TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
Celebrating a Championship
We are heading for what is by far the biggest sports weekend of the year thus far here at Georgia Tech. Even the most avid sports enthusiast will have plenty to enjoy over this three-day weekend.
With our annual football showdown against the Miami Hurricanes at noon on Saturday serving as the centerpiece, we tip-off men’s and women’s basketball, mix in two volleyball matches, and welcome back our 1990 National Championship Football team.
I am really looking forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of our National Championship. Coach Bobby Ross and more than 100 of our players, coaches and support staff will be on hand for the festivities. The squad will have a private function on Friday night and then on Saturday will lead our 2010 team down Yellow Jacket Alley at approximately 9:45 a.m. There will be a halftime ceremony to recognize this momentous accomplishment. I hope you’ll arrive early on Saturday for the pre-game walk and then give a warm Georgia Tech “Welcome Home” as we recognize the team at halftime.
Women’s Hoops Opener
In the midst of all of this football frenzy we change gears to basketball for a season-opening women’s and men’s double-header on Friday. This will be a historic year as we mark the final season in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. MaChelle Joseph’s team, ranked as high as 16th nationally, takes on Georgia State at 5 p.m. Our women’s team, led by Naismith Award nominee Alex Montgomery, is shooting for its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament season.
Paul Hewitt’s new look run-and-gun attack will be unveiled at 7:30 Friday night when the Jackets face Charleston Southern. Hewitt’s team is coming off a 23-win season, a second-place ACC Tournament finish and a victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It’s a new look and a new style this time around so look for the tempo to kick into overdrive with this guard-oriented attack.
Volleyball at Home for Two
Tonya Johnson’s volleyball squad continues to hover near the top of the ACC (third place currently) as it starts a big home weekend vs. Virginia Tech and Virginia. The Friday night affair at O’Keefe Gym starts at 7 p.m. and it’s a “whiteout” match for the Jackets. White shakers will be given away to fans. Sunday’s contest at 1 p.m. vs. UVA marks the end to the whirlwind sports weekend. I hope you will plan to spend at least part of your weekend with us out here on the Flats.
Thinking of Joshua
On a personal note, I know you all will join me in wishing our amazing senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt a swift recovery from his unfortunate injury in the Virginia Tech game last Thursday night. Early this week he had successful surgery to repair a broken forearm. Joshua has been an inspirational leader of our team over the last three seasons and has brought us many memorable moments. I know that he will continue to be an inspiration to his teammates as we play our last three games of the regular season starting Saturday.
There is still much to play for and my sense is that this team will continue to fight over the next three weeks. I was extremely proud of the performance in Blacksburg last week, dealing with tremendous adversity in an extremely hostile environment.
Memorializing Nick Bell
You may have noticed or heard that our football team wore a helmet sticker in the nationally-televised game last Thursday that bore the logo of Mississippi State University. Upon hearing of the sad and devastating death of MSU player Nick Bell 10 days ago, our media relations director Dean Buchan suggested the idea of memorializing Nick by wearing the stickers at the Virginia Tech game. Coach Paul Johnson immediately concurred and called Bulldog head coach Dan Mullen to get his blessing on the tribute.
The ESPN announcers mentioned the tribute during the game and throughout the night the sticker was apparent on the close-up camera shots. At the conclusion of the game, Georgia Tech was inundated through all e-mail channels (mine included) with passionate notes from fans all over America. Hundreds of e-mails poured in from the mourning Mississippi State community, thanking Georgia Tech for such a heartfelt gesture. I just wanted to publically thank Dean, Coach Johnson, the equipment staff and all of those who went above and beyond to create a gesture that meant so much to so many people.
And now, a few other notes of interest:
Johnson Radio Show Time Change
Please note that next Wednesday the Paul Johnson Radio Show from Fox Sports Grill at Atlantic Station will begin one hour earlier, at 6 p.m., in order to give way to the radio broadcast of our men’s basketball game vs. Albany, which begins at 7:30 at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum. I will join Wes Durham for the first half hour of the show and will look forward to taking your questions and calls. Coach Johnson will then take his familiar seat at approximately 6:30 when his afternoon practice concludes. Hope to see many of you there for what is always a fun event.
It’s NCAA Time Already
The Georgia Tech men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in the school’s first NCAA event of the 2010-11 season when they head to Birmingham, Ala. for the NCAA South Regionals on Saturday. The women will kick off the event with a 9:45 a.m. start time while the men will begin things at 10:45 a.m. Top-four individual runners head to Terre Haute, Ind. for the NCAA Championships.
Upcoming Alumni Events
The Alumni Association has some big events in the offing. The Annual THWG Party will be held at Deadwood Saloon in Midtown Atlanta on November 26th, from 6-8 p.m. The party is being hosted by the Young Alumni Council and the Metro Atlanta Georgia Tech Clubs. Also, you can ride with alumni and friends to UGA for the game and a tailgate party. Cost includes roundtrip ticket, giveaways, food & beverages! For those with transportation, join us for the Tailgate Party for a fraction of the cost. The party ticket includes giveaways, food & beverages. More information is available on both of these fun opportunities at www.gtalumni.org.
Turkey Bowl Trot
The Georgia Tech chapter of Sigma Nu will be competing against the University of Georgia chapter in the “Turkey Bowl Trot” on Friday, Nov. 26. In short, this is a relay race and competition, all in an effort to raise money for a good cause – the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Sigma Nu members will begin running, simultaneously, from their respective campuses Nov. 26. It’s a 40-mile foot race to the courthouse steps in Lawrenceville, Ga. The two chapters, while rivals on the field, recognize the lack of donations that are going towards research hospitals and have decided to support St. Jude’s. If you would like to contribute to either chapter please contact Shane Sandridge at 404-909-5131 or by mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The competition involves a number of categories: number of runners, time it takes to reach the halfway point, and most importantly, dollar amount donated to St. Jude’s. The Tech Gamma Alpha’s need your help. Donate a minimum of $100 and receive your name or company name on our shirt.