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The Good Word

Jan. 27, 2011

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

Just as the weather will present us with a much-needed warm-up this weekend, our Georgia Tech Athletic program is heading toward a hot spring if indications and trends hold to form. Five of our spring sports – both tennis programs, baseball, softball and golf – are ranked in the nation’s top 20 as they ramp into their respective seasons. And women’s basketball is off to its best ACC start ever – blazing toward a fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

These highlights were among the news and notes I shared at my annual “State of Athletics” address last week before a gathering of our Georgia Tech Athletics Life Members. More than 150 supporters attended the luncheon, held at the Georgia Tech Hotel. This is an annual opportunity for me to share many thoughts and impart much information about the progress of our teams and student-athletes, financial components, facility improvements and other pertinent topics. As in the past, we have made available by video my remarks as they were delivered to all Georgia Tech fans. The “State of Athletics” address is now posted at the bottom of the page on our web site at www.ramblinwreck.com or you can click here to watch the video.

Tennis Powerhouse
Head coaches Bryan Shelton and Kenny Thorne have done a great job in making Tech a collegiate tennis hot-spot. Our women’s program, of course, has a team national championship and a couple of individual titles under its belt. And now, our men’s team is coming on like gang-busters. The hot start by the men has been fueled by senior Guillermo Gomez, ranked 12th nationally, and the 8th-ranked doubles team of Juan Spir and Kevin King. Bryan’s women’s team opened the spring season with an impressive victory over 9th-ranked Northwestern last weekend and takes on Iowa at home Saturday at 2 p.m.

Softball Respected
I am enthusiastic about our prospects in softball this spring as Sharon Perkins’ team has been picked to win its third straight ACC title. Georgia Tech will be hosting the ACC Softball Championship in April. The Yellow Jackets open on February 11th down in sunny Florida.

Baseball Re-Load
Danny Hall’s baseball team will have a new look this season, but fueled by strong returning pitching and highly-regarded national prospects as every-day players, the Jackets check in the with preseason ranking of No. 19. Our annual Baseball Leadoff Dinner has been set for February 17th at the Georgia Tech Hotel. Super-agent Scott Boras is slated to be the guest speaker at the event. Click here for information on purchasing tickets to the banquet. This year’s baseball opener is set for February 18th when the Jackets open a three-game set with Kent State at Russ Chandler Stadium. Click here to purchase season baseball tickets.

Golf Ranked No. 5 Nationally
Coach Bruce Heppler’s team rides a wave of momentum into the spring season, which begins next week in Hawaii. The Yellow Jackets closed the fall season by crushing all opponents – some of the top teams in the nation – in the U.S. Collegiate Championships. Now, they enter the Feb. 2-4 Amer Ari Invitational ranked 5th in the GolfWeek national poll.

Big Hoops Weekend
While our nationally-ranked women’s basketball team takes to the road at Virginia Tech tonight, and then to Miami (Sunday), our quickly-improving men’s team goes for its fourth win in five games when it takes on Maryland at Alexander Memorial Coliseum Sunday night at 7:45. We are working hard to encourage more students and fans to get behind the team down the stretch. They are playing an exciting brand of basketball and the student-athletes need your encouragement and support.

Football Signing Day Next Week
I’m sure most of you are aware that football signing day rolls around next Wednesday (Feb. 2). We are extremely encouraged about our progress in recruiting future Georgia Tech football players. Coach Paul Johnson and his coaching staff will be on hand next Wednesday night at our annual signing day party. This year’s event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the Twelve Hotel at Atlantic Station. We will have video highlights of our signees and coaches will be available to discuss theses outstanding future prospects. I hope you’ll come out. It’s always a fun event and a good chance to get together with other Georgia Tech fans for an evening. Click here for information and tickets to the signing day event.

Football Ticket Renewals
Next week, football season ticket-holders will have the opportunity to renew tickets for the 2011 season. I don’t have to tell you what a sensational home schedule awaits Paul Johnson’s team this fall. We play seven home games in 2011 – up from six last year – and the home slate includes our traditional rival games with Georgia, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Although we obviously know all 12 opponents for next season, we hope to receive the actual dated schedule from the ACC in early February.

The price of the season ticket for 2011 will be $350. The Georgia game is a $75 ticket, the four ACC games, our home game vs. Kansas will be $50 each, and our season opener with Western Carolina will be $25. Although we have tweaked the pricing on our suites and club seating areas a bit (see next item), regular TECH Fund prices will remain unchanged.

One other reminder for all of our ticket holders in any sport: A vast majority of our communication with you is now accomplished by e-mail. It is critical that we have a current e-mail address for you so that we can inform you of information regarding your ticket purchases and accounts and inform you of deadlines, etc. You can update your e-mail address with us at tickets@at.gtaa.gatech.edu.

2011 Football Suites and Club Seating Information
As mentioned above, the 2011 football season will feature seven home games. This additional game obviously increases costs associated with our premium seating areas. For our fans that are in the Georgia Tech Club Seats, Suites or Tech Terrace, the seventh game adds to a variety of costs such as tickets, any food amenities that may come with your seats and the TECH Fund, which covers the overall premium area experience. These fans will see a slight increase in the 2011 renewal invoice. This is the first premium seat cost increase in more than five years.

Additionally, we are planning upgrades in these areas to include:
• Replacement of TV’s in our suites and Tech Terrace
• Atmosphere enhancements in our GT Club Lounge
• Additional complimentary beverage options in the GT Club Lounge

We received many more ideas for upgrading the premium seat area from our surveys and I want to thank you for the feedback. Some of the other ideas will take more planning and resources to complete.

You will see all of the information pertaining to your Suite, Club Seat or Tech Terrace renewal on your form which is scheduled to be mailed on or about February 1. Please review your application carefully and feel free to contact Kyle Shields, Premium Seat Director at 404-385-5093 or kshields@athletics.gatech.edu with any questions.

Swimming Senior Day Is Saturday
The Yellow Jacket men’s and women’s swimming teams will close out the regular season Saturday at 11 a.m. with a home meet against Darton. Tech will be celebrating Senior Day on Saturday.

In February, Georgia Tech will serve as host for the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships. The women’s event is Feb. 16-19, followed by the men’s championships Feb. 23-26. Click Here to visit the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships website. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here for more details.

Track In Bluegrass State
The men’s and women’s track and field teams are in Lexington (Ky.) this weekend for the Rod McCravy Invitational.

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