Charlie Cobb, who served as Appalachian State University’s director of athletics since 2005, resigned on Thursday to accept the same position at Georgia State University.
“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,” Appalachian State Chancellor Dr. Sheri N. Everts said. “While I wish Charlie the best in his new endeavor, his leadership and collegiality will be missed at Appalachian.”
A national search for a new director of athletics will begin immediately. An interim A.D. has not been appointed at this time.
Cobb, 46, took the reins at Appalachian State on July 1, 2005. Of the many achievements in his nine years at Appalachian State, the most notable came in March 2013 when Appalachian accepted an invitation to join the NCAA Division I FBS Sun Belt Conference. For many of the University’s most ardent supporters, when Appalachian State officially joined the Sun Belt on July 1, 2014, it capped a years- and even decades-long quest for all 450-plus Mountaineer student-athletes to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.
However, the Sun Belt invitation is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to Cobb’s many accomplishments at Appalachian State. The achievements enjoyed by Appalachian athletics during Cobb’s tenure also included:
• three NCAA Division I football national championships — marking the first time that any program has ever won three-consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS — formerly Division I-AA) titles and the first NCAA football championships ever won by a team from the state of North Carolina at any level.
• shattering football attendance records at Kidd Brewer Stadium with crowds surpassing “The Rock’s” permanent seating capacity for 51-of-52 regular-season home games.
• a 298-percent increase in football season-ticket sales.
• nine-consecutive Commissioner’s Cup championships — recognizing the top overall men’s sports program in the Southern Conference.
• four Germann Cup championships — recognizing the top overall women’s sports program in the SoCon.
• sweeping the Commissioner’s and Germann Cups in the same academic year four times — a feat never achieved by any other SoCon school.
• thirty-five percent of the athletics department’s students making the Academic Honor Roll (minimum GPA of 3.25).
• student-athletes achieving a combined 3.0 grade point average for each of the last four semesters.
• seven of 20 varsity programs (football, men’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, field hockey, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field) earning public recognition awards, based on ranking among the top 10 percent nationally in their respective sports in Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.
• the Yosef Club, which provides scholarship and facility support for student-athletes, setting fundraising records each of the past eight years. Annual Yosef Club donations, which never topped $700,000 prior to Cobb’s arrival, climbed steadily during Cobb’s tenure and surpassed $3 million each of the last two years.
Besides the move to the Sun Belt Conference and FBS, the most visible of Cobb’s many achievements at Appalachian State was the addition of first-class facilities that give the Mountaineers the opportunity to be successful across the athletics spectrum for years to come.
Under Cobb’s leadership, App State underwent a wave of facility enhancements totaling $50 million, headlined by the 120,000-square-foot Appalachian Athletics Center, which was completed in 2009. The seven-story complex, located behind Kidd Brewer Stadium’s west stands, includes new football offices and locker room, a strength and conditioning center, training facilities, academic study space and computer lab for all student-athletes, as well as revenue-generating premium seating in the form of 600 club-level seats and 18 luxury suites.
The facility enhancements also included other significant renovations to Kidd Brewer Stadium, most notably the addition of nearly 7,000 seats, the bulk of which are located in an upper deck that was erected on the stadium’s east side in 2008. Other renovations at The Rock included a widescreen videoboard that doubled the size of the old video display on the scoreboard in the south end zone, substantial upgrades to the public-address system and concourses around the stadium, a new ticket plaza, which serves as a grand entrance to the stadium at the corner of Stadium Drive and Jack Branch Drive, and ornamental fencing that replaced the chain-link barriers that used to surround the stadium.
In addition to the renovations at Kidd Brewer Stadium, the unprecedented surge of facility enhancements has also produced new homes for Mountaineer baseball, softball, soccer and field hockey, as well as Appalachian State’s first-ever indoor practice facility and renovations to Varsity Gym that have upgraded the facility to a premier practice and competition venue for Appalachian basketball, golf, indoor track and field, volleyball and wrestling.
With the $50 million in facilities enhancements, all 20 of Appalachian’s intercollegiate sports teams practice and compete in facilities that have either been built or renovated since the turn of the millennium.
Cobb’s peers recognized him for his efforts when the National Collegiate Athletics Directors Association (NACDA) named him the NCAA Division I FCS Southeast Region Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year in 2011.
Cobb came to Appalachian State from his alma mater, NC State, where he served as senior associate athletics director for external operations for seven years.
The move to Georgia State represents a return to Atlanta for Cobb, who held positions with the Atlanta Sports Council, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and the Georgia Dome prior to his stint at NC State.
