Curry to retire after 2012 season

The coach who helped build Georgia State's football program will not be on the sidelines when the Panthers move to the FBS level next year.

Bill Curry announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of the 2012 season.

The veteran coach, who will turn 70 in October, has a career record of 92-118-4, including 9-13 in his first two seasons guiding Georgia State's fledgling program.

"The opportunity to start a football program at a university that I love, in my hometown, and the privilege to coach these young men has been one of the highlights of my career," Curry said. "This has been a labor of love, but after this season, it will be the right time to step away from coaching. I am blessed with good health, but I am ready to move on to other things in my life and devote more time to my wife, Carolyn, and our children and grandchildren.

"I've said all along that I will fulfill my contract, and I intend to do that," he continued. "I am completely committed to coaching this season, and I'm energized by this team and the enormous challenge ahead of us."

Georgia State will move from the FCS to the FBS next year and play in the Sun Belt Conference. This year, the Panthers are playing their only season as a member of CAA Football.

Curry began his coaching career in 1976 as an assistant at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, where he had captained the team in 1964, before playing for a decade in the NFL. He was an assistant with the Green Bay Packers from 1977-79, then returned to Georgia Tech for a seven-year stint as head coach from 1980-86.

He then moved on to Alabama for three seasons and won the SEC Coach of the Year award in his final season in 1989.

Dissatisfied with a potential new contract at Alabama, Curry left to become head coach at another SEC school, Kentucky, where he spent seven seasons from 1990-96.

In 2008, he was hired to lead Georgia State's start-up program after working at ESPN as an analyst for many years. In the Panthers' inaugural season as an FCS independent in 2010, Curry led them to a 6-5 record. Last year, the Panthers struggled to a 3-8 mark.

Georgia State opens Curry's final season against South Carolina State on Aug. 30 at the Georgia Dome. The season wraps up Nov. 10 at Maine.

Following the season, Curry will remain at Georgia State, working with university president Mark Becker at least through the conclusion of his contract, which runs until June 30.

Georgia State director of athletics Cheryl L. Levick said the university will conduct a national search for a new head coach following the season.