Jan. 18, 2002
By Wes Durham, “Voice of the Yellow Jackets” – At some point last Sunday (January 13), new Georgia Tech head football coach Chan Gailey was not happy with what had happened. His current employer, so to speak, the Miami Dolphins, had just been eliminated in the opening round of the AFC Playoffs at home.
However, as losses go, this one was the quickest to pass for Gailey and his family. Monday, he arrived at the Dolphins complex in Davie, Fla., emptied out his desk and other items into a box and said good-bye. Other fans of the Fins might have been moping around and hanging their head. That time had already passed for Gailey.
“I have mixed emotions, but that’s the quickest I have ever gotten over a loss,” Gailey told the Atlanta media on Wednesday morning.
“Losses hit me hard, they really do. It takes me a little while to recover. But when you’ve got something exciting that’s different and you get to jump right in. I was over it.”
The double-duty of the Dolphins and Georgia Tech is down to the single task that Gailey signed up for on the morning of December 29, continuing the success of Yellow Jacket football.
Gailey’s first year priorities have already been established by the new coach and the recent additions to his staff of coaches in Atlanta. The idea is to make the best of the recruiting process and finish filling out his coaching staff. The former could come quicker than the latter.
The 50-year old head coach arrived full-time early Tuesday afternoon and passed the required NCAA rules certification test that allows him to recruit off campus. Gailey said that those who were originally committed to the Tech program have stayed that way and that is a nice piece to go in the first class for him and his coaches.
In the first week, Gailey hired veteran offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris, who he was familiar with in not only his days in the World League, but a season together at Samford. D’Alessandris also brings a valuable working knowledge of the ACC from his three years at Duke.
Tommie Robinson has worked with both offense and defense, but will coach receivers with Tech and has a wealth of knowledge in recruiting. Robinson comes to Tech from Oklahoma State, where he worked with former Gailey assistant Les Miles in Stillwater.
David Wilson has experience in both coaching and the valuable administrative side of college football. His most recent tenure was at Mississippi State. Wilson is charged with tight ends at the current time, but will probably move into the football operations area this spring.
That makes six coaches to recruit, and according to Gailey, that will be enough to get this class signed. Tech is fortunate that it will not require a large number of recruits, looking anywhere from 15-19 possibly in early February.
“There was a lapse in there that sometimes you can’t overcome. There has been a great response thus far from the guys that we have maintained contact and remained involved with,” Gailey said.
So for Gailey and his staff, the clock is ticking on recruiting, and Gailey’s efforts in that area will also coincide with his goal of filling out his staff with coaches that he thinks are the right fit for the Yellow Jackets.