As an Atlanta commuter train rumbled by, Bill Curry strolled around the practice field on a chilly Georgia morning, wearing a blue stocking cap and barking out instructions on his megaphone.
"Field goal team," he instructed. "Be ready to kick."
A few minutes later, the final practice of a football life spanning more than a half-century was done.
For Curry, there's just one more game to go.
Never miss a local story.
"It's really hard to believe," the former Kentucky coach said Thursday, before dabbing at his eyes with a handkerchief. "It went by fast."
Curry, who has spent the past three years building a new program at Georgia State, will retire after Saturday's game at Maine. This is not the way he wanted to go out — the Panthers struggling mightily with a 1-9 record — but he was feeling a little better after his players lifted him off the ground at the end of the workout, giving him that sensation of a coach being carried away in triumph.
He announced his retirement before the season even began, expressing a desire to spend more time with his wife and family. He knew this day was coming but, still, it's been weighing on him.
"I couldn't sleep last night. I woke up really early," Curry said. "But I've been doing that every night for the last two of three weeks. I couldn't help but count it down."
FAMU coach steps down
Florida A&M Coach Joe Taylor announced Thursday he's stepping down immediately.
Taylor leaves with two games remaining in his fifth season at the school. Defensive coordinator Earl Holmes, a Tallahassee native, will be the acting head coach for Saturday's homecoming game against North Carolina Central and the season finale in Orlando on Nov. 17 against league-leading Bethune-Cookman.
Florida A&M (3-6, 3-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) is out of contention for a MEAC championship.
Taylor, 62, told his players last Saturday of his plans to retire at the end of the season, but subsequently changed his mind to leave immediately and eliminate any distraction to the team. "My life has really been enriched because of this profession," said Taylor.
WVU nears humbling record
West Virginia's defense is on the verge of cementing its spot as the most porous in school history.
The Mountaineers (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) are giving up 50 points per game in conference play. If they allow at least 47 on Saturday at Oklahoma State (5-3, 3-2), they'll shatter the single-season school record of 364 points allowed, set in 1978.
And there's still at least four games left.
"We can't worry about what's happened," West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We've got to worry about what's ahead of us."
The most passing yards given up by any West Virginia team entering this season was 451. Two quarterbacks have surpassed that this year, and Baylor's Nick Florence, Texas Tech's Seth Doege and Kansas State's Collin Klein combined to throw for 14 touchdowns and run for five more against the Mountaineers.
West Virginia freshman wide receiver Travares Copeland has left the team for personal reasons. Copeland started one game and had 10 catches.
Auburn enforces curfew
Auburn athletics has hired a private security firm to help enforce player curfews.
The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Event Operations Group is working with the team's player development staff on the curfew checks.
A company official says it began sending employees to players' off-campus homes shortly after a player was arrested on a public intoxication charge on Aug. 25.
Coach Gene Chizik says the extra assistance helps him keep tabs on players who live off-campus. He says the company helps enforce an 11 p.m. curfew he implemented at the start of the season.
Chizik wouldn't go into details, but he says he always does what's best for the team.