April 5, 2013
GTLWC: As a high school student, what attracted you to Georgia Tech?
TR: It was the relationships I had with Bill Curry and his coaches. I believed in them and trusted them. I also saw what Georgia Tech could do for you, how it could catapult you in both football and life after football.
GTLWC: What was your experience like as a student-athlete?
TR: It was fantastic. The primary thing I took away is that habits you are taught as a student here. You’re forced to have good habits to be successful here. Also, I really value the relationships I built with my teammates and fellow students. Those will last the rest of my life.
GTLWC: What are you some of your favorite memories of playing football here?
TR: You can talk about the great wins, but the highlight for me playing at Georgia Tech was the relationships I built with my teammates and coaches. You may remember this win or this play, but it’s so much deeper than that. That’s what is really special.
GTLWC: You coached here previously early in your career. What’s different this time around?
TR: One thing is my perspective as a coach. Once you become a father, your perspective can change. Everyone’s always been important, but you realize how special that kid is to somebody. I’ve gained that perspective.
Also, I’m more grounded in my own beliefs and philosophies. That’s been molded with time and experience. I know the things that are absolutely inflexible for me, and I have to stick to those principles no matter what.
GTLWC: What was intriguing about coming back to join Coach Johnson’s staff?
TR: I’ve got sweat equity built there. I have tremendous pride in being a Georgia Tech graduate. It’s a chance to have a positive impact on the program and the student-athletes here. Plus, it’s a place I want to raise my kids here in Atlanta.
In life, you have to look at who you are, what you have and really embrace your potential. If you do, anything’s possible, so I’m proud to be part of this program.
GTLWC: As you go about your job, how often are you reminded of your playing days?
TR: As a coach, you learn to focus on the next thing and not live in the past. It’s certainly different than when I went to school here, but there are things are the same. The educational experience instills discipline. That’s certainly something that helps in every aspect of your life.
My perspective has certainly changed. One of the neat things is seeing a guy you hadn’t seen in 20 years, and you pick up right where you left off. It’s great for my sons to meet some of these guys, because I’m very proud of the Georgia Tech football family. It’s important that my boys get to know those guys.
GTLWC: Coaching is such a transient profession, so what’s it like to be back at your alma mater?
TR: It’s not very common, so it’s something I certainly appreciate. I believe in the Georgia Tech experience. I want to put a product on the field that will make us all proud, as far as effort, enthusiasm and intensity.
The total Georgia Tech experience prepares you for the rest of your life, and I want to be able to share that with the current and future student-athletes. For me, it’s what is right about college football. We’re preparing them to be successful leaders in their chosen field.