The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 8, 2012

A football life comes to an end for Bill Curry

(Continued)

Curry moved on to an SEC backwater, Kentucky, where he never won more than six games. It looked as though he was done as a coach after stepping down following the 1996 season. He moved into broadcasting, where his warm, thoughtful demeanor served him well during a decade-long stint with ESPN.

But he couldn't resist one more chance to work the sideline. Georgia State, a school catering to commuters with little history of athletic success, launched a program in the Football Championship Subdivision and asked Curry to build it from scratch. He jumped at the opportunity, especially because it allowed him to keep the roots he had re-established in his hometown.

"I know how blessed I am," Curry said. "I'm eternally grateful for having had this chance."

The Panthers debuted with a surprising 6-5 mark in 2010, but they haven't been able to follow up on that initial success, even while announcing a move to the Football Bowl Subdivision. They'll be moving to the Sun Belt Conference next season.

After slumping to 3-8 last year, the Panthers really took a tumble this season. They opened with a 33-6 loss to South Carolina State at the Georgia Dome, and things really haven't gotten much better. The only win came against Rhode Island, which hasn't beaten anyone. Outside of that 41-7 triumph, Georgia State has been outscored 366-143, losing by an average margin of nearly 25 points a game.

"It really painful," Curry said. "For anybody that's a driven competitor — and nobody that does this is not a driven competitor — it's embarrassing to go out and not be a winner. We all want to be winners."

He's got one more chance, then it's on to retirement.

Curry said his immediate plans are to do anything and everything his wife, Carolyn, asks of him. He's also looking forward to spending time with his five grandchildren. He vowed to "be at everything they do," remembering a conversation with his son that helped persuade him to retire.

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