The Good Word

March 20, 2008

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

By far the biggest e-mail producer in the last few days has been surrounding the effort put forth by Georgia Tech to assist in the aftermath of the downtown tornado that displaced the SEC Basketball Tournament. I stand proudly today in commending many members of our athletic staff for going above and beyond the call of duty over the weekend to “do the right thing.”

Our involvement began at about 10 p.m. last Friday night when I, along with Associate AD’s Paul Griffin and Wayne Hogan, were returning to our Charlotte hotel after the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. Our cell phones began to vibrate with news of the tornado in downtown Atlanta. Shortly after, Paul received a call from our great friend and colleague Khalil Johnson, manager of the Georgia Dome. That call touched off a 14-hour scramble as Paul switched into point guard mode and began to mobilize a number of our facilities, operations, concessions and media relations folks. Many of those individuals were on the scene at Alexander Memorial Coliseum through the night in preparation for the 12 noon game on Saturday. Griffin left Charlotte before 5 a.m. and arrived before 9 to spearhead the effort.

Despite the weird and wacky direction that the SEC Tournament took, and even in the aftermath of Georgia’s championship, the decision to assist in a time of crisis stands without question as the right choice. Among a myriad of good reasons stands the fact that Khalil and the folks at the Dome have always been great friends of Georgia Tech. They have never hesitated to open their doors to us in times of need – and I could name more than a few occasions in which they have assisted us.

My hearty thanks goes out to Paul, Jeff Gilbert and Andrew Parrish of our events staff, Shawn Teske and the rest of our facilities staff, Dan Goldberger in media relations, Andy Blanton in video services and Carla Gilson in our sports medicine area. Also, my thanks go out to Grant Reed, who leads our Sodexho concessions group. These are just a few of the people who stepped up in a big way.

And so, we now have an opportunity to cheer on our Georgia Tech women’s team as they move into the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. MaChelle Joseph and the ladies will have their hands full with Iowa State on Saturday, playing before a hostile crowd in Des Moines. Nevertheless, they have risen to the occasion numerous times during the season and we are pulling for another first-round victory just like a year ago in Minneapolis.

As March Madness descends upon us and our other spring sports continue in full swing, the football fan turns their thoughts to spring practice. And so it begins on Monday and continues through our T-Day game on April 19 at 1 o’clock. Paul Johnson will begin his regime in earnest with practices on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a controlled scrimmage in the works for each Saturday during the next three weeks. Please check our web site, Ramblinwreck.com, each day for practice reports.

There will be much interest and excitement around all this and much is manifesting itself in satisfying ticket sales for the 2009 season. Our TECH Fund responses have been brisk and ticket invoices will go out in early April to those who have paid the TECH Fund. I can’t stress enough the necessity to meet the deadlines in this important process.

Our spring game on April 19th will not be televised in its entirety, although CSS made inquiry to do so. Instead, Wes Durham and our video staff will produce an hour-long look ahead at Tech football ’08, which will air throughout the summer on the cable network. We believe this will provide a far better vehicle to promote and brand our program than any other alternative. Wes and the guys will be hard at work on the production in the coming weeks. And a special thanks to Mark Fuhrman, our great partner at CSS, for promoting this concept. I’m sure we’ll all enjoy watching this piece throughout the summer months.

And before that summer schedule begins to roll, many of you will have the opportunity to meet Coach Paul Johnson in person. He will appear along with Paul Hewitt, MaChelle Joseph, Wes Durham and me at our Yellow Jacket Spring Caravan. We will be making a number of stops in all directions from midtown Atlanta and we hope you find the location best for you and plan to attend. I can promise an evening of great fun, information and entertainment. All Jackets, all the time!

Go to this link: for more information.

2008 TECH FUND CONTRIBUTION
This is a reminder that the deadline for payment is March 31, 2008. If you have already paid for your TECH Fund, either online or via mail, thank you for your prompt payment. If you have not received an invoice and are located in a TECH Fund area, contact the ticket office at 888-TECH-TIX (888-832-4849). You can also go online and visit the Online Ticket Center to pay for your TECH Fund contribution.

For those located in a non-TECH Fund area who wish to move into a TECH Fund area, relocation forms are available on www.ramblinwreck.com/techfund. All relocation forms are due by March 31, 2008.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ticket office.

SAD NEWS
The Georgia Tech family lost a friend in Greg Stathis, who died on Monday. Greg served as head coach of the Yellow Jacket hockey team, a club sport, for 17 years. He turned a mediocre team into a contender. Greg had a reputation for making hockey fun for his players. He died due to complications of his second kidney transplant. Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s family.

SOFTBALL HAS BATTLED WEATHER
The softball team, 10-20 through Tuesday, has battled against an extremely difficult non-conference schedule, but also the weather. The Yellow Jackets have had a number of winnable games cancelled or postponed because of nasty weather. That includes the cancellation of the entire 20-team Buzz Classic. Coach Sharon Perkins’ team is currently concluding a spring break trip that includes stops in Cookeville, Tenn., Rock Hill, S.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

BASEBALL HOSTS DUKE THIS WEEKEND
The 17th-ranked Yellow Jacket baseball team (15-4) bounced back from a difficult weekend at Florida State to blank Kennesaw State, 10-0, on Tuesday. With a 3-3 record in ACC play, this weekend’s series against surprising Duke at Russ Chandler Stadium will be key. The temperature could reach 70 degrees this weekend, so come out and watch the Jackets play the Blue Devils Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

MEN’S TENNIS FACES VIRGINIA TEAMS
The 11-5 men’s tennis team continues its difficult 2008 schedule this weekend. On Friday at 3 p.m., Coach Kenny Thorne’s team hosts one of the nation’s best clubs in No. 1-ranked Virginia. On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets will host Virginia Tech (2:30 p.m.).

WOMEN’S TENNIS TEAM HONORED
Coach Bryan Shelton’s team was honored by both houses of the Georgia Legislature Wednesday morning at the state capitol. The Yellow Jackets were recognized for their special achievements in 2007, including winning the NCAA Championship and the ITA National Indoor title.

TRACK INDIVIDUALS EARN ALL-AMERICA HONORS
The men’s and women’s track and field teams, participating this weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C., recently had three individuals earn Indoor All-American honors. Fatmata Fofanah (60-meter hurdles), Shantia Moss (60-meter hurdles) and James Lemons II (triple jump) all performed well at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

GOLF HOSTING U.S. COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Georgia Tech will host one of the more prestigious regular season events in college golf, the U.S. Collegiate Championship, Monday through Wednesday at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta. The Yellow Jackets and eight more of the nation’s top 11 golf teams will compete for the title. If you’d like to see some of the best amateur golf in the nation, you are encouraged to come out to the Golf Club of Georgia. Admission is free.

SWIMMERS, DIVERS HEAD TO NCAA’s
Seniors Stephanie England and Elizabeth Stowe as well as sophomores Hannah Krimm and Agatha Kwasnik will be representing Georgia Tech at the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships, March 20-22, at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the campus of Ohio State University. England and Krimm each qualified for the diving championships with their performances at last weekend’s zones held at Auburn. Stowe will be swimming in the 500-free and 1650-free events, while Kwasnik will participate in the 50-, 100- and 200-free races.

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