Cobb hopes to have next football staff in place by holidays

Georgia State will move into a re-configured Turner Field next season.

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Georgia State will move into a re-configured Turner Field next season.

Georgia State athletic director Charlie Cobb hopes to have the school’s next football coach and staff in place before the Christmas holidays.

Cobb fired Trent Miles on Saturday following a 37-23 loss to Louisiana-Monroe because, he said, he needs to breath new life into the program . Miles had a 9-38 record at Georgia State and led the Panthers to their first and only bowl last season.

Cobb said the Parker Executive Search firm will be retained the day after the season ends to assist in identifying and vetting candidates. Cobb said he has already heard from several interested people.

“Two things we want to look at are someone who can bring energy and someone that can put a staff together to take what’s been built (further),” Cobb said.

Cobb said the current budget for the head coach and assistants is approximately $1.6 million, but added the program’s next budget will be competitive within the top-third of programs in the Sun Belt Conference.

Cobb stipulated he has no handshake agreements in place with anyone to succeed Miles and that everyone currently on the staff will be given a chance to discuss the job if they are interested. Wide receivers coach Tim Lappano will sever as interim head coach for the final two games .

Cobb's sales pitch is simple. It includes Turner Field , after the facility's sale to Georgia State was approved by the Board of Regents last week.

“We are playing in a facility that among our peers will be as good as anybody’s,” Cobb said. “You are in an incredible media market with a recruiting base right outside your door. We have the resources to be competitive.”

This will be Cobb’s first major coaching hire at Georgia State since leaving a similar position at Appalachian State in 2014. As the athletic director at ASU, Cobb hired Scott Satterfield, who is 29-18 as the Mountaineers’ coach.

Cobb said he wants a coach whose style of play will be entertaining, but that he is not married to any particular style or background. He would also like to hire someone who is familiar with recruiting Atlanta and Georgia, which will ease the transition.

“Whether it’s us, Memphis, Cincinnati or South Florida, programs that have been built in local markets have been (built) with local guys,” Cobb said.

Because the football season is still ongoing — the Panthers have been eliminated from bowl contention — Cobb said he doesn’t anticipate this being a fast process. There are some candidates he has considered, but only as an exercise.

“It will be a pretty wide net,” he said. “It’s not something I’ve put a lot of hours into until (Saturday).”

The next coach will face a rebuilding job on and off the field. The defense will lose six senior starters and a few more from an offense that has lacked consistency this season.

Attendance at the Georgia Dome and interest in the program has steadily decreased this season because of results and a lack of traction in the crowded and diverse Atlanta sports entertainment scene.

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