ATLANTA -- It's just part of the business, a part that no one enjoys.
The Georgia State Panthers returned to work on the practice field in Downtown Atlanta without former head coach Trent Miles who was fired on Sunday. Assistant coach Tim Lappano will take over as the interim coach for the final two games of the season.
"There's not a person in that locker room that is happy about that decision. Everyone loves Coach Miles," safety Bobby Baker said after Monday's practice.
Lappano said the practice was bittersweet, bitter without Miles, sweet in that he would be leading the team for the next few weeks. The Panthers are 2-8 after 10 games. Last season, Miles led the Panthers to the program's first bowl game, the AutoNation Cure Bowl. The Panthers lost to San Jose State.
The Panthers still have two games left in the season: in-state rival Georgia Southern, then Lappano's alma mater, Idaho. Lappano said nothing will change the next couple of weeks. But once the season comes to an end, the real uncertainty begins.
"We're interviewing for a job, and that's what we want to do. That's why we've got to make sure that we are organized out here and that there's energy and that we're playing the game it's meant to be played because we're all under the microscope right now," Lappano said.
To be clear, Lappano is speaking in regards to his and all the coaches' current jobs. He said he is not thinking about becoming a head coach at this time.
For the players that are not graduating, they'll get to see what the begging of the next era of Georgia State football looks like. However, they are not thrilled.
The players found out on Twitter that Miles had been fired, and that's exactly where they voiced their displeasure. Linebacker Kaleb Ringer tweeted "Dumb move by GSU" and thanked Miles.
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A lot of the players feel responsible.
"I felt like as a team, we let him down," quarterback Connor Manning said. "I apologized to him when we heard he was released because I felt a lot of that guilt on myself and on the team for not doing our job on Saturdays."
But the players have a chip on their shoulder. They went out onto the practice field with energy, music playing. The enthusiasm was evident because, before all the change truly begins, there are still two games left to be played. In those two games, the players want to give it their all.
"If you love the game like you say you do, then it shouldn't be that hard," Baker said.PHOTOS | GSU Panthers