year contract. This was followed by the hiring of John Bond as offensive coordinator, John Thompson as defensive coordinator, and George Pugh as assistant head coach, as well as Chris Ward and Anthony Midget. On November 20, 2008, groundbreaking for a downtown practice facility at 188 Martin Luther King Drive was held. The facility would be built to include a 100-yard artificial turf field and a 50-yard natural turf field. The existing buildings would be converted into facilities and offices for the football team.
Georgia State's second recruiting class was signed on February 3, 2010. The team would go on to hold spring practice beginning on March 23, and would begin working out at the new practice facility by March 27.
On September 2, Georgia State played its first football game and home opener against the Shorter Hawks, winning the game 41-7. The first touchdown was recorded by Parris Lee. A crowd of 30,237 was present at the Georgia Dome including then Georgia governor Sonny Perdue, former mayor Andrew Young, amongst other dignitaries. Later during the last game of the season on November 18, Georgia State would play FBS defending national champion and number 10 ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, losing 63-7. The single touchdown was earned during a kick return by Albert Wilson.
The 2012 season marked the last with Bill Curry as head coach as he had stated that he would retire after the end of the season. Throughout the season, the Panthers were plagued with inconsistencies on both the offense and defense, made worse by injuries on either side and inexperienced quarterbacks.Curry would end his final season (and only year in the CAA) with a 1-10 record. The Panthers were not eligible for a post season berth (through neither the conference's automatic bid nor an at large bid) due to their reclassifying status as the team prepared to move up to FBS football in the Sun Belt Conference. This reclassifying status did allow for the Panthers to use more scholarships than the allowed 63 scholarships at the FCS level. On opening day Matt Hubbard surpassed the NCAA record for highest punting average in a single game, but it would end up not counting in the record books due to the reclassification.
For the beginning of the 2013 season, the Panthers were ranked as the worst FBS team in the country, and began their season with losses to 2 FCS teams from the Southern Conference.