Cobb’s wife, Lindsay, is also an Atlanta native and the Cobbs have numerous relatives in the area, including Lindsay’s parents. The Cobbs have two children — Harrison, 16, and Branan, 13.
The Hickory Crawdads got the offensive output they'd been waiting for Wednesday afternoon but the pitching staff couldn't back it up, as the 'Dads were outslugged by the Charleston RiverDogs in a 13-9 loss at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
The Crawdads had been held to four runs despite 20 total hits over the first two games of the series before erupting for nine runs on 11 hits in the finale. Both Joe Jackson and Jairo Beras provided the pop with 3-run home runs, while Michael De Leon reached base safely four times courtesy of two singles and a pair of walks. All the offense wasn't enough to keep up with the RiverDogs though, as the 'Dogs received a 3-run homer from Yeicok Calderon and a go-ahead grand slam by Brandon Thomas to complete their sweep of the 'Dads.
Hickory fell behind early when Charleston jumped on Crawdads starting pitcher Collin Wiles for four runs on three hits in the first, including Calderon's 3-run blast to right for a 4-0 RiverDogs Lead. Wiles settled down following the 1st and retired the next nine consecutive 'Dogs to keep the 'Dads in the game. The Crawdads offense came through in the top of the 4th, when both Jackson and Beras launched 3-run long balls to propel the Crawdads to a 6-4 lead.
Charleston responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at 6-6, but the 'Dads bats came back with two more tallies in the 5th and one in the 6th to re-take the lead at 9-6. Ronald Guzman plated both the runs in the 5th with a 2-RBI single, while Ryan Cordell's RBI groundout brought home the run in the 6th.
The RiverDogs began chipping away at the deficit in the bottom of the 6th with two runs on three walks and a double off of Hickory reliever Scott Williams to cut the score to 9-8. The 'Dads turned to lefty reliever Felix Carvallo to escape the frame, but the Venezuela native loaded the bases with only one out in the 7th before giving way to fellow southpaw Luis Pollorena. Making his Crawdads debut, Pollorena's first batter, Thomas, hit a grand slam to propel Charleston back on top with a 12-9 score. The RiverDogs picked up one last run off of Pollorena in the 8th to end the scoring at 13-9.
Carvallo (4-4) took the loss for the 'Dads after giving up three runs on three hits and two walks during his one inning pitched. 'Dogs reliever Evan Rutckyj (4-2) earned the win with one run allowed on three hits, one walk, and four strikeouts during his three innings on the mound.
The Crawdads (29-24) will now return home to start a four-game home stand against the Delmarva Shorebirds. Game one on Thursday is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads offense produced double digit hits and got men into scoring position in five separate innings Tuesday night, but the 'Dads bats were undone by the Charleston RiverDogs gloves as the Crawdads hit into three double plays in a 3-2 loss to the 'Dogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
For the second straight night the Crawdads bats had little trouble collecting hits against the RiverDogs, with the 'Dads finishing with 11 total base knocks to the 'Dogs nine. Three different frames were undone on double plays however, with Charleston turning two in the 1st, 2nd, and 5th innings to keep Hickory at bay. The RiverDogs suffered a similar fate as the Crawdads, as the 'Dogs hit into three double plays as well to keep the game close.
The 'Dogs offense jumped on 'Dads starting pitcher David Ledbetter early, with Charleston scoring one run in the 1st and two in the 2nd for a 3-0 lead. The Crawdads had opportunities in each of the first two frames as well with two runners on and only one out each time, but in both innings a double play ended the opportunity before any runs could score.
Hickory got on the board on the 5th when Jairo Beras doubled, moved to third one out later on a single by Nick Urbanus, and finally scored on a RBI base knock from Luis Marte to make the score 3-1. Michael De Leon followed with yet another single to load the bases with only one out, but Evan Van Hoosier ground into the Crawdads third inning-ending double play of the night to cut the rally short.
The 'Dads scored one last run in the top of the 8th on a RBI single by Joe Jackson to cut the deficit to 3-2 just before the rain began to fall and the tarp was pulled. Following a more than hour-long rain delay, the game finally ended when Charleston reliever Eric Ruth shutout the Crawdads in the 9th for the final 3-2 score.
De Leon led the Hickory offense, finishing 3-4 with a run scored. Nick Urbanus also ended with a multi-hit game going 2-3 with a triple, while both Ronald Guzman and Beras went 1-4 with a double.
