Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2012 GSU Panther Football Kickoff Luncheon

2012 GSU Panther Football Kickoff Luncheon*

*I tried to take accurate notes. I recorded and attributed quotes as factually as possible, to share with the 
Panther Family. I will be glad to correct any inaccuracies. 

The Panther Athletic Club's 2012 Kickoff Luncheon was held at the historic East Lake Country Club. A sellout crowd enjoyed elegant surroundings, and soaked in the history of the home course of legendary golfer,  Bobby Jones. 

11 Alive Sports Anchor Sam Crenshaw acted as Master of Ceremonies. Crenshaw introduced PAC President, David Deeter, who welcomed the guests. 

Georgia State football is in the Middle of Three Milestones:
1. First and last season in the CAA.
2. Transitioning to the Sunbelt.
3  Final season of coaching for Coach Bill Curry. 

Cheryl Levick announced that although some teams will begin to transition to the Sunbelt right away, the transition will be complete in July 2013. For football, this is the first year of a two year process. Men's and women's cross-country will begin competing in the Sunbelt in October of this year. (A new promotional video spot for GSU was premiered, and a clip from the press conference announcing GSU's move to the Sunbelt was reviewed.)

Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner, announced that the Sun Belt will be going through changing and branding to raise its stature. "The Goal of the Sun Belt is to surpass Conference USA in the near future." He continued, "Great things are in store for Georgia State. Great things are in store for the Sun Belt. Sun Belt vs. Conference USA will be a good rivalry. April 7, the Sun Belt sent the message that Georgia State will be a big part of the change." 

GSU's 7th President, Mark Becker, talked about a strategic plan for GSU to become the premier urban university in the United States. Athletics will help with that mission. Dr. Becker said that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 32,500 students on campus now, and although parking is terrible, there is an incredible vibe!

"Georgia State is growing in stature, impact, and as a place destination for students." President Becker asked, "What effect has football had on Georgia State?" Then he answered his own question. "Georgia State is a different university because of football. Two years ago, the likelihood of people wearing GSU hats and shirts on campus was very slim. Now, there is a sea of blue and white everywhere." 

"Football did this! It has given the University a sense of bonding around a common purpose. Cheryl Levick and Bill Curry did that." Dr. Becker declared to spontaneous, extended applause. 

Dr. Becker said people no longer ask him when he is going to decide to shut the football program down, like they used to. "We're going to build a program that lasts forever," President Becker asserted. 

Coach Bill Curry, "the Architect of the Georgia State Football Team," took the stage. "There are so many people I'd love to tell you about, all around this room, from the past, and present--people whom I love. There's just not enough time."

"I will introduce my coaching staff and a few players." (Coach Curry asked his coaches to stand and be recognized. He also introduced each of the players attending the luncheon, and gave a little background on each.) 

Football Players who attended the Luncheon, with Sara Gigantino, Director of Football Operations 

"I'm remembering when I was considering football. It's hostile, painful, demanding--not for the faint of heart--not for the 99%. It's a dangerous occupation. Besides, I intended to pitch for the New York Yankees." 

Coach Curry told a story about playing football as a kid in College Park. His team had the opportunity to practice against the older kids. Coach Curry went to tackle the team's best running back, and was promptly flattened. He ran back to the sidelines, thinking, "I'm glad that's over." The coach said, "Run it again." The same thing happened over and over. After each play, Coach told the team to "Run it again. Run it again. Run it again." 

Coach Curry was reduced to, in his words, "Blood, snot, and tears." His teammates wouldn't meet his eyes, because each was thinking, "Better him than me." Finally, something snapped inside, and Coach Curry knew he HAD to make that tackle, or die trying. He made it! 

As the young Bill Curry staggered off the field, his teammates surrounded him, hugging him. Bill looked at Coach Badgett, and said he thought he "almost smiled." 

"It's not enough to show up. You've got to whip people who are bigger and better than you are all the time." Coach Curry continued, "Football is the only sports team that needs every teammate on every play, in order to survive." 

When Coach Curry was coaching at Alabama, there had been some threats against him. His pastor dropped by to see how Carolyn and he were doing. Carolyn told the pastor they were doing ok, that they knew football was like a religion in Alabama. The pastor replied, "No, Carolyn, you don't understand, it's much more serious than that!"

Coach Curry concluded, "There is synergy and power in football....At the end of last season, our team was bloody, embarrassed, and not very good. We went back to work the next day. We have some team members here who have been practicing since the days we practiced at the Martin Luther King Middle School, when we had nothing. I am delighted to have the opportunity to say that the 2012 bunch is the group that has really started to get the job done. Thank you so much everybody." 

As Coach Curry finished speaking, the new 2012 Football Introduction video was introduced. 

The 2012 Season Kicks off tomorrow night, Thursday, August 30, at 7:30, in the Georgia Dome! Let's join the Panther Family in "Bleeding Blue" at the Dome! 


I would love for you to leave a comment! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Hey, Panther Family! Now that football season is kicking off, I'm back to cover GSU Football from a Mama's Perspective for our Third Season!

