Aug. 23, 2012
Opening Statement from Brian Gregory
“First I thank everyone for coming out this morning. This is a great day for Georgia Tech and our basketball program. I was fortunate to get to know Coach Cremins before I was named the head coach at Georgia Tech. Actually he was one of the first people I talked to the day I got the job. He’s always been great to me. He knew the challenges we were going to face. Over the last 16 months, his support has been just overwhelming. At this year’s Final Four in New Orleans, we got together with a few friends for a dinner, and I said then on that night that I was going to ask coach [Cremins] if maybe we could come up with a way for him to get back involved with Georgia Tech basketball. Bobby was Bobby that night. A lot of stories. I didn’t get a word in so I didn’t get to ask him that night. But as we were leaving the restaurant he said ‘Brian, I want you to remember, if there’s anything I could ever do to help you or our program, just let me know.’
“After a couple of phone conversations and meeting with Dan Radakovich, Coach [Cremins] agreed to lead a project, a very special project, one that would combine our great past and our future. That project was going to take place on November 9th, opening night of the McCamish Pavilion. We have the opportunity on that night to open a new chapter in Georgia Tech basketball while celebrating our rich tradition and also honoring those people that built this proud program. The project is for us to get as many former players and coaches back for that game to thank them and also get them excited about the program that they care about so much and meant so much to them. I’d like to thank Coach for all the work he’s done on this project and leading it with a fire and passion that he is so well known for during his coaching career. I’d like to thank him for his support. It means the world to me. It means the world to this great Institution. On November 9th, it is going to be a very, very special night and I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited about it.”
Opening Statement from Bobby Cremins
“It’s great to be here. Dan Radakovich had me speak to the athletic department this morning and that was lots of fun. There were a lot of people here that were still here when I was here. It was great seeing those people. As you know, I have retired from coaching. The last six years I have been at the College of Charleston. I have absolutely loved it there. Being able to come back to coaching was great for me. Late in the season I got tired. I was worried about too many things I shouldn’t have been worried about. Once again my problem is sleep, and I just got exhausted. I had a great staff and it was no big thing to me, I just turned it over to my assistant and they actually did very well without me.
“Then I looked at things. I’m turning 65. Medicare was kicking in. I thought it would be a good time to retire. The president of College of Charleston is a Bulldog. He’s from the University of Georgia. He was the dean of the business school there. His name is Dr. George Benson. He asked me to stay on for a year or two and help with the transition with the new coach. They hired a new coach, Doug Wojcik from Tulsa, a very good coach. I would be an ambassador, like an assistant to the president part-time. With the college having done so much for me, I quickly agreed to that. My first responsibility is that I am a part-time employee at the College of Charleston as an assistant to the president, and I am helping with the transition, staying out of the way and being an ambassador.
“Brian [Gregory] and I got to know each other. I’ll be honest, I watched a few games this year and I felt bad for Brian playing all over the place. I said, ‘golly’ because I remember the great home court advantage that we had here. It’s the poor guy’s first year. Then they pulled off some upsets and he had the big win at NC State and of course the big win at Georgia and that was really encouraging. Brian is a workaholic. He’s a go-getter. I’ve loved the way he’s reached out to the Georgia Tech community. Brian and I were talking and I said that now that I’m a part time employee and I’m not coaching, I would love to give something back to the school that I coached 19 years at and I loved. This was my baby. This was my life. I’m getting up on age and I want to do something with my time, and I would love to give something back to Georgia Tech for what it did to me.
“This is a volunteer position. Brian [Gregory] talked to Dan [Radakovich], and we came up with one major project. Of course with the opening of the new McCamish Pavilion, it was perfect. Brian told me how excited he was about it, and I’m excited about it. I said let’s make it a special day. I’ve got a committee. My right-hand man is one of Brian’s right-hand men, Chris Jacobs. He’s director of basketball operations. We don’t want to bother Brian. We know what Brian has to do. I’ve got a committee of Chris, Wayne Hogan, an associate AD here, and my good friend from Coca-Cola, who is a special assistant, Jim Terry. Then we’ve got some former players. All-American Roger Kasier is on the committee. We are happy to have Roger. Willie Reese, who played for me and worked here at Georgia Tech, and David Cole. We have divided it up into different areas.”