A Season in Review

Jan. 11, 2013

Continuing the GT Letterwinner tradition of bringing the Georgia Tech Athletics family back together, the fall event season began with the GT Letterwinner kick-off barbeque tailgate in the west stands festival area of Bobby Dodd Stadium prior to the home opener against Presbyterian. The complimentary letterwinner tailgates continued throughout the 2012 football season for all home games. In September and October, portions of the GT Letterwinner family came together for events that included the annual GT Letterwinners Golf Tournament, Bobby Dodd Statue unveiling in Callaway Plaza, and their respective sports’ Homecoming activities. Letterwinners were also invited to one of the most cherished events of the season, the 2012 Hall of Fame Banquet, held in mid-October.

Below is a recap of events in which letterwinners participated this fall:


Bobby Dodd
Statue Unveiling

Georgia Tech, in conjunction with Dodd’s Boys, a group of Bobby Dodd’s former players, unveiled a statue of legendary head coach Bobby Dodd on Friday, September 14th. The statue dedication took place the same weekend that Tech honored his 1951 and 1952 teams, as the 1952 national championship team celebrated its 60th anniversary.

The statue of Dodd kneeling is 54 inches tall and rests on a pedestal approximately five feet tall. The statue was placed in the Callaway Plaza at the north end of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

“It is not very often that you get an opportunity to work on a project like this with so many former teammates,” said Taz Anderson, a standout under Dodd from 1957-60. “He meant so much to all of his players over the course of their careers in both sports and business.

“All of the people who contributed to the statue are former Georgia Tech student-athletes, and we wanted to keep it that way,” Anderson added. “We talked with a couple hundred former athletes, and they were all interested in being a part of the project.”

Dodd began his career at Georgia Tech as an assistant for William Alexander in 1931 and was named head coach in 1945. Dodd is one of only two Yellow Jacket head coaches to finish his tenure having won at least 70 percent of his games, the other being John Heisman. Dodd is Tech’s all-time leader in wins with 165 victories while roaming the Grant Field sideline.

He guided Tech to a 31-game unbeaten streak from 1951-53, including a perfect 12-0 season in 1952 and the Yellow Jackets’ third national championship. During his 22-year career as head coach of the Jackets, Dodd led Tech to 13 bowl games and won nine of them, and he coached 21 first team All-Americans.

Following his retirement as head coach, Dodd became Georgia Tech’s director of athletics from 1967 until 1976, when he assumed the role of alumni association consultant. Dodd is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player at Tennessee and as Georgia Tech’s head coach.

Dodd passed away June 21, 1988 at age 79. A citation from a Georgia Tech alumnus declared, “He represented the best of the Georgia Tech family.”

The full article can be found here: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090612aag.html


GT Letterwinners Golf Tournament 

The Annual GT Letterwinners Club Golf Tournament was held on September 21, 2012 at Stone Mountain Golf Club in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was a perfect fall day and a picturesque setting. Participants were treated to a season preview and question and answer session from Tech’s Head Basketball Coach Brian Gregory, who talked recruiting, the previous season and expectations for the upcoming year. The winning tournament team included GT Letterwinners Chuck Crowder (Baseball, class of 2004) and Mike Trapani (Baseball, class of 2005).  The tournament was a tremendous success. 

The entry fee is $125 per person ($500 per foursome) and includes gate fee, range balls, cart, green fee, a GT Letterwinners polo, continental breakfast and dinner. This year, the golf tournament raised over $10,000 toward the GT Letterwinners Club Scholarship Endowment.   


GT Volleyball Homecoming

Volleyball Homecoming festivities began on Friday, September 21 with a pre-match tailgate prior to the Boston College game and included a recognition ceremony for alumni. The weekend included the Miami football game on Saturday and the volleyball match against Maryland on Sunday.


GT Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

This year’s Hall of Fame dinner inducted an outstanding group of six Letterwinners on October 19th at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center (pictured right). The class consisted of George Godsey (Football, ‘01), Jon Carman (Football, ‘99), Becky Megesi (Track, Cross Country, ‘01), Tomas Motiejunas (Track, ‘98), Maja Pachale (Volleyball, ‘02), Carlton Forrester (Golf, ‘00) and Cory Vance (Baseball, ‘00). 

Godsey was a two-year starter at quarterback, and Carman was a tremendous lineman for Georgia Tech offenses that ranked among the most prolific in the nation around the turn of the century. They played key roles in building the Yellow Jackets into a nationally ranked program, which has now been to a bowl game 15 straight years.

Megesi was one of the pioneers in distance running on Tech’s cross country and track teams in the late 1990s and remains involved with her alma mater as a coach in the program. Motiejunas won a national championship and All-America honors in sprint relay events during the same period, and he joins his twin brother Jonas, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Pachale was the ACC Volleyball Player of the Year in 2001 and led Tech to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, while Vance earned All-America honors and is one of the top left-handed pitchers in Tech history. Forrester played on Tech golf teams that included current PGA Tour pros Matt Kuchar, Bryce Molder and Troy Matteson, helping the Yellow Jackets to an ACC title and two runner-up finishes in the NCAA Championship.

The banquet included moving induction speeches, as well as an appearance from former GT offensive coordinator and Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, who presented both Godsey and Carman. Cross Country head coach Al Drosky inducted Megesi with a tale of having to twice compete in a qualifying run because of a rare glitch and persevering to qualify for nationals. The night concluded with Vance’s expression of the honor of being inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame, referencing the three most significant phone calls in his baseball career: first, the call to offer him a spot on the roster at Georgia Tech; second, the first call-up to the major leagues with the Colorado Rockies; third, per Cory “by far the best,” the call to inform him he had been inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame.

The 2012 GT Hall of Fame class at the Induction Dinner is pictured right (from left) Forrester, Pachale, Godsey’s representative, his father John, Montejunas, Megesi, Carman and Vance.

The GT Hall of Fame Banquet is a treasured event held in the fall of each year. Inductees are listed in the lobby of the Athletic Association in the Edge Building. Tickets are $50 and the banquet is open to all Georgia Tech letterwinners to attend.


GT Cheerleading and Buzz Homecoming Reunion

The annual GT Cheerleading Alumni Homecoming reunion took place at Hudson Grille in Midtown on October 28. Participants swapped stories of high-flying acrobatics or Tech cheers from the 70’s, and they met on the field for Homecoming game day to cheer on the Jackets from the sidelines during the game against BYU. The Alumni Homecoming reunion also raised money for the GT cheerleading program, funding music services for performances and choreography for the 2012-13 season.


GT Basketball Season Opener and Reunion

150 former men’s basketball players, coaches and staff returned to celebrate the opening of McCamish Pavilion, Georgia Tech’s new, state-of-the-art basketball arena. The evening began with a reception in the Zelnak Center, followed by individual recognition on the court at halftime of the game. Former Coach Bobby Cremins led the effort to gather as many GT men’s basketball letterwinners as possible to return to Georgia Tech for opening night.

Questions or comments, please contact Lucius Sanford or Katie Hodges at gtletterwinners@athletics.gatech.edu.

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