Georgia State hopes to have a football coach hired by Dec. 15, athletic director Charlie Cobb said on Tuesday.
Cobb said the search has started, but no interviews have taken place. Cobb said he hopes conversations will occur with 10-12 of the candidates within the next week. That pool will be narrowed down to 4-5 for more serious conversations.
Cobb declined to confirm or refute any of the candidates who have been linked to the job in social media or reports. Some of those have included Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
“It’s a great discussion for Georgia State to be mentioned, but as far as the accuracy of any names I’ll leave that up for other people to decide,” he said.
The next coach will replace Trent Miles, who was fired with two games remaining in the season after going 9-38. The Panthers (3-8, 2-5 Sun Belt) will finish the regular season at Idaho on Saturday.
Cobb did say that it’s an exciting pool of candidates who have various backgrounds as head coaches or coordinators.
He wants a coach who will fulfill three criteria:
- Someone who wants the job;
- Someone who believes that a successful, competitive program can be built at Georgia State;
- Someone who will bring energy to the program 365 days a year.
Cobb said he, President Mark Becker and 2-3 more people will be a part of the group interviewing the candidates.
Cobb said the base salary of the next coach will be within $525,000-$550,000, which was within the range Miles made with achievable bonuses, with a contract length of 4-5 years. The coach will likely have between $1.0-1.1 million to hire a staff.
Cobb said he is hiring a coach to hire a staff, but that he hopes a few of the coaches on Miles’ staff will be given some consideration.
The new coach will have a few advantages that his predecessors lacked. First, the program will move from playing its games in the Georgia Dome to Turner Field. That could give the Panthers a homefield advantage that it lacked for most games. The team has averaged 15,103 in announced attendance this season at the Dome.
That move should also generate some interest and excitement in the program, which despite some brief periods of success, which included going to its first bowl game in 2015, has failed to create a consistent niche in the crowded Atlanta sports and entertainment marketplace. The team has had just one winning season, and that it occured in its inaugural year under Bill Curry in 2010.
The next coach will need to rebuild a defense that will lose more than six key starters and backups, but will have an offense that will return several notable players including quarterbacks Conner Manning and Aaron Winchester, tight end Ari Werts, several running backs and receiver Penny Hart, among others.