The Good Word

Jan. 25, 2007

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

I hope you all have had a chance to get a look at our 2007 football schedule by now. What a sensational slate of home games which will give us a great opportunity to showcase our team and fill Bobby Dodd Stadium to the rafters. Also take a look at our future football opponents, both ACC and non-conference, through 2011.

We have happily moved past the recent process in which Coach Gailey was interviewed by two of the most storied franchises in the NFL – the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins. It truly shows the kind of respect he commands in the football world.

While that rather lengthy process was a bit uncomfortable for all concerned, you should know that Coach Gailey handled everything with great dignity, staying in constant communication with our recruits, current players and with me. At no time during the process did I feel the Georgia Tech football program was compromised in any way. Now, we are poised to sign one of the great recruiting classes in our school’s history which will nicely complement the 17 returning starters from the Gator Bowl team. All in all, 2007 looks like a great year for the Yellow Jackets.

SIGNING DAY CELEBRATION

Speaking of recruiting, don’t forget our Signing Day Celebration on February 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Atlanta downtown. Plan to sneak off work a little early and join us as Coach Gailey and his staff review the list of signees, complete with video clips on each new Jacket. Current players, the Georgia Tech band and cheerleaders will be on hand for the festivities. The cost is $10, payable at the door, with hors d’hoeuvres provided along with a cash bar.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

This is an extremely busy time in our department so I thought I would give you an update on some of our current initiatives. Within a few days, we will be formalizing our new seat-donation ticket plan known as the TECH Fund. This plan is the result of many months of strategic planning and is a bi-product of the fundamental change in our business model that is absolutely necessary to financial stability and give us the competitive opportunity to compete at the highest national level. I am assuming there will be a fair amount of media coverage, but we will communicate the changes to our season-ticket holders through a mailing and the activation of a stand-alone website that will provide intricate details on all phases of the TECH Fund.

In addition to this piece of our financial foundation, I have spent many hours working with our student leadership on a plan to increase student fees for the support of intercollegiate athletics at Tech. I must tell you how totally impressed I have been with the professionalism and concern shown by the student leadership. I would especially like to thank Alison Graab, undergraduate student body president, and Mitch Keller, graduate student body president, for their willingness to work with us on this initiative. A final vote on the issue is scheduled for January 31.

Yet another financial piece is to create efficiencies in cooperation with the Institute itself. Through a more prudent inter-connection of Athletics and Institute services, personnel and facility usage and management, we believe we can create long-term savings to our department surpassing $1 million annually. There are a number of individuals and departments, particularly Dr. Clough, who have been helpful in this process, which continues to make us all believe that the well-being and success of Yellow Jackets athletics is vital to the mission of Georgia Tech.

On the student-athlete front, you should know that we are looking at updating and improving some of our physical space in the academic area. The cornerstone of this effort is the refurbishing of our old football locker room space to create an expanded study and computer area. This space will be modeled after a space we found to be extremely well-designed in the basement of the Price Gilbert Library on campus. The major expense here is the purchase of 15 study carrels that are computer-ready and can be configured in a number of ways for maximum efficiency. Click here for a photo of the study carrels.

From time to time I will present these types of initiatives to the readers of The Good Word and ask if there are those who would like to have their name or the name of a loved one attached to the project. This philanthropy will help us complete the project in a timely manner so as best to serve the student-athlete. In this case, the cost of naming a study carrel is $15,000. If you are interested in his project, please contact Kelly Bitters Dyer in the Alexander-Tharpe Fund at 404.894.5768.

I hope this provides more insight into Georgia Tech athletics. In the meantime we need to continue to support our men’s and women’s basketball teams as we steam past mid-season. Home games are critical down the stretch, as you all know. We need great home-court support. And don’t forget, baseball, softball, tennis, track and golf are right around the corner. Get your tickets for the best entertainment value in Atlanta.

As always, we welcome your feedback at goodword@athletics.gatech.edu . Please know that even if I’m not able to send a personal response to everyone, I do read each email, and I appreciate the support and passion of every Georgia Tech fan.

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