March 15, 2005
ATLANTA–The Georgia Tech football team held its first practice Tuesday afternoon without head coach Chan Gailey, who is resting comfortably at Piedmont Hospital following Monday’s angioplasty.
Assistant head coach Buddy Geis is supervising the team in Gailey’s absence and handling administrative duties, while coordinators Jon Tenuta and Patrick Nix run the defense and offense, respectively.
Gailey, 53, has been moved from intensive care and is in good condition. He could be released from the hospital Thursday or Friday.
Gailey made the decision to conduct practice as scheduled. The Yellow Jackets, who began spring drills last Friday, will also practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday before taking off next week for spring break. Practice then resumes March 29 and continues through April 16.
“Coach Gailey already had everything set up,” said Geis after practice. “We had all of our scripts done, and we knew everything that we planned to do for the first six practices. Chan is very organized, so that made it easy.
Tenuta, whose defense returns 10 starters after rankings 12th in the nation last fall, said, “Coach Gailey knows how I do things, what our defense is and what I’m going to install, and he just lets me do it. He knows what our packages are and how I install them, and he just lets me go.”
Geis, Tenuta and Nix all noted that Tuesday’s practice was somewhat sloppy, but they attributed that to Tech’s first session in full pads.
“After you come out here in your pajamas for two days and have pillow fights,” joked Tenuta, referring to the first two practices, which were in shorts, “when you go into your first day in pads, you’re going to be a little bit sluggish. You’ve got to get used to the tempo and get used to carrying your pads.”
Nix added, “I’m sure Coach Gailey would like a tape of this practice, but I’m not sure I want him to see it.
“I have talked to him, but I have not seen him. He seemed to be in good spirits, but I know that he would much rather be out here, that’s for sure.”