Lessons to be learned from FIU

With the Georgia State football team losing to two FCS opponents to start the season, the optimism to compete in the FBS is non existent.

Panther fans, you’re not the only ones who have had to deal with patience while building a program.

In 2002, Florida International University was a new football program trying to establish its program in a crowded sports city — Miami.

Like Georgia State, they made the move to the Sun Belt Conference at the conclusion of their third season (2004).

Unfortunately, FIU struggled to compete in their first two years in the Sun Belt, winning only 3 games in two seasons (before the NCAA vacated the wins).

However, when FIU hired Mario Cristobal in 2007, their fortunes changed. Cristobal implemented his philosophy of hard work and dedication which the players bought into and the results showed on the field.

By Cristobal’s 4th season (2010), FIU captured the Sun Belt Conference Championship and won their first bowl game at the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl.

The following year (2011), FIU appeared in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.

Meanwhile, at Georgia State, former Indiana State head coach Trent Miles was brought in after the program’s 3rd season (2012) as they made the move to the Sun Belt.

At ISU. Miles transformed a team with a losing culture to a team with a winning culture, with the players buying into his philosophy of strong discipline and accountability.

Although the Panthers lost Saturday to Chattanooga, the coach’s commitment to winning remains a priority as he moves past the loss to prepare for West Virginia.

Unfortunately, Miles was winless in his first year at Indiana State. It wasn’t until his second year that he made progress whern he ended the program’s 33 game losing streak.

The future looks bright for the Panthers since redshirt sophomore linebacker Tarris Batiste, redshirt sophomore Ronnie Bell, sophomore Joseph Peterson and freshman Robert Davis have already made their impact on the field with significant playing time this season.

Fans will have to trust in Miles’ plan because your faith will be rewarded.