By Jay Coulter
Strike up the band. Bill Curry is back in coaching. In a surprise move, Georgia State has picked Curry to lead the school's first football team. The Panthers will begin play in 2010 at the Division I-AA level.
As one message board writer put it today, the surprise is not that Georgia State picked him, but that Curry chose to take the job. You may remember that he was a finalist at Georgia Tech last year for that school's top job. The Atlanta native and former Tech coach is expected to generate excitement at the downtown commuter school.
It's hard to believe that Curry compiled a 26-10 record at Alabama and was National Coach of the Year in 1989. The way he exited Tuscaloosa, you always remember his time there as much worse.
To Auburn fans, Curry will always hold a special place, going winless against the Tigers while at Georgia Tech and Alabama. He was the coach that brought the second-ranked Tide to Jordan-Hare for the first time ever in 1989. Most agree the loss at Auburn cost him his job.
The best part of landing the Georgia State gig: no more listening to professor Curry on ESPN telecasts. With that said, I like Bill Curry. Sure, he's a little odd. But he's a good man and I think he's a good role model for college kids. Whether he can coach is up for debate. He was solid at Alabama and closed hard while at Georgia Tech. The Kentucky job was a debacle.
There's no doubt, it's a solid win for a new program. Curry will sell Georgia State and he'll lay the foundation for someone to come in and follow him and be successful. Former Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves has been heavily involved in getting the Panther program going. I'm guessing he played a big role in hiring Curry.
It will be interesting to follow this story.