Three weeks of pre-season football camp ended with today's scrimmage. The pleasantly cool, overcast weather was a welcome change for spectators from the stifling heat of previous scrimmages. It's a sure bet that the team didn't miss the 90 degree days they've endured during "two-a-days," either!

The Scrimmage was at the GSU Football Practice Complex, where you're greeted by a large schedule, next to the reception desk. (We're traveling all the way to Maine and Rhode Island this season!)

Excitement is building! The team is enthusiastic. Everyone is looking forward to the Georgia State Panther's THIRD football season, which will be our only season playing Colonial Athletic Association teams. This will also be Coach Bill Curry's final season.

Coach Bill Curry with former Georgia Tech teammate Billy Williamson.

Pre-scrimmage stretching

Ready to Rumble!

Coach Curry's wife, Carolyn, enjoyed the Scrimmage with "GSU Panther Mama," Jamie Wyatt

At least five former Panthers were at the Scrimmage today! 

Ben Jacoby, Kalan Jenkins, Louie Muasau, Bailey Woods
(Kalan Jenkins is a Graduate Assistant for the team.
Bailey Woods is coaching at Walker High School.)
My son, DB, Blake Wyatt with former player Arthur "Bully" Williams

See y'all August 30th at the Dome! GO PANTHERS! 

Click HERE for the Scrimmage Photo Gallery. 

To Read More About the Scrimmage: Georgia State Sports Scrimmage Article Here.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jake and the Giants!

Jake and the Giants!

Link to article about Jake Muasau from The Arizona Republic @

I'm so proud of Jake! I think I'm fixin' to be a Giants fan, y'all!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Two GSU Panthers Heading for the NFL!

Two Panthers Heading for the NFL! 
Blake Wyatt, Christo Bilukidi and Jake Muasau at 2012 Spring Game
This Panther Mama is VERY proud that two of "my boys" are heading to the National Football League! Christo Bilukidi was drafted in the sixth round by the Oakland Raiders, as the 189th overall pick. Jake Muasau signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants!

Christo and Jake are fine young men on and off the field, and they will represent their families and GSU well. I know the entire Panther Family is thrilled for Christo and Jake, and will look forward to watching their Pro careers! Congratulations to both of you! 

For more info: 

Ben Moore's Panther Talk Interview with Christo.

Doug Roberson's AJC Blog Announcement about Jake. 

After a game: Front: Travis Evans, Back row l to r: Blake Wyatt, Trey Ennis, Christo Bilukidi, Kail Singleton, and Bailey Woods 
Panther Mama loves it when she has a "full house!" From Left front, clockwise, in camo, John Murphy with GSU Panthers Mark Hogan, Blake Wyatt, Christo Bilukidi, Panther Dad Ed Wyatt, and Jake Muasau. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sun Belt Conference? Georgia State University is In!

Sun Belt Conference
Georgia State University is In!

(Monday, April 9, 2012)
Today's 2 p.m. press conference at The Georgia Dome confirmed the buzz that Georgia State would accept the Sun Belt Conference's invitation to rejoin the Sun Belt! (In August of 1976, GSU was one of 6 founding members of the Sun Belt Conference.) 
Approaching the Dome, via the Blue Carpet, at the gate where the Panthers enter during their "Panther Walk" on Game Days. (The band performed today, too!)

I arrived at one o'clock, and took a seat on the fifth row, behind the reserved seats. Coach Bill Curry, and his wife Carolyn, were among the first to arrive, so we had a nice five minute visit. Dr. Becker joined us, shook hands, chatted a minute, then asked Coach, "Can you believe it's only been 36 months since you and I sat down to talk about a football team?"

Coach Curry responded shaking his head just a little, "I know. And right after that, people were already asking, 'When are we going to be Division I?' I told them, we don't even have a chin strap yet! We don't have a football! I never thought it would happen this fast!"

Needless to say, as Coach Curry continued to greet the fans, there was excitement, and an air of anticipation. Fans, coaches, and players lined the walls waiting for the panel to arrive. The chairs were full.
Coach Bill Curry, center, greeting fans. 
Full House with Standing Room Only, Awaiting the Start of the Press Conference!
(There was another whole section of chairs to the left of this photo, as well.) 
L to R: Dave Cohen, Carl Benson, Cheryl Levick, Dr. Becker, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. 
"Voice of the Panthers," Dave Cohen (in photo at the podium), started the press conference by introducing the panel, from far right of photo, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. Chancellor of Troy University and Sun Belt Conference President, Dr. Mark Becker, President of Georgia State University, Cheryl Levick, Director of Athletics, and Carl Benson, Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference.

Introduction and Carl Benson's speech (3 minutes):

30 Second Video of the Conference President's actual invitation to join the conference, and presentation of Sun Belt Hats to President Becker and Cheryl Levick:

President Becker spoke of joining the Sun Belt Conference as another example of Georgia State University's "continually raising the bar on ourselves. He said, "We are delighted we will kick off our second century competing in the Sun Belt.

