The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that at least two of three finalists for Georgia State University athletic director position have been identified by a person with knowledge of the situation.




A source close to the situation says two of the finalists are Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb, and Mario Moccia, the athletic director at Southern Illinois. The third candidate is an assistant athletic director at an SEC school who was not identified.


Cobb didn’t return a phone message left Wednesday evening and Moccia didn’t return emails left Wednesday morning and evening.


Georgia State President Mark Becker said on Tuesday that he was close to naming an athletic director to replace former AD Cheryl Levick, who has transitioned to a new role as Becker’s special assistant effective July 1.


Becker wouldn’t comment on any candidates other than to say the university is “only interested in people that are the complete package, people that understand and have a track record of success both externally and internally.”


A university spokesman on Wednesday declined to comment. The search for the athletic director has been led by the Atlanta-based firm of Parker Executive Search. The two named candidates have strong backgrounds as fund-raisers.


Moccia has led an $80 million campaign to build a new football stadium, renovate the basketball arena and construct a 50,000-square foot team facility. According to his bio on the school’s website the facilities opened in 2010, just four years after he was hired.


Cobb is in his 10th year in Boone, where the university has undergone more than $50 million in facilities upgrades. He has family in Atlanta and in the 1990s worked for the Atlanta Sports Council, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Georgia Dome.


Georgia State is in the process of raising $2.5 million to build a strength and conditioning facility for football, $5.5 million for a sports performance center and $3.875 million for an academic performance center.


There is also the $300 million Turner Field proposal looming. When the Braves leave the stadium, and if it and the surrounding land are put up for sale, Georgia State and several partners would like to purchase the property and turn it into a mixed-use sports and retail complex. Turner Field would possibly be repurposed into a football stadium. A new baseball stadium would be constructed for the Panthers, and dorms and other shops would be built.


Photo Courtesy: Charlie Cobb, App State Athletics