Ledbetter (5-6) took the loss for the 'Dads after giving up three runs on six hits, four walks, and six strikeouts over five innings pitched. 'Dogs starter Luis Niebla (2-1) earned the win after allowing one run on seven hits, one walk, and one strikeout during his five frames. Ruth (5) picked up the save with 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The Crawdads (29-23) will try to avoid the sweep against the RiverDogs (27-25) in the third and final game of their series Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads didn't lack for hits in their opening game against the Charleston RiverDogs Monday night, but despite outhitting the 'Dogs 9-8 the 'Dads couldn't come through with men in scoring position in their 5-2 loss at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
The Crawdads left 11 total men on the base paths, seven of them in scoring position. The RiverDogs struggled to bring in base runners as well, as the 'Dogs left 8 men on base with seven stranded in scoring position. The difference in the game came in the form of a three-run home run from an unlikely source, as Charleston shortstop Abiatal Avelino lined a 3-run homer to left in the 2nd for his first big fly of the year and just the second of his career.
Hickory took the initial advantage in the 1st, when leadoff hitter Michael De Leon singled to center before coming home two outs later on a RBI single by Ronald Guzman for a 1-0 Crawdads lead. The RiverDogs responded with Avelino's 3-run homer off of 'Dads starting pitcher Tyler Smith in the 2nd and added another tally in the 4th on a two-out, RBI double from Tyler Wade to make the score 4-1 'Dogs.
The 'Dads cut the deficit to 4-2 with back-to-back doubles from Ryan Cordell and Joe Jackson in the top of the 5th, but Charleston answered with a RBI single by Yeicok Calderon in the bottom of the frame to push the lead back to three runs with a 5-2 score. The Crawdads attempted one last rally in the 9th when De Leon and Cordell reached to bring Jackson to the plate as the tying run, but RiverDogs closer Stefan Lopez entered the game and struck out Jackson looking to end the contest with a 5-2 Hickory loss.
Jackson ended the game 2-3 with a double, RBI, and two walks, while Cordell went 3-5 with two doubles and a run scored.
Smith (6-4) took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over four innings pitched. Charleston reliever Chaz Hebert (2-3) earned the win with one run given up on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts during 4.2 frames on the mound. Lopez (4) earned the save for striking out the lone batter he faced.
The Crawdads (29-21) will take on the RiverDogs (26-25) again in game two of their three-game series on Tuesday, with first pitched scheduled for 7:05 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads battled both the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the weather Sunday night before the 'Dads saw their five game winning streak end with a 6-1 loss when the umpires called the game after 8½ rainy innings at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The majority of the contest played out similar to the series' previous three games, with the Crawdads and Grasshoppers locked in a pitchers' duel through the first eight innings. A 2-1 Greensboro lead ballooned to 6-1 in the top of the 9th when the 'Hoppers struck for four runs on three hits, two walks, and an error with the rain pouring down. Following the end of the half inning the umpire crew suspended the game due to unsafe playing conditions, ultimately ending the contest before the 'Dads could bat in the bottom of the 9th.
The Grasshoppers jumped out to the initial lead in the 1st inning when leadoff hitter JT Riddle drew a four-pitch walk from 'Dads starting pitcher Akeem Bostick and eventually came around to score on a RBI sacrifice fly from Brian Anderson for a 1-0 Greensboro advantage. Bostick left the game immediately following his walk to Riddle with an apparent groin injury, forcing the 'Dads to turn to reliever Jose Monegro. Monegro responded with five shutout innings out of the bullpen to keep his team in the game.
The Crawdads offense answered Greensboro's run with one of their own in the bottom of the 2nd, when Joe Jackson lined a solo home run to right to tie the game at 1-1. The score would hold until the top of the 6th, when the Grasshoppers used consecutive walks and a RBI single off of Hickory reliever Felix Carvallo to re-take the lead at 2-1. Both teams remained scoreless over the next two innings before Greensboro broke the game open in the 9th.
Carvallo (4-3) took the loss after allowing one run on three hits, two walks, and a strikeout over 2.2 innings pitched. 'Hoppers reliever Tyler Kane (1-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings pitched. Fellow bullpen arm Jose Arias earned his first save after striking out all six batters he faced while making his Greensboro debut.
Jackson finished the game 1-2 with his fifth homer of the year and a walk. Ryan Cordell posted the 'Dads only multi-hit performance after going 2-3 with a double.
The Crawdads (29-21) will now head to Charleston, SC to start a three game series against the RiverDogs. First pitch Monday night is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads offense was shutout for the first eight innings of their game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers Saturday night, but down to their final three outs the dormant 'Dads bats broke out with three runs in the bottom of the 9th for a 3-2 walk-off win over the 'Hoppers at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The victory is the fifth in a row for the Crawdads and their third straight vs. the Grasshoppers, moving the 'Dads into a tie with the 'Hoppers for second place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division just two games back of first place Hagerstown. The walk-off win is the 7th such victory for Hickory this season, and their first since a 4-3, 10-inning win over Greenville on June 29th.
