The Good Word

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

First, let me wish all Georgia Tech fans a Happy New Year! I can not thank you enough for the overwhelming show of support as we closed out 2008 in downtown Atlanta. I know we were all disappointed with the result of the Chick-fil-A Bowl game on December 31st, but it does not diminish an absolutely fabulous turnout by our alumni and fans. I could not be more proud of the way you all embraced the opportunity to play in the game and the support you showed for our team and program.

Officials at the bowl told us that the pre-game Fan Fest, the Player’s Walk and Tailgate Party were the biggest and best in the bowl’s history. And the game sold out for the 11th straight year as more than 71,000 – mostly Tech fans – packed the place. Our fans left a wonderful calling card that will be remembered for years to come and will serve us well as we position ourselves for future bowl games.

I also want to take a moment to thank Gary Stokan, the staff and volunteers of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, who went out of their way to treat our players, coaches and staff to a first class bowl experience. Thanks also to the folks at Chick-fil-A — the Cathy family and Marketing Chief Steve Robinson — whose sponsorship of the bowl and relationship with the city of Atlanta and Georgia Tech is unparalleled.

What I mostly appreciate today is that we have turned the page to 2009. And didn’t the new year start out just perfectly…..with a 67-62 victory over Georgia in men’s basketball? Congratulations to Coach Paul Hewitt and his team for continuing our perfect record against our neighbors with wins in volleyball, women’s basketball, football and now men’s hoops.

With 2009 comes the optimism for even bigger and better things as we look ahead. Many people have inquired about jumping on board with Paul Johnson and the football program by becoming new season ticket holders. And why not? Don’t forget, we return 19 players who started in our last game. By all accounts our recruiting efforts are bearing fruit as well, as we have had verbal commitments from some of the state and region’s top high school players. Everywhere you turn, Georgia Tech’s star is clearly on the rise.

A host of current season ticket-holders are not only anxious to renew, but to increase their allotment of tickets starting in 2009. Don’t forget, our 2009 home schedule includes the likes of Georgia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest. With that strong home schedule and an exceptional nationally-recognized team and coach, who wouldn’t want to join the parade?

That said, we have been working diligently on sales and informational materials, which we expect to be on the street by early February. At that time, you will also have the opportunity to go online or speak with our ticket office to instantly select and purchase available seats for the 2009 season. This immediate seat selection opportunity has not been previously offered. We intend to mail a complete brochure to all season ticket holders giving you the options available and the pricing structure for 2009. This will also explain how only Georgia Tech season ticket holders can purchase additional tickets to the UGA game. In 2009 the only way to ensure an opportunity to purchase tickets to the Tech-UGA game at Bobby Dodd Stadium is to become a Georgia Tech season ticket holder.

Those of you who are not current season ticket holders and are considering purchasing seats in ’09 will be able to access this information online at ramblinwreck.com/tickets, in person at our ticket office, or by having a brochure sent to you by calling 1-888-TECH-TIX.

In the next edition of The Good Word, we’ll have more information on season tickets, when you can expect to receive your 2009 information brochure and begin renewing, adding or purchasing new season tickets.

In the meantime, let’s all switch gears and get behind our basketball programs. A huge tip of the hat goes to MaChelle Joseph and our women’s team for climbing up to No. 22 in the latest national polls. Coach Jo’s team is in action tonight at 7 p.m. in its first ACC contest, taking on Boston College at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

And please get the word around that there are good single-game tickets available for all of our remaining men’s basketball contests. You can easily go online and select your seats and make your purchase. The process is painless and efficient and you have an opportunity to see great ACC basketball the rest of the way. We need help in changing the perception that our men’s games are completely sold out. This is a great chance to come out and see why they call the place the Thrillerdome. Let’s pack the AMC and give our team the best chance to have a successful season.

BLUE DEVILS IN TOWN WEDNESDAY
Georgia Tech’s basketball team plays Saturday at Maryland – the Yellow Jackets’ first ACC road game of the season. Coach Paul Hewitt’s Yellow Jackets, 9-5 overall and 0-1 in the ACC, return home next week to host second-ranked Duke Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN, but a large crowd and great atmosphere is expected inside of Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

SWIMMING READY TO DIVE BACK IN
After more than a one-month layoff, Coach Stu Wilson’s swimming and diving teams return to action Jan. 17 at NC State.

TRACK IN ACTION AT CLEMSON
The men’s and women’s track teams get back in the swing of things this weekend (Friday and Saturday) at the Clemson Invitational.

MEN’S TENNIS HOME OPENER JAN. 18
Coach Kenny Thorne’s men’s tennis team, which plays in an event in Key Biscayne (Fla.) this weekend, will play its first two home matches of the spring season Jan. 18 against USC-Upstate (9 a.m.) and Wofford (2 p.m.).

WOMEN’S TENNIS EARN NO. 8 NATIONAL RANKING
Coach Bryan Shelton’s women’s tennis team is ranked eighth in the first national rankings of 2009. The Yellow Jackets, back-to-back ITA National Team Indoor champions, are ranked behind only Northwestern, California, UCLA, Baylor, Stanford, Georgia and Florida.

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