The Good Word

Nov. 29, 2007

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

As you might expect, I am concentrating my efforts this week on the search for a new head football coach. As I mentioned earlier this week at a press conference, we are moving swiftly – yet deliberately — in our efforts to find a new leader of our football program.

The last week brought out many emotions from many fans, and it assured me of one thing: people are very passionate about Georgia Tech football.

I am sure many of you read bits and pieces of quotes from our press conference held on Monday. In this space this week, I wanted to share with you my entire statement from the press conference:

“Thank you for coming to Georgia Tech this afternoon. After consultation with Institute President Wayne Clough, I informed Chan Gailey at 10 o’clock this morning that he was relieved of his duties as Head Football Coach at Georgia Tech, effective immediately.

“First, I want to sincerely thank Chan and Laurie Gailey for their six years of service to Georgia Tech. Chan is one of the most honorable men that I have worked with in intercollegiate athletics. He and Laurie have given countless hours to this program and have touched the lives of hundreds of student-athletes, fellow coaches and colleagues in only the most positive way. I wish Chan and his family the very best in all of their future endeavors.

“In arriving at this decision over the course of the last several weeks I have sought much input. I have communicated with many people who have long-standing, deep ties to the Institute. As you can imagine, there are many varying opinions. In this age of instant communication, fans and alumni are able to provide feedback to me like never before. I have received and read thousands of opinions. Many were well conceived and thought-provoking.

“At the end of the day, my decision was based on whether the football program is moving forward, and our fan-base as a whole is sufficiently excited and energized by its direction. Are we improving from week to week, year to year? Can our supporters feel a sense of upward movement, excitement not only each week, but about the future? Are we attracting new fans and fighting for our share of attention throughout Atlanta and across Georgia? Does our program inspire this market, on and off the field, to buy tickets, fill our seats and thus support our student-athletes? These must be the goals at Georgia Tech.

“This is a very proud institution with a deep and rich football tradition. Our alumni and fans are extremely supportive. We have asked and are asking more and more of them as we reach for excellence as a top tier football program. They expect no less from us. It is our expectation to field a football team that not only competes at the highest level, but energizes and entertains our fan base. I expect our new football coach to reach out across Atlanta and the state of Georgia with leadership that is aggressive, creative and accessible to the media and fans.

“To that end, I will immediately launch a search for the next head football coach at Georgia Tech. It is my intention that the search will be swift… yet deliberate. With President Clough’s assistance, I will convene a representative committee who will serve to screen our potential candidates.

“In the meantime, I have asked Defensive Coordinator Jon Tenuta to serve as our interim Head Coach, and to lead our team through its upcoming bowl game. I have met or will meet with our assistant coaches to ask that they continue to perform their duties in coaching and recruiting during this period.

“I have also met with our football team and expressed to them my appreciation for their effort this season and for earning the right to finish with a bowl game. I assured them that we will work to make the bowl experience fun and memorable. I also stressed to them, in this time of transition, the importance of focusing on their academics.

“This type of transition is never easy. But I am confident within a short period of time we will have a new Head Coach in place who will energize our fan base and provide enthusiastic leadership to our football team.”

All-ACColades
Junior captain Talisa Kellogg and senior Ulrike Stegemann were named to the 2007 All-ACC Volleyball Team – a great accomplishment for two outstanding players.

In football, eight Yellow Jackets were named first- or second-team All-ACC. Think about that for a second. That’s more than any of the other 11 schools in the ACC. The last time Tech had more All-ACC selections came in its national championship season of 1990 – and there were not 12 teams in the league then. So, congrats to first-teamers Tashard Choice, Andrew Gardner, Vance Walker, Durant Brooks and Travis Bell. Second-team selections were Philip Wheeler, Darrell Robertson and Kevin Tuminello. Senior Jamal Lewis was honorable mention.

A Very Deserving Guy
Good luck to Durant Brooks on Thursday (Dec. 6) when he is in Orlando for the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show. Brooks is one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award. Clearly, I am biased, but Durant had to be the best punter in college football this season.

Two Stats That Will Impress
As Durant Brooks hopes to win the Ray Guy Award on Thursday night, consider that Brooks’ career punting average (45.53 yards per punt) is higher than the collegiate average of Ray Guy himself. Guy’s career average at Southern Miss was 44.7 yards. The other mind-boggling statistic concerning Brooks is that he has the highest career punting average in the ACC – ever. That’s impressive.

A Flying Start For Tech
The women’s basketball team is off to a 5-0 start, including a thrashing of Iowa Wednesday night. On Sunday, MaChelle Joseph’s team plays at Georgia in a 2:30 game. Fans interested in attending that game via a bus trip should contact LaChina Robinson in the women’s basketball office.

Track Kicks Things Off
The track and field squads kick off the indoor season this weekend at Clemson and senior Shantia Moss is back to work in an effort at repeating as the 60-meter hurdle indoor national champion.

Thrillerdome Sold Out Again
For the fourth consecutive year, Georgia Tech has sold out its allotment of season tickets for men’s basketball. Tech has sold out its season tickets each year since the most recent Final Four season of 2003-04. This year’s home schedule features a visit from Kansas, a perennial top-10 team from the Big 12 Conference, on Dec. 18, as well as the always-rugged Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. The only tickets available for Tech home games are a limited number of “single seats.” A single seat is defined as an unsold seat surrounded by sold seats. These “singles” are available for sale 90 minutes prior to tip-off of each home game at Gate 1 of Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

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