Charlie Cobb, director of athletics at Appalachian State University for the past nine years, has been named director of athletics at Georgia State University.
Cobb’s salary will be $300,000 with potential bonuses for academic and athletic achievements. He signed a five-year contract with an option for an additional two years.
Cobb succeeds Cheryl Levick, who stepped down as director of athletics in May to take a position as special assistant to President Mark Becker. Cobb was selected after a national search.
“Charlie Cobb is a proven program builder and winner,” Becker said. “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.”
Karl Benson, commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference, 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.”
During Cobb’s tenure the Mountaineers won three consecutive Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) football national championships, the first time it has been done in the history of the NCAA. Season-ticket sales for football at Appalachian State increased 298 percent and the university’s 46 regular-season games were sellouts during Cobb’s tenure.
Also during his time at Appalachian State, the Mountaineers won eight consecutive Commissioner’s Cup championships, recognition of the top men’s sports program in the Southern Conference. They won four Germann Cup championships for the top women’s program in the conference. Appalachian State won both awards in the same academic year four times, an unprecedented achievement in the conference.
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Thirty-five percent of student-athletes made the Academic Honor Roll during Cobb’s tenure. Seven of the university’s varsity programs earned recognition for being among the top 10 percent nationally in their sports in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate scores.
Appalachian State set fund-raising records in each of the past eight years and topped the $3 million mark for the first time in 2012-13. The university spent $50 million in facilities improvements, including construction of the seven-story Appalachian Athletics Center, which includes new football offices and locker rooms, training facilities, study areas, club-level seating and 18 luxury suites in adjacent Kidd Brewer Stadium.
The fundraising campaign also produced new homes for Mountaineer baseball, softball and soccer, as well as a new indoor practice facility and renovations to the university’s Varsity Gym.
In March 2013 Appalachian State entered the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) when it accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference. The Mountaineers joined the Sun Belt in all sports last July 1.
Prior to joining Appalachian State, Cobb, 46, was senior associate athletics director for external operations at North Carolina State University for seven years. During his tenure the Wolfpack increased football season-ticket sales by 87 percent and men’s basketball season-ticket sales by 121 percent.
Before joining North Carolina State in 1998, Cobb spent six years in Atlanta where he held positions with the Atlanta Sports Council, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and the Georgia Dome. He was instrumental in bringing major national events, such as the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) football championship, and the SEC and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) basketball championships to Atlanta.
Cobb was a four-year letter winner as a football player at North Carolina State. He graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from North Carolina State in 1990 and earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1992. As a senior center, he was named to the All-ACC second team. He was an All-ACC academic selection and earned the Jim Tatum Award given to the ACC football senior with the highest grade-point average and the Bob Warren Memorial Award, given to a football player for integrity and sportsmanship.
Cobb and his wife, Lindsay, have a son and daughter, 15-year-old Harrison and 12 year-old Branan. Lindsay Cobb was an all-ACC goalkeeper for the North Carolina State women’s soccer team from 1988-90.