The 9th inning rally started with a leadoff double to right center field by Joe Jackson off of Greensboro closer Tyler Kinley. Zach Cone followed with a walk before Jairo Beras lined out to right field for the first out of the inning. Travis Demeritte then drove in the first run with a RBI single up the middle to score Jackson and cut the score to 2-1. Cone and Demeritte both were able to take an extra base on the play as well, with Cone going first to third on the single and Demeritte taking second base when the Grasshoppers threw the ball in to third.
With runners at second and third and one out, Marcus Greene came through with his first hit as a Crawdad and tied the game at 2-2 when he tapped an infield, RBI single that snuck past Kinley and allowed Cone to score and Demeritte to move to third. The next batter up was ninth place hitter Luis Marte, who hit a ground ball to Grasshoppers shortstop Rehiner Cordova that saw Demeritte break for the plate on contact. Cordova threw the ball home, but Demeritte slid around the tag of 'Hoppers catcher Brad Haynal to score and give the 'Dads the 3-2, walk-off win.
The Crawdads and Grasshoppers began the game playing to a scoreless tie through the first four frames, with Hickory hurler Frank Lopez and Greensboro starter Jarlin Garcia both allowing just one hit over four shutout innings. The 'Hoppers finally broke through in the 5th, plating two runs on four hits off of Lopez to take a 2-0 lead.
The 'Dads remained off the board over the next four frames, as Garcia finished with five scoreless innings pitched before relievers Kyle Fischer and Miguel Del Pozo combined to toss three shutout frames prior to the Crawdads 9th inning comeback. Lopez ended the night with two runs allowed on five hits and a season high 10 strikeouts over five innings pitched. Hickory relievers Anyelo Leclerc and Ryne Slack took over from there, with the duo throwing a combined four shutout innings out of the bullpen.
Slack (7-2) earned the win for the 'Dads after tossing a scoreless 9th, while Kinley (3-1) took the loss for the 'Hoppers after blowing the save.
The Crawdads (29-20) will go for the four-game sweep of the Grasshoppers (29-20) Sunday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads pitching staff continued to lead the way in the team's recent hot play, as the 'Dads won their 4th straight game thanks to a 1-0 shutout victory over the Greensboro Grasshoppers Friday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Crawdads Pitchers Collin Wiles and Patrick Kaminska kept the Grasshoppers off the scoreboard on eight hits allowed, seven singles, with one walk and six total strikeouts. The shutout was the 8th of the season for the 'Dads pitching staff, who has given up only two total runs over the team's last 32 innings played.
The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the 8th inning, when ninth place hitter Nick Urbanus led off the frame for Hickory with a triple into the right field corner off of Greensboro reliever Esmerling De La Rosa. One batter later, Michael De Leon lofted a RBI sacrifice fly to left to score Urbanus and give the 'Dads their 1-0 lead.
Wiles started the game with 5.1 scoreless innings pitched, as the right-hander worked around seven hits while striking out five. Wiles left the game with two 'Hopper base runners in scoring position and one out in the 6th, but Kaminska was able to wiggle the 'Dads out of the frame en route to tossing 3.2 shutout innings of his own.
The pitching duo also received several standout defensive plays in the win, with Joe Jackson throwing out a runner at home from left field in the 4th before Ronald Guzman came home on one-hopper to first base in the 6th to gun yet another Grasshopper at the plate. New Crawdads catcher Marcus Greene left his defensive mark on the game as well, throwing out two would-be base stealers while making his South Atlantic League debut.
Kaminska (3-1) earned the win for his stout performance out of the bullpen, while De La Rosa (3-2) took the loss for giving up the only run of the night. Urbanus finished the night 2-3 with a triple and the game's only run scored.
The Crawdads (28-20) are now just one game back of the Grasshoppers (29-19) in the South Atlantic League Northern Division. The 'Dads will take on the 'Hoppers again in game three of their four game series on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads received their second straight stellar pitching performance Thursday night, as Hickory hurlers David Ledbetter, Cole Wiper, & Jose Valdespina held the potent Greensboro Grasshoppers offense at bay in the 'Dads 4-1 win at L.P. Frans Stadium.
One night after Crawdads pitchers Luis Ortiz and Tyler Smith narrowly missed out on a no-hitter in the team's 2-1 victory over Kannapolis, the 'Dads once again turned to their pitching staff to lead the way. The pitching trio of Ledbetter, Cole, & Valdespina held the Grasshoppers to just one run on four hits, allowing the Crawdads offense to score three late runs and pull away for the win. The victory also brings the 'Dads to within two games of the first place 'Hoppers in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.
