Appalachian St. loses AD Cobb to Georgia St.

08/14/2014 9:21 PM

08/14/2014 9:22 PM

Charlie Cobb, Appalachian State’s athletics director since 2005, resigned Thursday to become the athletics director at Georgia State.

He succeeds Cheryl Levick, who left in May and became a special assistant to Mark Becker, the university’s president.

Georgia State, located in Atlanta, has an enrollment of 32,000 and is a member of the Sun Belt Conference, which Appalachian State joined last month.

Mike Flynn, Appalachian State’s sports information director, spoke with Cobb and said Cobb wouldn’t comment until a news conference Friday morning at Georgia State to introduce him as the AD.

Cobb’s annual salary at Appalachian State was $185,606. He will have a base salary of $300,000 at Georgia State.

Cobb worked in Atlanta for six years during the 1990s, for the Atlanta Sports Council, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Georgia Dome.

His wife, Lindsay, is from Atlanta, and the Cobbs have family there.

Cobb, 46 and in his 10th year as Appalachian State’s AD, was an associate AD for seven years at his alma mater, N.C. State, where he also played football. He has a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University.

Cobb became the Mountaineers’ AD during 2005 after Roachel Laney was reassigned.

Appalachian State Chancellor Sheri Everts issued a statement Thursday saying she had accepted Cobb’s resignation.

“It is with mixed emotions that I accept the resignation of athletic director Charlie Cobb who has accepted the position of director of athletics for Georgia State University beginning this fall,” Everts said. “While I wish Charlie the best in his new endeavor, his leadership and collegiality will be missed at Appalachian.”

Cobb led Appalachian State’s recent move from the Football Championship Subdivision and the Southern Conference to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Sun Belt.

During his tenure at Appalachian State, the Mountaineers won three FCS national football titles and reaped the benefits of a 2007 marquee win at Michigan. Attendance for home football games boomed – prompting the expansion of Kidd Brewer Stadium – along with fund-raising revenue for athletics scholarships.

Football season-ticket sales increased 298 percent, and Appalachian State set school fund-raising records in each of the past eight years, topping the $3 million mark each of the past two.

Cobb also spearheaded a $50 million facilities-enhancement campaign, which resulted in a seven-story, 120,000-square-foot athletics complex at Kidd Brewer that houses football offices, locker rooms, training areas, club seating, suites for football and other offices.

Stadiums for baseball, field hockey and soccer, and an indoor practice facility, also were built during Cobb’s time.

Appalachian State’s annual budget for athletics increased from $7.5 million in Cobb’s first year to the current $20.6 million.

“Charlie Cobb is a proven program-builder and winner,” Becker said in a statement from Georgia State. “He has a remarkable record of achievement at Appalachian State, and I look forward to working with him to take our athletic programs to new heights in Atlanta and in the Sun Belt Conference.”

Georgia State, which began its football program in 2009 and joined the Sun Belt in 2013, has started a fundraising effort to upgrade athletics and is exploring the possibility of acquiring Turner Field as a potential home for its football team. Georgia State plays at the Georgia Dome.

Karl Benson, the commissioner of the Sun Belt, said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Charlie during the past year, and Georgia State is getting a real superstar. It is a big loss for Appalachian State and a huge gain for the Panthers.”

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