TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
Hello from the Flats. When I drove in to work yesterday, the Atlantic Coast Conference consisted of 14 schools. By the time I was on my way home we were a family of 15. And our newest addition had caused quite the stir throughout the day. In this edition of The Good Word, let me welcome our friends at Notre Dame to the ACC.
This is truly a great occurrence for the Atlantic Coast Conference and for Georgia Tech. We are delighted to be joined by a prestigious and respected institution such as Notre Dame. From so many angles, this relationship will enhance the rich tradition of our league and provide new and exciting opportunities for Georgia Tech and the ACC. I know Tech fans and sports fans throughout the region look forward to outstanding competition against the Irish for many years to come.
I commend Commissioner John Swofford, his staff and our council of Presidents for once again executing a successful expansion of our league with very little rumor, innuendo or advanced media fanfare. I believe the ACC has set the standard for the way conferences – and really all organizations — should conduct their business. We have been efficient, effective and extremely stealth in our dealings and decision-making. All who may have believed the ACC was losing its relevance on the college athletics landscape are singing a different tune today. Through this communication and other sources, we will keep you apprised of other developments related to this expansion as well as our previous expansion which added Pitt and Syracuse to our league.
Big Weekend Ahead
The second of four straight home football weekends is upon us as the Virginia Cavaliers visit Grant Field Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Our Jackets will attempt to avenge last year’s loss in Charlottesville, which disrupted a 6-0 start to the season. As Coach Paul Johnson is fond of saying: “Revenge is a great motivator to those who care.” Well, I believe there are a lot of Yellow Jackets that care plenty and will be ready to go on Saturday. In fact, same goes for each of the next two Saturdays as another 2011 spoiler, Miami, visits Grant Field.
Hope to see you all out on the Flats this weekend. With great weather in the forecast, great tailgating opportunities, fun for the entire family and a heck of a college football game in store, there may be no better place to be than down here at Georgia Tech. Also, a note about next weekend, our game vs. Miami on Sept. 22nd has been set by the ACC television networks for a 3 p.m. kickoff.
Volleyball Opens ACC Play
Start your weekend off with a bang at 7 p.m. tonight when Coach Tonya Johnson’s volleyball team (7-2) takes on Clemson (8-2) in the first ACC match of the season. O’Keefe Gym is sure to be packed and loud.
Dodd Statue Dedication is Friday
We have two great historical events planned for the weekend as well. The first takes place Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. on Callaway Plaza when President Bud Peterson and I will be on hand for the dedication of a statue of Coach Bobby Dodd.
The idea for the statue began formulating a few years ago when the Dodd’s Boys group was formed to coordinate reunions and functions before games. It was during that process the group decided that, while the stadium carried his name, a statue would be appropriate. The group worked with the athletic department and the Institute to get approval and then found a design team for the statue. The group of Dodd’s former players, collectively known as Dodd’s Boys, along with families and friends of former players and the Georgia Tech program, contributed to make the statue possible. Former Jacket great Taz Anderson serves as President of the Dodd’s Boys organization.
I have had the good fortune of being a part of a number of athletics department’s around the country prior to my appointment at Georgia Tech, I can say without a doubt the closest knit, most involved and motivated group I have ever been associated with were the men who played for Coach Dodd. The lessons he taught them not just about football but about life have affected so many of the people that he touched, this statue is just a another reminder of the lesson of philanthropy that I know Coach Dodd instilled in his young men.
60th Reunion of the 1952 National Champions
A related event this weekend is the reunion for the 1951-52 Georgia Tech football teams celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1952 National Championship.
The two teams combined for a 23-0-1 record under Coach Dodd. Both teams won Southeastern Conference titles and won their bowl games. The 1951 team defeated ninth-ranked Baylor 17-14 in the Orange Bowl. The 1952 team defeated seventh-ranked Ole Miss 24-7 in the Sugar Bowl to win a share of the national championship. The win over the Rebels gave Tech its third national title.
It is truly an honor for us to welcome back this group of men that are so much a part of our history. Back-to-back undefeated seasons, two SEC titles and a national championship pretty much says it all. Without question this was the greatest two-year run in the history of our program. We want to celebrate with them on this 60th anniversary.