The Hickory bats gave their pitching staff an early advantage, as Michael De Leon began the 1st inning with a double off the left field fence before coming in two outs later on a RBI single from Joe Jackson for a 1-0 Crawdads lead. The score would stand for the next four frames, as Ledbetter retired 11 consecutive Grasshoppers from the 2nd through the first out of the 6th. Greensboro was finally able to scrape across a run in the top of the 6th, with All-Star right fielder Carlos Lopez lining a 2-out, RBI single to left to tie the game at 1-1.
The 'Dads bats came to Ledbetter's rescue in the bottom of the frame, with a 2-out, RBI single by Zach Cone plating Evan Van Hoosier to put Hickory back on top 2-1. The Crawdads built on the advantage with single tallies in the next two innings, with Travis Demeritte lining a solo home run to right center field in the 7th before coming through again with a RBI single in the 8th to give Hickory their 4-1 lead.
The Crawdads bullpen finished it off from there, with Wiper tossing two perfect frames before Valdespina closed out the game with a scoreless 9th for the final 4-1 score.
Ledbetter (5-5) earned the win with one run allowed on four hits, no walks, and three strikeouts over six innings pitched. Greensboro reliever Ramon Del Orbe (3-2) took the loss after giving up two runs on three hits over two innings out of the pen. Valdespina picked up his fourth save of the year for closing out the game.
Demeritte ended the night 2-4 with his SAL-leading 24th homer of the year and two RBI. Joe Jackson also had a multi-hit game going 2-4 with a RBI and a run scored, while De Leon finished 1-2 with a double, two walks, and a run scored.
The Crawdads (27-20) will battle the Grasshoppers (29-18) again on Friday in game two of their 4-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Soccer Team is ranked No. 22 in the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division II National Preseason Top 25 Poll. NSCAA is the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Lenoir-Rhyne is coming a 14-4-2 season last fall en route to its fourth consecutive South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship.
The Bears also hosted the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament for the second time in three years and earned a trip to the national playoffs for the fourth straight season in 2013.
Lenoir-Rhyne, under first-year Head Coach Tammy DeCesare, returns several key players from last season's squad including junior All-American midfielder Garcelle Alequine (Wilmington, Del.) and junior forward Leah Mullins (Kissimmee, Fla.).
Alequine led the Bears in goals scored (nine) and total points (23) while Mullins finished with seven goals, six assists and 20 points. Over the last four seasons, Lenoir-Rhyne has a combined record of 66-11-7.
Lenoir-Rhyne opens the season at No. 14 Rollins on Friday, September 5, at 7:00 p.m., in Winter Park, Fla. The Bears' first home match takes place on Wednesday, September 10, against USC Aiken beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Belmont Abbey (No. 19) and Wingate (No. 10) are two other opponents Lenoir-Rhyne will face in 2014 who are ranked nationally in the preseason poll.
2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire
NCAA Division II Women's Soccer
Top 25 Preseason Poll
1. Grand Valley State 24-0-1
2. West Florida 17-1-3
3. Western Washington 20-2-1
4. American International 18-3-2
5. St. Edward's 18-1-3
6. Saint Rose 20-1-2
7. Slippery Rock 15-4-2
8. Minnesota-Duluth 17-4
9. Colorado Mines 19-1-1
10. Wingate 16-3-4
11. California State Stanislaus 18-1-2
12. California (Pa.) 18-3-2
13. Quincy 18-1-4
14. Rollins 16-4
15. Minnesota State Mankato 17-3-2
16. Metro State 14-4-4
17. California State San Bernardino 12-7-4
18. Tampa 15-4-2
19. Belmont Abbey 15-4-4
20. Bridgeport 18-3
21. Southwest Minnesota State 17-4-2
22. Lenoir-Rhyne 14-4-2
23. Winona State 16-4-2
24. Fort Lewis 16-6-6
25. Seattle Pacific 15-6-1
Appalachian State women's track and field received an all-academic honor from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The women's program posted a cumulative grade point average of 3.16 and was one of 208 programs nationwide to receive the honor.
Last month, women's track and field thrower Brianna Tate was named to the all-academic team as announced by the USTFCCCA. Tate qualified by maintaining a GPA of at least 3.25 while also participating in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships during the outdoor season.
Tate won two shot put conference championships during the 2013-14 season, while maintaining a 3.63 GPA in her biology major. She participated in the NCAA regional preliminaries this May and is currently ranked third on the Appalachian all-time records list for the shot put.