ATLANTA--Bill Curry, Georgia State's head football coach since the program's inception in 2008, announced Wednesday that he will retire from coaching following the 2012 season.

"The opportunity to start a football program at a university that I love, in my hometown, and the privilege to coach these young men has been one of the highlights of my career," said Curry, who will turn 70 in October. "This has been a labor of love, but after this season, it will be the right time to step away from coaching. I am blessed with good health, but I am ready to move on to other things in my life and devote more time to my wife, Carolyn, and our children and grandchildren.

"I've said all along that I will fulfill my contract, and I intend to do that," continued Curry. "I am completely committed to coaching this season, and I'm energized by this team and the enormous challenge ahead of us."

Following the season, which concludes Nov. 10 at Maine, Curry will remain with the University, working with President Mark Becker, at least through the conclusion of his current contract, which runs until June 30, 2013.

Named head coach on June 12, 2008, Curry spent two years developing the program in preparation for the inaugural season of 2010, when his Panthers posted a winning record (6-5) while exceeding all expectations in terms of attendance, excitement and exposure. The program has a two-year record of 9-13, and this fall, after just two seasons of play, Georgia State begins its transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Sun Belt Conference.

"Bill has made a decision based on what is right for himself and his family at this time," said Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick. "As much as we would all love for Bill Curry to be our football coach forever, we certainly understand and respect this very personal decision.

"Bill remains as committed as ever to his role as head coach and mentor to these young men in this final chapter of his coaching career. I think he is invigorated by the unique challenges of this season as we build toward our move to FBS and the Sun Belt.

"Following the season, we will conduct a national search for our new head coach, but the focus now, and for all 11 games this season, will be on this football team, these young men, and their amazing head coach," she added.

A native of College Park, Ga., Curry came to Georgia State with 17 years of head coaching experience at Georgia Tech (1980-86), Alabama (1987-89) and Kentucky (1990-96), as well as an All-Pro playing career in the National Football League, and most recently, 11 years as a college football analyst for ESPN. He enters his final season with a record of 92-118-4 in 19 seasons as a head coach.

As an NFL center, Curry participated in three Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls and won three championships in his 10-year career with the Green Bay Packers (1965-66), Baltimore Colts (1967-72), Houston Oilers (1973) and Los Angeles Rams (1974).

A 1965 graduate of Georgia Tech, Curry has garnered numerous accolades in his storied career, including Coach of the Year in both the ACC and SEC, the 1989 Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year Award, the AFCA's Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 2007, and the Gerald R. Ford Legends Center Award in 2008. He is a member of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.