Video of President Becker's Official Acceptance (20 seconds):

Cheryl Levick stated that under Dr. Becker, GSU is growing in size and stature as a research university. She talked about how being in the Sun Belt Conference will increase exposure and notoriety for the entire university. Ms. Levick took advantage of the opportunity to ask Commissioner Benson to consider relocating the Sun Belt Conference offices to Atlanta, and to schedule tournaments and playoffs here.

Ms. Levick flashed huge grin as she spoke of Georgia State's "big step up" to one of only eleven conferences with post season bowls, emphasizing "FBS, Folks, FBS!" She then praised the marketing and publicity staff for their efforts to start publicizing GSU's Sun Belt affiliation, as the banner shown below was unfurled.

GSU has formally withdrawn from the CAA. Decisions about conference playoffs this year, as well as paperwork and other details for the NCAA, are still pending. 

The panel entertained questions from the press, then adjourned the conference, while key people moved to a private room for one on one press interviews. The Panther Family--fans, players, coaches, and staff--lingered and mingled, basking in the afterglow! WHAT AN EXCITING DAY!

142 Days till we kick-off our THIRD SEASON!


P.S. Please "Like" GSU Panther Mama on Facebook!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

GSU Spring Scrimmage 2012

Georgia State University
Spring Scrimmage 2012

Pantherettes greeted fans with programs/rosters.
An enthusiastic crowd, made up of Georgia State family and fans, lined the football practice field and filled the temporary bleachers for the Spring Scrimmage. Coach Bill Curry welcomed everyone, and shared comments throughout the warmups and scrimmage.
Coach Curry Greeting the Panther Fans
The offense won the scrimmage.
A number of players had good plays. Lots of new faces had playing time today. Defense had 14 players sidelined with injuries (including my son, and his roommate, Mark Hogan, GSU's first signed player.) 

It was fun seeing former players returning for the scrimmage! Several former Panthers are in the process of trying out for the NFL draft! 

Many attendees enjoyed their first look at the indoor practice facility, which opened in August 2011. The building houses locker rooms, training rooms, film room, laundry, conference rooms, etc. (The team has been using the practice fields for two years.) The football complex is a great example of GSU's influence on urban renewal in Atlanta.  

It was great to see fellow "Panther Mamas," Dads, family members, and fans today! We're looking forward to starting Season Three on Thursday, August 30th, at the Georgia Dome!  GO PANTHERS!

Click here for Photos from the GSU Football Spring Scrimmage 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

GSU Panthers 2012 Schedule

GSU Panthers 2012 Schedule

HERE IT IS! The GSU Football Office's story with our Panthers' 2012 Schedule!

Panther Fans are looking forward to some serious "road trips" this fall! Our team will be on the road in Tennessee, Virginia twice, and New England twice (Maine and Rhode Island!) This is our first season in the CAA--Colonial Athletic Association. 8 of our 11 opponents for 2012 are from the CAA. At home, our first two home games are re-matches against SC State, and UT San Antonio. The rest of the home games are against CAA opponents.

The pressure is on AND EXCITEMENT IS BUILDING! Georgia State Football is officially moving up to the next level of competition! Let's rally behind our team, buy our tickets, show up for pre-season events, and turn out for games!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hunterville! Ushering in a New ERA of GSU Basketball!

Ushering in a New ERA of GSU Basketball!

Momentum is building to sell out the GSU Sports Arena! Dedicated Panther Fans are camping out and creating their own version of Duke's K-Ville!

Photo Courtesy of Panther Talk
For the Panther Talk story about Hunterville, click HERE!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Let's Sell Out the Arena for Our Basketball Team!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I certainly enjoyed spending time during the holidays with family and friends.

I took a brief break from blogging, but I'll be back soon with my report on the Football Banquet. In the meantime, please check out Panther Talk's page encouraging support for our winning basketball team! C'mon Panther Fans! Let's spread the word, share the link, and SELL OUT THE ARENA!

Happy New Year!


Monday, November 14, 2011

GSU vs UWA 11-12-11

GSU vs UWA 11-12-11

After driving for four and a half hours, it was exciting to arrive in the parking lot at The University of West Alabama, and see groups of fans wearing Panther Blue!

A beautiful sunset welcomed us to West Alabama. 

Seeing this Tiger, and other team statues, makes me thing we need a Panther Statue outside OUR HOUSE, at the Dome! 

Video of OUR PANTHERS entering the stadium:

We had quite a large contingent of students, fans and families who made the trek, almost to Mississippi, to watch OUR PANTHERS play. It was great to see the Panther Posse spread out across the visitors' stands!

The fans missed having our Georgia State Marching band and Spirit Teams with us! However, a couple of fans stepped up to the plate, aand did an excellent job rallying the fans! They cheered without ceasing, and united the crowd with several spirited chants! "DEFENSE (CLAP CLAP) DEFENSE (CLAP CLAP) DEFENSE!" was by far our best!

It was another exciting game. For a time, it looked as if we were headed for our fourth overtime in a row. Unfortunately, we ended up one touchdown short of a tie! 

Moving forward: Let's Pack Out The Dome for the final game of our second season! It's Senior Day! Wear your Panther Gear, bring your friends, and let's cheer OUR PANTHERS on to victory!

GO Panthers!