The Good Word

May 19, 2011

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

My column this week reads like a AAA Travelogue….Blacksburg, Va., Palo Alto, Calif., Knoxville, Tenn. All are sites of Georgia Tech activity this weekend as our teams jump into NCAA play or, in the case of baseball, wind up the regular season.

I want to thank all of the fans who attended the various events on our campus last weekend. Our staff did a wonderful job and earned major kudos from the ACC and NCAA representatives who were on site for the various tournaments. Please accept our gratitude for the support of Georgia Tech fans and the countless volunteers who make hosting these events possible

Good Start for Golfers
Danny Hall’s baseball team might be the only GT squad with some built-in fan support, even though they are taking on Virginia Tech on the road, starting today at 5:30. That is because Bruce Heppler’s golfers, after getting off to a strong start earlier today and taking the first-round lead at the NCAA East Regional in Blacksburg, headed over to the ballpark on the Virginia Tech campus to cheer on their fellow Jackets. The Tech golfers finished with a 1-over-par total and lead second-place Duke by six shots after round one.

Georgia Tech, ranked 2nd in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and 4th in the Golfstat rankings, is the top seed in the East Regional. The Yellow Jackets will work to earn their 25th trip to the NCAA Finals. Tech will tee off at 9:10 a.m. Friday. Saturday’s final round tee times are determined by 36-hole standing. The top five finishers after Saturday’s final round will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals, May 31-June 5, in Stillwater, Okla.

Men Tennis
Also today, Kenny Thorne’s men’s tennis team was to take on second-ranked USC (23-2) in the round of 16 in Palo Alto. It is nice to be back among the elite finals field in men’s tennis for the first time since 1994. Great work by Kenny, ACC Player of the Year Guillermo Gomez and the rest of the 2011 squad! It has already been a year to remember.

The winner of today’s match will play either No. 7 Florida (20-8) or No. 10 Kentucky (28-8) in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. ET Saturday. The semifinal matches are scheduled for Monday, May 23, and the championship match Tuesday, May 24.

Women’s Tennis
Bryan Shelton’s 16th-ranked and 14th-seeded women’s tennis team is on a little more familiar footing, having been a mainstay in the round of 16 over the last several years – but gets back there after missing last season. The Jackets begin play tomorrow at noon (ET) when they take on fellow ACC competitor, third-ranked and third-seeded Duke, also on the courts at Stanford University. If the Jackets win they would face the winner of sixth-seeded UCLA and 11th-seeded Virginia at 3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

Softball
Sharon Perkins’ softball team is in Knoxville, Tenn. for what on paper looks like one of the toughest regionals in the NCAA Tournament as three of the teams are in the top 20. The Yellow Jackets, who are 44-10, will open the double-elimination tournament on Friday at 4:00 against Oklahoma State. Tennessee, the national No. 14 seed, and Liberty are also in the regional.

Baseball
The baseball weekend at Virginia Tech is also very intriguing. The Jackets have the second-best record in the ACC behind No. 1 Virginia. A great weekend against the Hokies will not only put the Jackets in a great seed position for next week’s ACC Tournament in Durham, N.C., but will also keep our team in contention for one of those coveted top eight seeds nationally — virtually guaranteeing home field during the regional and super-regional tournaments. National seeds and regional sites will be announced on Sunday, May 29th.

Tickets are still available for the ACC Tournament, which is being held at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Visit the Baseball Championship Central Site for more information.

Thanks to all who came out to watch the squad take the series from nationally-ranked North Carolina last weekend on the Flats. The Jackets rallied from a five-run deficit for a dramatic 9-8 win on Saturday, before claiming the series with head coach Danny Hall’s 300th career ACC victory on Sunday.

Track & Field
Coming off of a successful weekend at the UNF Invitational where many season bests and a handful of career bests were set, the Georgia Tech track and field teams will use the upcoming weekend to recover and prepare for the NCAA East Regional. Ten Yellow Jackets will make their way to Bloomington, Ind. for the East Regional Championships in hopes of advancing onto Des Moines, Iowa for the NCAA Championship.

Follow Our Teams Online and On the Air
Make sure to go to RamblinWreck.com scroll down to the “Events” window where you will find a complete schedule of events and links to following, listening or watching each event.

An example of what you can find:

Softball
Watch Friday’sgame vs. Oklahoma State live on ESPN3.com. In fact, the entireKnoxville Regional will be available on ESPN3.com. You can alsolisten to Georgia Tech’s internet radio broadcast of the event aswell as get live statistics on RamblinWreck.com. Golf
Get live statistics from the NCAA East Regional as the YellowJackets head into Friday’s round as the overall team leader. Men’sand Women’s Tennis
Youcan follow live scoring and video for both the Tech men andwomen (12 noon Friday vs. Duke). You can also followthe team with behind-the-scenes coverage. Baseball
All three games at Virginia Tech this week are available on theradio (91.1 WREK-FM) or online at RamblinWreck.com, or here.

Welcome to New Staffers
I want to welcome Jerome Rodgers to our Georgia Tech Athletic family. Jerome takes over as the new Associate Athletic Director for Compliance. He comes to us from Northern Kentucky University where he served as senior associate AD, but is more familiar to us after six years as the chief compliance officer at Boston College.

I also want to welcome Tom Stipes, who takes over the IMG College Georgia Tech Sports Properties organization. Formerly ISP Sports, IMG College is responsible for all of our corporate partnership sales and advertising. Tom is succeeding Owen Shull, who did a fantastic job representing Georgia Tech for nearly five years before moving on to the Chick-fil-A games and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Mourning Josh Powell
I send along special condolences to the family and friends of former Jacket basketball star Josh Powell, who passed away this week. Josh was captain of the 1961-62 team and stayed close to Tech through the years. He may be best known for his magnificent singing voice. Josh sang the Star Spangled Banner at our basketball game in 2009 when we celebrated a reunion of the 1959-60 team – our first ever NCAA team.

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