TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
It’s hard to believe another academic and athletic year has come to a close, but another really good spring by our hard-working student-athletes and coaches will send us into the summer with good memories and great optimism for the 2012-13 year.
ACC championships in baseball, softball and golf, and a high-energy enthusiastic crowd at our spring football finale really made the last couple of months enjoyable. The summer will be highlighted by the completion of McCamish Pavilion, the ground-breaking for the new Ken Byers Tennis Complex and a major landscape change occurring on Fowler Street that will provide a grand entry into the heart of the Georgia Tech campus from the north.
This will be my final Good Word column for the summer as we’ll take a few weeks off and return to these pages in early August. Before closing I’d like to offer a little housekeeping as they say, as we still have a number of initiatives and happenings that are important for you Georgia Tech fans.
Ken Byers Tennis Facility Ground-Breaking
I’m excited to join President Bud Peterson, Ken and his family along with many members of the Georgia Tech family for the official ground-breaking for the Tennis Complex on Friday afternoon. Among those expected to be on hand will be former women’s tennis coach Bryan Shelton, our great friend and colleague, who announced this week that he was leaving Tech to become the men’s tennis coach at the University of Florida. This came as our lone piece of sad news this spring, as Bryan has been an exemplary member of our athletic staff, the coach who brought us a national championship in 2007 and coached Amanda McDowell to an individual NCAA title in 2008. We wish Bryan and his family the best in the new endeavor.
Football Ticket Update
First and foremost, it is important again to support our football season ticket sales initiative. Currently we have sold more than 21,200 season tickets on our way to what we hope will once again top the 23,000 mark. We will begin a slate of media advertising later this month using the theme “Fun on the Flats!” to accompany the good sales work being done by the Aspire Group, our sales team that is working hard on finding new patrons.
(As a side note, Aspire has sold more than 1,500 season tickets for 2012 football and as the sales team approaches its third anniversary with Tech in July, they will soon top the $4 million gross revenue mark since the inception of the program. The Fan Relationship Management Center continues to be managed by former Yellow Jacket offensive lineman A.J. Smith).
Additional Home and Away Game Football Ticket Opportunity
Current football season ticket holders will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase additional home and away game tickets soon. Postcard and email notification will be sent out in coming days. Beginning on Friday, June 22 at 5 p.m., purchase on www.ramblinwreck.com by logging into your online account; purchase via telephone beginning on Monday, June 25 at 8:30 a.m. by calling the ticket office at 888-832-4849.
Premium Seating and Suites
With new available inventory, now is the time for luxury accommodations at Bobby Dodd Stadium. From spacious suites, to club seats, let Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field be the backdrop as you entertain your family, friends, employees or your most important clients — experience “Fun on the Flats” from the best locations in Bobby Dodd Stadium.
I invite you to contact the Premium Seat Director, Kyle Shields (firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-385-5093) for a tour of our suites or if you have questions regarding premium seat opportunities for Georgia Tech football.
While football sales continue, it is encouraging to see the results of the ongoing seating process for McCamish Pavilion as we bring basketball back to the Flats this fall.
We’re almost halfway through the men’s basketball seat selection process with over 600 patrons selecting seats to date accounting for over 1,900 seats selected.
The selection process will continue over the next two and a half weeks with the online selection ending on June 28. For those who do not have a seat selection date and time, and are interested in men’s basketball season ticket purchase, please contact the ticket office at 888-832-4849 for details on ticket purchase. Keep up to date on available seating inventory at http://seatselection.seats3d.com/ncaa/georgia_tech/basketball/seat_selection.
Women’s Basketball season tickets are now on sale. Fans can purchase reserved lower level sideline tickets to all Yellow Jacket home games for just $50. Beginning July 1, the price increases to $65, so take advantage of this special pricing offer today. Georgia Tech will open the 2012-13 season at home against the Tennessee Lady Volunteers on Sunday, Nov. 11. Additional Georgia Tech home non-conference games will include matchups with Georgia, Marquette and Washington, among others. This year the Yellow Jackets will also host nine Atlantic Coast Conference opponents as the league moves to an 18-game schedule.
