The Good Word

May 29, 2008

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

Wow! Is about all you can say about Amanda McDowell’s NCAA women’s singles tennis championship completed on Monday in Tulsa, Okla. What an amazing feat! It is certainly one of the great individual accomplishments in Georgia Tech athletics history. How fitting to be accomplished by Amanda, an Atlanta native and a fine student, role model and stellar representative of Georgia Tech.

I am continually amazed by the story of how Amanda lost the first set of her first singles match in the tournament and then had to fend off four match points in her comeback victory. She then went on to roll to the title, notching her school record 45th singles win of the year. What a testimony to her grit and tenacity and to the wonderful coaching of Bryan Shelton, who continues to work magic at his alma mater.

Amanda, you have made us all very proud. Congratulations on reaching the very pinnacle of your sport!

Also chasing that pinnacle are six men and 12 women from our track and field programs who will compete this weekend in the NCAA East regional meet in Tallahassee, Fla. Coaches Grover Hinsdale and Alan Drosky are optimistic that Georgia Tech’s performance this weekend will produce several qualifiers for the NCAA national meet June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Our men’s team is led by senior James Lemons II, who qualified in both the triple jump and the long jump. Sophomore Alphonso Jordan is also a multiple event qualifier. On the women’s side, senior Shantia Moss attempts to qualify for her fourth consecutive national meet in the 100 meter hurdles. She appears in fine form as she ran a personal best in the event in our own Georgia Tech Invitational.

Best of luck to our 18 student-athletes still competing in track and field competition.

With the calendar fast approaching June, that can only mean one thing – it is NCAA Baseball Regional Tournament time. Congratulations go out to Coach Danny Hall and his squad for pulling together after a difficult year to qualify for yet another regional appearance. Danny has led our Jackets to 15 regional appearances in 17 seasons.

We will begin play tomorrow (Friday) night at Foley Field in Athens when we take on Big East Champion Louisville at 7 p.m. Georgia and Lipscomb open the tournament with a 3 p.m. game. Losers of the Friday games meet at 3 p.m. on Saturday, winners square off at 7 in the double-elimination tourney.

I hope to see you all over in Athens this weekend, but if you can’t make it over in person, our television and radio coverage is excellent, with WREK (91.1 FM) broadcasting all of our Tech games on radio and CSS televising every game of the tournament.

And if it’s nearly June, that means we’re only 13 weeks from kicking off the Paul Johnson era in Georgia Tech football. Our priority is tickets, tickets, tickets. If you want to know how best to help and support your Jackets, the answer is to help us sell season tickets or identify prospective season ticket purchasers in the marketplace. This is a grass-roots campaign, and we need each of you to identify family, friends, neighbors and business associates to get on board with Georgia Tech football. Contact Scott McLaren at smclaren@athletics.gatech.edu.

We have set the time for the season opener with Jacksonville State. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday August 28th and as of right now, will not be televised. So, come on out and welcome Coach Johnson and his Jackets to the Flats!

We have been carrying this message into the streets as our Spring Caravan rolls along. We had an outstanding evening in Peachtree City on Tuesday and will conclude the tour tonight at the 1818 Club in Duluth. If you’re in the area, come on by and visit with Paul Johnson, Paul Hewitt, MaChelle Joseph, Wes Durham and me. The event is free and begins at 6:30. The address of the 1818 Club is 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, 3rd Floor.

For those of you who have attended one or more of our caravan stops, we would love to hear your feedback. Any thoughts you may have to make these events more enjoyable, informative or fan-friendly will be greatly appreciated.

I wanted to once again make you aware of a special opportunity we have arranged for our loyal Georgia Tech fans through our relationship with the Atlanta Braves. You may be aware that for the second year in a row we have partnered with the Braves for some summertime exposure at Turner Field. We receive LED signage at the ballpark at each home game and on August 15 we will celebrate Georgia Tech Night at the Braves game vs. the San Francisco Giants with many of our sports teams being honored throughout the night.

However, one of the great benefits of this relationship is a special ticket offer to Georgia Tech supporters. The Braves offer us half price tickets in the outfield pavilion and upper box seating areas, primarily valid on Sunday through Thursday games. To take advantage of this offer and to view more details, go to www.braves.com/gatech. I hope all of our fans will take advantage of this opportunity over the summer. Wear your Tech colors to Turner Field, and be sure to plan to attend the Georgia Tech night on August 15th.

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