Thirty members of the team and their families will gather for a brunch Saturday morning before being recognized at halftime of the game.
Missing Our Podcasts?
CBS, our web services provider recently ended their run doing podcasts in-house. With that change went our old podcast channel, which many of you had enjoyed. Over the last few weeks we worked with CBS to come up with something new for us to distribute these podcasts such as coaches’ shows, press conferences, etc. Below is our new iTunes podcast channel. It currently has seven different podcasts, including this week’s Paul Johnson press conference for fans to download. If you like to listen to this programming, make a note of the iTunes link (http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gtathletics/id558575908)so that you can continue to keep up with Georgia Tech sports. You can also find a link to this page on our multimedia drop-down at the top of our web site www.ramblinwreck.com.
Georgia Tech Mobile App
The 2012-13 official Georgia Tech Athletics mobile app is now available for Apple, Android and Blackberry owners. The app provides owners easy and instant access to up-to-the-minute news, scores, live game play-by-play, stats, schedules, rosters and photo galleries. . The mobile application is free to download from the iPhone App Store, Android Market or Blackberry App World, and users can enhance their experience by purchasing access to live audio broadcasts within the app.
McCamish Pavilion Set to Open
Season ticket holders in men’s and women’s basketball get your first look at our beautiful new home – McCamish Pavilion — Wednesday night, the 19th. Doors will be open from 6-8 p.m. for this open house where we invite you to come over, walk through the facility, sit in your seats and check out the look and feel of our new home. There is no formal program, but our staff will be on hand to answer any questions and our video and sound displays will be operational.
If you have purchased season tickets, you should have received tickets to this open house so that you can locate your seats during your visit. If you know of anyone who may be interested in purchasing basketball tickets and would like to check out the new facility, be sure to bring them along as your guests. Parking will be located in the McCamish Lot (enter off 8th Street) or in Lower Peters. Parking for the event is free.
Important McCamish Dates
Other dates to remember: Each home football Saturday, beginning with the Miami game on September 22nd, is an opportunity for fans to tour McCamish Pavilion. The building will be open three hours prior to kickoff and close one hour before. Members of our sales and fan experience team will be on hand to assist with any questions or needs. October 21st is our Jacket Jam presentation. That will be a night filled with music, fun, contests and giveaways along with scrimmages by our men’s and women’s teams.
And finally, our Grand Opening is set for Friday, November 9th when the Jackets take on Tulane at 7 p.m. That will be an action-packed night as a special committee headed by former Jacket coach Bobby Cremins is reaching out to every former Georgia Tech player in an effort to bring hundreds back to the campus for this special night that begins a new era in Tech basketball. All former players with e-mail or physical addresses in our data base will be receiving an invitation to the Grand Opening very soon. And…the weekend gets even better when our women’s team opens a new era of their own taking on perennial powerhouse Tennessee on Sunday, November 11th at 2 p.m.
Swimming & Diving
Under fourth-year head coach Courtney Shealy Hart, the Georgia Tech swimming and diving team has begun preseason preparations. The Yellow Jackets open the 2012-13 season at home versus the College of Charleston on Saturday, October 13 at 11 a.m. and welcome rival Georgia on Wednesday, October 17 at 4 p.m. Tech welcomes back 22 on the men’s side, including a pair of reigning All-ACC selections – senior Brandon Makinson, who was the ACC silver-medalist in 1-meter diving, and junior Anton Lagerqvist, who won the ACC title in the 200 breast. The women welcome back 10, including senior Kate Riley, who helped set a school record in the 200 free relay last season.
Our complete 2012-13 women’s basketball schedule was announced last week by the ACC and Coach Joseph has put together another challenging and exciting schedule for our team. We will host 15 home games this year, including the season-opener against Tennessee, a home game with Georgia and ACC matchups with North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. The complete schedule can be found here. Season tickets to see our women try for their seventh straight NCAA Tournament berth are an absolute deal and can be purchased for only $65 online or by calling 888-TECH-TIX.