The Good Word

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

Greetings from the corner of Bobby Dodd Way and Techwood Drive! I have so much on my Georgia Tech mind this week that I can’t wait to bring you all up to speed. First, I hope you all can take the opportunity to see both of our nationally-ranked basketball teams in the coming days. There are plenty of opportunities. MaChelle Joseph’s ladies got the weekend off to a good start last night with a thrilling overtime victory over Miami — their 17th win of the year. Coach Paul Hewitt’s club is ranked 22nd and takes on Wake Forest tonight on the home court at 7 p.m.

BASKETBALL
Both teams continue the homestand in the coming weekend with the men taking on Kentucky State Saturday at 1 p.m. and the women facing Virginia Tech Sunday at 2 p.m. Kentucky State is coached by former Yellow Jacket Clarence Moore. The Sunday game is jam-packed with activities including special Family Funday, where fans can purchase four tickets, four food vouchers, four T-shirts (while supplies last) for only $25. In addition, we will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with special festivities. There will be face painters, and the Kiddie Cheerleading campers and Little Dribblers will perform at halftime. These are great family opportunities with our two outstanding basketball teams.

REUNION
You might want to make note of our third and final men’s basketball reunion of the season which is scheduled to take place at the N.C. State game on February 6th. So far this year we have welcomed back our 1960 team to celebrate the 50th reunion of our first NCAA Tournament appearance and our 1985 team, celebrating the 25th reunion of our first ACC Championship. Now, we honor the 1990 Final Four team on its 20th anniversary. Who can forget “Lethal Weapon III” with Dennis Scott, Brian Oliver and Kenny Anderson? Make plans to be there for the 4 p.m. tip a week from Saturday.

TENNIS
While you’re on campus over the weekend, why not catch a little tennis action? Our 10th-ranked women’s team is hosting an ITA Kickoff Tournament. Our ladies will face Arizona State Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and then take on either Kentucky or Alabama on Sunday. Saturday’s winners face off at 2:30 p.m. Sunday with the consolation matches beginning at 9 a.m. at the Bill Moore Tennis complex.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG
You may also hear the ping of bats ringing through the trees on The Flats as well. Both baseball and softball practice get into full swing. Our baseball Jackets, under 17-year skipper Danny Hall, will begin the season February 19th ranked No. 6 nationally. Don’t forget the Baseball Leadoff Dinner featuring Tom Glavine on February 18. Contact Nick Scherer in our baseball office at 404-894-2261 for tickets. Sharon Perkins’ softball team is the defending ACC Champion, and is a pre-season No. 12. They open on February 12 in Florida and play a huge slate of away games before their home opener on March 13.

SIGNING DAY
If you’re in a football state of mind, I’m sure I’ll see you at our annual “Signing Day Event” next Wednesday night, February 3rd, at the Georgian Terrace Hotel. Tickets for the event are $10 in advance. Purchase tickets online or for $15 at the door. Coach Paul Johnson will give a complete rundown of this year’s recruiting class accompanied by the latest video highlights of each new signee. Newly-named Georgia Sportscaster of the Year Wes Durham will emcee the event and Buzz, the cheerleaders and pep band will all make an appearance. There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar provided. Self-parking is available at the hotel for $5.

ENDOWMENT DINNER
Before we get to enjoy that event, we have one of my favorite occasions of each year on Monday night when we gather to salute our endowed scholarship donors, along with the student-athletes designated to receive the scholarship funds. I can not tell you how important these scholarship endowments are to the foundation of our athletic program. In fact, in the coming years we intend to intensify our efforts to raise money that will go directly into student-athlete scholarships. I would love for you to click here and view the list of donors to this program as they are matched up with the scholarship recipient. If you are interested in becoming a part of our endowment program contact Mindy Hyde in our Alexander-Tharpe Fund office at 404-894-5435. Maybe we’ll see you at next year’s dinner.

STATE OF ATHLETICS ADDRESS
I touched on the need to increase these endowed funds recently when I met with our A-T Life Members for my annual State of Athletics address. We had another rewarding event with over 125 folks in attendance for the luncheon. I always like to share these remarks and the accompanying power point presentation with all of you and have done so again this year as you will find posted by later tonight and throughout the coming weeks on the web site www.ramblinwreck.com. I trust you’ll take a moment to go through some of the information we presented to the group. Again, I hope you’ll reach out to Jack Thompson (404-894-5427), Jim Hall (404-894-8219), Gary Lanier (404-894-6561) or Kevin Kitchens (404-894-5390) in our A-T office if you’d like to talk about a gift to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund.

GRADUATES
Finally this week let me share one more very important list with you. This is what we believe to be an accurate and complete list of our graduates, completing degrees after the fall semester. Before the holidays we released a list through our website that was simply incomplete. This was the result of many factors, but it gave us pause to put a better plan in place to help us fully discover any and all athletic-affiliated students who receive degrees from Georgia Tech. Because we have student-athletes who graduate a semester, a year or sometimes several years after their competition days have ended, they are not always easy to track. Our staff has worked hard to put a plan in motion that will seek the highest degree of accuracy in this process as we move forward.

For any student-athlete who may have been omitted from our December release, please accept our apology. This goes out to the parents and families as well who have invested so much into these young people’s lives. There is no higher achievement we can hope for our student-athletes than their degree completion and we certainly want to do everything within our power to recognize and congratulate them in every way. (Please click here for the updated list of our December graduates).

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