Sept. 2, 2009
Atlanta, Ga. - Move over Falcons - for one night in September of 2010, the Georgia Dome will be full of Hawks.
Shorter College, which will become Shorter University in June 2010, will take on Georgia State University in its 2010 football season opener on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, as announced today by both institutions.
The Hawks will be part of history - not only playing in the home of the Atlanta Falcons for the first time ever, but also challenging the Panthers and their legendary head coach Bill Curry in their program's first-ever collegiate football game.
"It's an exciting opportunity for us to play a new football team, particularly one in our state," said Shorter head football coach Phil Jones. "We know it will be a tough task for us and we are looking forward to playing in the Dome."
Shorter, in the midst of its fifth season of intercollegiate football, competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and is a member of the Mid-South Conference.
The Hawks have quickly established themselves as a national power at the NAIA level, posting a 9-3 record in 2008 while winning the program's first-ever Mid-South Conference Western Division championship and advancing to the NAIA National Championship Playoffs for the first time last fall.
Shorter football has created quite a buzz in and around Rome, as the team was ranked preseason No. 11 in the nation to begin 2009 - the highest ranking ever attained by the program.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to play in front of a larger crowd, especially for our first game in Atlanta," said Shorter Director of Athletics Bill Peterson. "It's exciting for our team and for all Shorter alumni."
Georgia State announced the launch of its program in the spring of 2008 and will begin its first season of play in 2010 with its date against the Hawks.
The Panthers will compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA. Georgia State will play its home games at the Georgia Dome.
"Although Shorter has a head start on us, we are both starting new programs, from slightly different directions," said Curry, a former National Football League player, University of Alabama head coach and ESPN college football analyst. "Hopefully this game will help both programs."