Georgia Southern University Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein boasted about the students and student athletes who make up Georgia Southern Eagle nation at Tuesday’s Hinesville Rotary meeting.
He spoke about the recent transition the university made from FCS to the FBS level.
In March of 2013, the football team accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference under Kleinlein’s guidance and, last year, the Eagles won the Sun Belt football title.
Kleinlein recalled the first season in the FBS, saying it was beyond his wildest imagination seeing the GSU Eagles arrive in Florida to play the Gators and win.
“Our kids don’t know that they are not supposed to win and I learned that lesson early on,” he said, adding that the golf team also earned a championship and the baseball team had secured a conference championship as well and beat fifth ranked Florida State.
“It was the best decision for our university, moving forward not only playing football in a bigger stage but playing all sports in a bigger stage,” he said.
Kleinlein said the Statesboro school is not just about sports.
“We are a community oriented school,” he said. “We also did 1,500 hours of community service in the Statesboro, Bulloch County area.”
He said the GSU Athletic Department serves the university.
“Our job is to go out and create interest and build a fan base and get people excited about Georgia Southern through athletics and then we can turn around and say, ‘Hey did you hear about our new $40 million biology building?’”
Kleinlein said GSU has a partnership with area merchants, has a top notch computer engineering program and a state of the art nursing program, to name a few of the exemplary programs offered at the school.