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Georgia State Panthers

The Georgia State Panthers football team represents Georgia State University in college football competitions.

Team History

The Georgia State Panthers football team represents Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Though steeped in a rich athletic tradition, the Panthers football program enjoys a relatively short history. Georgia State’s football ambitions only kicked off in 2010, making the Panthers one of the youngest programs in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Despite their recent arrival on the scene, the Panthers have been rapidly building a competitive program determined to make their mark on the college football landscape. Their ascent to the top tier of college football provides a fascinating case study in program development and overcoming challenges.

Foundation and Early Years

Georgia State University students long voiced an interest in a football program, but the path to realizing that dream was not without obstacles. It took years of advocacy and planning before the university finally announced the formation of the football program in April 2008. The first head coach, Bill Curry, was hired shortly thereafter and immediately began the task of building a program from the ground up.

The Panthers wasted no time, playing their inaugural season in 2010 as an independent team at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. This first step allowed the team to gain experience and build a foundation before stepping up to the more competitive FBS level in 2013 when they joined the Sun Belt Conference.

Notable Early Achievements

Even in the early years, the Panthers showed flashes of their potential. In their inaugural season, they achieved an impressive record of 6-5. While in the FCS, they managed upset wins over some long-established programs, including a stunning victory over Old Dominion in 2010.

Upon moving to the FBS level, the Panthers faced the expected growing pains of competing against tougher competition. However, they steadily gained momentum, securing their first bowl game eligibility in 2015, only their third season at the top level.

Periods of Change

The Georgia State Panthers have undergone several changes crucial to their development. Coaching changes have been a major factor, with Shawn Elliott assuming the role of head coach in 2017. Coach Elliot brought a fresh perspective and energy, driving the program forward through strategic initiatives and recruiting efforts.

The transition from the historic Georgia Dome to their current home, Center Parc Stadium (formerly Turner Field), in 2017 was another significant moment for the Panthers. This shift allowed the team to establish a more defined on-campus environment, enhancing the fan experience and sense of identity.

Championships and Achievements

While the Panthers are still seeking a conference championship title, they’ve consistently demonstrated their upward trajectory. Their bowl game appearances (2015, 2017, 2021) showcase their ability to compete at the highest levels of college football. Victories over rival teams within the Sun Belt Conference further solidify their presence and growing threat.

Beyond wins, the Panthers have established themselves as reliable producers of NFL-caliber talent. Several players have made the jump to professional football, reflecting the quality of development within the program.

Current Roster

The Georgia State Panthers’ current roster is filled with a dynamic mix of experienced veterans and promising young talent. The offense features multiple playmakers at quarterback, running back, and receiver, ensuring an exciting brand of football. The defense boasts hard-hitting linebackers and a stout defensive line.

Management and Coaching Staff

Head Coach Shawn Elliot has become a pivotal figure in the development of Georgia State football. His dedication and passion are instrumental to the program’s continued improvement. The coaching staff is filled with experienced individuals who share Coach Elliot’s vision for building a winner in Atlanta.

The university’s athletic department, led by athletic director Charlie Cobb, provides a strong support system. Their investment in facilities, staffing, and player resources reflects the commitment to elevating the football program to new heights.

Home Stadium Information

The Georgia State Panthers make their home at Center Parc Stadium, a beautifully renovated stadium situated in the heart of Atlanta. Originally built for the 1996 Summer Olympics as Centennial Olympic Stadium, it was later reconfigured to host the Atlanta Braves baseball team, then further transformed for football.

Center Parc Stadium offers an exciting game-day environment with modern amenities and easy access via Atlanta’s public transit system (MARTA). The stadium allows the Panthers to connect with the Atlanta community and offers an excellent platform to showcase their exciting brand of football.

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