June 8, 2010
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its 1990 national championship football season this fall, including Reunion Weekend Nov. 12-13 when players, coaches and staff from that squad will be invited back to campus.
The 1990 team, under the direction of head coach Bobby Ross, went from being left out of the early season national polls to No. 1 in the final coaches poll of the season after producing an 11-0-1 record and defeating Nebraska in the Florida Citrus Bowl. The last team to win the ACC championship outright since Paul Johnson’s team last December, the 1990 Yellow Jackets earned the school’s fourth national championship.
“The 1990 National Championship is a hugely significant milestone in Georgia Tech’s storied history,” athletic director Dan Radakovich said. “We are very much looking forward to having the players, coaches and administrators from that team return to campus as we celebrate their accomplishment.”
Players, coaches and staff members from the 1990 team will be invited to a private gathering on Friday night, Nov. 12, at Hotel Palomar in Midtown. The following day, when Georgia Tech hosts Miami in a key ACC Coastal Division game at Bobby Dodd Stadium, members of the team will again gather for various events. They will lead the current team on the march down Yellow Jacket Alley two hours before kickoff. The entire team will be honored at halftime.
“This is a great time for the 1990 team to get back together and catch up with what past teammates are doing in their lives today as well as reminisce on that great season and times we had on The Flats,” said Alan Waters a member of the 1990 team who is prominent in Tech’s planning of Reunion Weeekend.
“It will also be a time for us to come together and review the possibilities of creating an endowment from the 1990 National Championship Team to assist in the continued success for the Georgia Tech football program.”
The 1990 season began modest enough, with an eight-point win over NC State and a 44-9 win over outmanned Chattanooga. The nation began to take notice in Week 3 when the Yellow Jackets beat 25th-ranked South Carolina, 27-6. A 31-3 thrashing of Maryland the first Saturday in October moved Tech up to No. 18 in the Associated Press poll.
The Yellow Jackets improved to 5-0 with a 21-19 win over 15th-ranked Clemson in front of 46,066 fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The win over the Tigers stamped Tech as a legitimate national title contender. A 13-13 tie at North Carolina on Oct. 20 was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect season.
Following a Homecoming win over Duke, 6-0-1 Georgia Tech faced its biggest obstacle – a road game at No. 1 Virginia on Nov. 3. In one of the greatest games in ACC history and certainly one of the most significant victories in Georgia Tech history, the Yellow Jackets staged a phenomenal comeback against the Cavaliers’ potent offense. Shawn Jones and William Bell led the resurgence, and Scott Sisson’s field goal with seven seconds left stunned UVA and set off a wild celebration back on The Flats.
Tech barely avoided a letdown the following Saturday, beating Virginia Tech 6-3 in a defensive struggle. After a 42-7 win at Wake Forest to finish off the ACC championship, the Yellow Jackets rolled to a 40-23 over rival Georgia between the hedges in Athens.
On New Year’s Day, the Yellow Jackets ran past Nebraska in the Florida Citrus Bowl, 45-21. The victory gave Tech a final 11-0-1 record and when the Coaches Poll (UPI) was released the following day, the Jackets were on top of the college football world.
“It takes a special group of guys to win a national championship the way we did and it created an eternal bond,” said Marlon Williams, who played on the 1990 team. “I’m really looking forward to being in the presence of such classy and courageous teammates again. I am certain the fellowship will be unforgettable and the reunion a huge success.”
Throughout the 2010 season, members of the team will be featured in Tech’s football game program and frequently on Tech’s official website, RamblinWreck.com.