Dec. 7, 2007
Dan Radakovich – Opening Statement
“Thank you all once again for visiting us here at Georgia Tech. It is a special day for us here at the Institute. A week ago last Monday, I told you that we were launching a nationwide search for a new head football coach. I said at that time that the search would be swift, yet deliberate. Some of you may debate the meaning of the word swift but there can be no debate that we have been deliberate, thoughtful and diligent. This process and this proud football team deserves nothing less.
“Over the course of the last 10 days, we have had the opportunity to meet with a number of qualified candidates to become the next head football coach at Georgia Tech. I stand before you today, really proud to represent an Institute that is held on such high regard around the country. A football program, whose tradition and history is so respected that many of bright and respected coaches from around the country showed interest in our program. When the process began, I do not believe the screening committee or I had any idea how much about football we would learn in week’s time. Nor did we know how many talented and intelligent, charming, well-prepared and successful coaches had the desire to coach at Georgia Tech. Yet as we met with them one at a time, we were extremely impressed.
“The process was thorough and enlightening, it was gut wrenching at times, exhausting, thought-provoking and at times very emotional. At the end of the day, the winner was Georgia Tech, because through the process, Georgia Tech emerged the best. The best fit, the best choice and the best man for its head coaching position. I am here today to introduce a man of impeccable credentials. A man, who is just three years removed from winning the Bobby Dodd Award. Today he embarks on the same mission laid forth by Coach Dodd five decades ago. To educate young men, to represent Georgia Tech at the highest level and to win football games and win championships.
“Our new coach ranks in the top 10 among all active Division I head coaches with 107-39 record, winning at nearly a 74 percent clip. As head coach of the U.S. Naval Academy, one of the nations most prestigious and demanding academic campuses, he has accomplished feats pundits thought were no longer possible at the academy. He has taken a team that won three games in three seasons back to the national spotlight. His 2007 team will compete in its fifth-straight bowl game. He just won the Commander’s in Chief’s Trophy for the fifth-consecutive time, ran up its sixth-consecutive win over arch-rival Army and beat Notre Dame for the first time in 43 years. But more importantly, Georgia Tech’s new football coach is coming home. Back to the state where he won back-to-back Division I-AA national titles. Back to the state where he became one of only four Division I coaches to win 50 games in his first four seasons. One of which is the legendary Walter Camp. He comes back the state where he won an unheralded four straight Coach of the Year awards. He returns to his native south where he was born and educated in our neighboring state of North Carolina. Good barbecue is no stranger to our new coach.
“Georgia Tech’s new head football coach is the right man for so many reasons. Here is the most convincing part. He looks at his talent and maximizes it. Whether it is as an assistant coach at Hawaii or a head coach at Georgia Southern or Navy, he flat out figured out how to be successful. Passing, running, special teams, it does not matter. He does what it takes to win games. President Clough and I were convinced that he will be the steady leader, the principal teacher to our student-athletes and the point producing conductor that will energize our fans and fill our stadium on Saturday afternoons with fun and excitement.
“Ladies and gentleman, I give you the new head football coach of Georgia Tech, along with his wife Susan and daughter Kaitlyn, please welcome to Atlanta and the Yellow Jacket family Paul Johnson.”
Paul Johnson – Opening Statement
“It is really humbling to be here today. I would like to thank Dr. Clough, Dan and the entire Georgia Tech family for the opportunity to lead a program so steep in tradition and history. When I first met with the committee last Sunday it seemed like a match made in heaven to me. I was looking forward to moving back to the state of Georgia where we had such a good time at Georgia Southern for five years. To have the opportunity to come to an Institution that is held in such high national regard as Georgia Tech, not only the football program but the academic side. It is a dream come true to us.
“I want to thank Susan and Kaitlyn for being on the journey with me. As a football coach, you are sometimes like a vagabond, you bounce around. We kind of moved around in a circle and every time I got a call they were willing to go. We come into this situation with extreme amount of excitement. I think it is a great opportunity, I do not think there is another program I would have left the Naval Academy for. When we coach, we search for a school or football program that you can compete on a national level for championships and certainly I feel that way about Georgia Tech. We are look forward to the challenge of becoming part of the Georgia Tech family. I promise we are going to play an exciting and tough brand of football that everyone can identify with and we are excited to get started.”
On using the spread offense in the Atlantic Coast Conference:
“Well I think it works in the ACC. I was telling someone during the interview process that during the past six years at Navy, I think we played 29 BCS teams and I believe a large part were in the ACC conference and if I am not mistaken we averaged over 30 points against them. It’s been a good offense. I think what we will do here is take a look at the personnel and as I said earlier, we are not going to put a square peg in a round hole. Our system is adaptable, we will take the system and try and mold it to the type of men we have in the program. “