As Georgia State prepares to launch its inaugural football season in September, some high-profile resignations and departmental changes are among the changes taking place in the Athletics Department under second-year director Cheryl Levick.
With Georgia State entering into the world of college football later this year, the Athletics Department of the university has undergone a number of changes to adapt to the noticeable increase in attention it has received on a national level. Among the most noticeable changes came in March 2009, when Cheryl Levick was brought in to replace Mary McElroy as Athletic Director.
Since Levick’s hiring, a number of changes have occurred within the Athletics Department. As the department prepares to launch a new football program, other areas of the Athletics Department have also undergone changes. Many of these changes are normal for athletic departments in any given year, while some are reflective of the particular changes Levick is bringing with her to the department. In addition to the changes listed to the right of the page, Levick has brought in members of her staff from the University of Maryland, including Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director James Greenwell and Kosha Irby, Senior Associate Athletics Director – External Affairs.
Irby in particular has created some friction for the new team, with members of a Hospitality class claiming that Irby pulled funding from a tailgate they were assembling during the Fall 2009 semester. Members of the class allege that Irby was surprisingly forceful in his dealings with the class, at one point referring to himself as the “Mark Cuban of collegiate sports.” Cuban, part-owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is known for his unusually active and forceful presence at Mavericks games. At press time, attempts to reach Irby for comment were unsuccessful.
Lea Henry, women’s basketball coach. Henry resigned after 16 years and a season that saw her team do well in spite of a number of injuries.
Mike Webster, volleyball coach. The Athletics Department announced in March that they would not be renewing Webster’s contract.
Sylvia Kamp, cross country coach. Kamp left to take a position with the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as their Legislation and Research Manager.
Several members of the Athletics Marketing team, including Marketing Director Kevin Olivett.
Sharon Baldwin-Tenor was announced in mid-April as the new women’s basketball coach. Baldwin-Tenor, a native of Smyrna, comes to Georgia State from East Carolina.
Tami Ores was announced in mid-April as the new volleyball coach. Ores previously worked under Levick at the University of Maryland.
The football team filled out their ranks this semester as well. Their most recent hires were Craig Harmon and Sarah Gigantino.
The Panthers’ New Look:
Fall 2009 saw the unveiling of a new branding for the Athletics Department, including a recreation of the team’s mascot, Pounce the Panther, and a reformatting of the logos associated with the department. According to Allison George, Associate Athletics Director – Communications, the new logos were commissioned in part to make the appearance of the department’s logos more traditional and in-line with other schools. The new branding was created in a joint effort by the Athletics Department and University Relations, with input provided by a committee made up of student representatives. The new uniforms for the football team were recently unveiled at the spring scrimmage. The uniforms for home games, pictured at left, are blue with white text and accents, while the uniform for away games, available on our website, are white with blue text and accents.
Written with additional reporting by Kirkland Carter and Noël Hahn.