Good Academic Progress News
Three Georgia Tech teams – golf, men’s tennis and women’s cross country – were recognized by the NCAA national office Thursday for producing Academic Progress Rates (APR) ranked in the top 10 percent nationally within their respective sport for the 2010-11 academic year.
The NCAA began recognizing all teams ranked in the top 10 percent nationally in APR following the 2004-05 academic year. Head coach Bruce Heppler’s Yellow Jacket golf team has been recognized every year, a remarkable seven consecutive seasons. Tech has also captured four consecutive ACC golf championships.
The women’s cross country team, coached by Alan Drosky, earned national recognition for the third straight year. Coach Kenny Thorne’s men’s tennis team has consistently posted high scores, but earned a top-10 recognition by the NCAA for the first time. All data related to the most recent APR scores will be released next week. We expect to receive a very positive report.
Track and Field
The men’s and women’s track and field teams wrapped up their seasons at the NCAA Championships this past weekend as sophomore Julienne McKee earned two second team All-American nods in the long and triple jump while junior Shawn Roberts took home honorable mention All-America honors in the 800m run. Three school records were broken during the outdoor season, McKee set a new school record in the long jump at the NCAA Championships, freshman Nikita Kirillov broke the outdoor pole vault record, to go along with his indoor pole vault record, and senior D.J. McMillan broke the 10,000m run record at the Stanford Invitational earlier in the season. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished 10th at the ACC Outdoor Championship after taking eighth and 11th, respectively, at the Indoor Championship.
Baseball Wins ACC Title
Head Coach Danny Hall and the baseball team wrapped up an incredible postseason by falling to the national-No. 1-seeded Florida Gators in a regional final game last weekend in Gainesville. The loss ended Tech’s season at 38-26, but not before a remarkable postseason run that saw the Yellow Jackets roll through the ACC tournament undefeated for its eighth title, and then win twice in Gainesville to reach an NCAA Regional title game for the fifth consecutive season. Four great seniors finished their careers on a high note, led by Jake Davies, who was named the MVP of the ACC tournament. The Jackets have appeared in the NCAA Regional 26 times in the past 28 years, and only two teams in the country have been to more in that time – Miami and Florida State. The baseball team overcame a tremendous amount of key injuries this season, and Coach Hall and the Jackets should be commended for bringing another ACC title to the Flats!
Tech In MLB Draft
Continuing the good baseball word, Tech had five players drafted last week in the Major League Baseball Draft, marking the 12th consecutive season that the Jackets have produced four or draft picks. Junior pitcher Luke Bard was a first-round pick by Minnesota, junior outfielder Brandon Thomas went in the fourth-round to Pittsburgh, junior pitcher Buck Farmer went in the 15th round to Milwaukee, while senior Jake Davies (21st round, Boston) and sophomore Kyle Wren (30th round, Cincinnati) went in the later rounds. The MLB signing deadline in July 13th, so look for more news coming soon on Tech’s draftees.
Swimmer Headed To Olympics
We’d like to send a special note of congratulations to rising sophomore swimmer Andrew Chetcuti, who is headed to the 2012 Olympics in London to represent his home country of Malta. Andrew set two national records for Malta last weekend, and in the process, earned a berth in the Olympics. He’ll be one of just five athletes from Malta competing in London, and the fourth Jacket swimmer to compete in the Olympics since 2004. This is another tremendous accomplishment for our swimming & diving program, and an indication of the quality student-athletes being recruited by Courtney Shealy Hart, a two-time Olympic gold medalist herself! On the U.S. side, there are a record 10 current or recently graduated Yellow Jackets headed to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha June 25-July 2, and we wish them the best of luck as well.