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From The Desk of J Batt

Dear Yellow Jacket fans,

First, I would like to thank you for the warm welcome that you have given my family and me since we arrived on The Flats in October. We are incredibly honored and excited to be Yellow Jackets, and the kindness that you have shown Leah, Fitz, Graham and myself have only made us more proud and thrilled to join you in representing this great institution and supporting our student-athletes and coaches.

I would also like to thank you for your support of the Competitive Drive Initiative. As we announced last week, thanks to your generosity and the unprecedented support from President Ángel Cabrera and the Georgia Tech Foundation, we reached our initial goal of making a $5 million impact on funding for student-athlete scholarships in just six weeks, with $2.5 million in philanthropy from you and a $2.5 million match from the GT Foundation. Thanks to your enthusiastic support and continued backing from President Cabrera and the GT Foundation, we have stretched our fundraising goal to $3.5 million, with any new gifts to the Athletic Scholarship Fund between now and Dec. 31 being matched dollar-for-dollar by the GT Foundation. Should we reach the goal by Dec. 31, it will result in a $7 million total impact on our student-athletes in just over two months! If you’d like to be a part of accelerating the funding of Georgia Tech student-athlete scholarships, you can double your impact (and your benefits) by clicking HERE to make a donation to the Competitive Drive Initiative.

In addition to the success of the Competitive Drive Initiative, a lot has happened in the short time since I first called Georgia Tech home, so I would like to take a minute to publicly congratulate some of our student-athletes, coaches and teams on their recent accomplishments:

  • As many of you know, we have hired Georgia Tech alumnus and letterwinner Brent Key as the 21st head coach in Tech football history. As I said when we announced the hire, it was clear both at the beginning and at the end of our exhaustive national search for a new head coach that Coach Key was the right person for the job. After signing the contract and making about four phone calls to family and mentors, Coach Key was right back to work. His priorities right off the bat include recruiting and assembling his staff, and I know that he is looking forward to introducing you to our newest class of Yellow Jackets on National Signing Day (Wednesday, Dec. 21) and to his full staff once he has it fully assembled.
  • For the third-straight season, Tech volleyball not only earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, but also won a match there when they swept Wright State in the opening round of the 64-team tournament. Another top-25 finish is sure to follow. Congrats to three-time All-American Julia Bergmann, our five all-ACC honorees (which includes Julia and Breland Morrissette on the first team), head coach Michelle Collier and the entire squad on another great season.
  • Congrats are also in order for our men’s and women’s cross country teams, which finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the NCAA South Region this fall (which includes 32 teams on the women’s side and 22 teams on the men’s side). Special congratulations are in order for senior biomedical engineering major Liz Galarza, who qualified individually for the NCAA Championships.
  • Our winter sports are also off and running. Women’s basketball has raced out to an 8-2 record, which includes wins at Auburn and at Michigan State. Men’s basketball has navigated a challenging early-season schedule and stands at 6-4, which included a thrilling 79-77 win over Georgia on a great night at McCamish Pavilion last week. Both swimming and diving teams have winning records through two months of competition, with the women at 5-2 and the men at 4-2. Indoor track and field opened its season this month at Clemson.
  • Away from athletic competition, volleyball’s Liz Patterson earned one of the most impressive and prestigious achievements ever for a Georgia Tech student-athlete when she was named Stamps President’s Scholar through the program’s walk-on process. She did not apply for this honor – she was unknowingly nominated for it due to exemplifying the program pillars of scholarship, leadership, progress and service. She is the first Division I student-athlete to ever receive Stamps President Scholar recognition through its walk-on program.
  • Finally, please join me in congratulating 21 student-athletes that will achieve the ultimate goal for all Georgia Tech students when they graduate from the Institute this weekend. Our newest alums include Derrik Allen (football), Luke Benson (football), Malachi Carter (football), Sam Crawford (baseball – master’s degree), Devin Ellison (football), Matthew Gorst (baseball), Sarah Halverson (spirit – master’s degree), Jaylon King (football), Demetrius Knight (football), William Lay III (football), Dylan Leonard (football), Jeanette Lin (women’s tennis), Taylor McCawley (football), Cynthia Miller (spirit), Kondalia Montgomery (women’s basketball), Claire Moritz (women’s cross country/track and field), Cort Roedig (baseball), Cale Russell (men’s swimming), Dontae Smith (football), Zamari Walton (football) and Sylvain Yondjouen (football).

Thank you again for welcoming my family and me to The Flats. On behalf of the entire Georgia Tech athletics family, I wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season. Go Jackets!


J Batt
Director of Athletics


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