June 9, 2006
TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
What a great weekend for our baseball team! This was my first “big” Georgia Tech athletic event, and I hope all of you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’d like to thank everyone at Tech who helped put on a first-class event, and more importantly, I’d like to thank all of our fans who cheered us on to victory. I know that Danny Hall and his players really appreciate the enthusiastic crowds.
I want to personally encourage all Tech fans to support our team this weekend as we host the College of Charleston for the right to go the College World Series. The young men in our program have worked extremely hard and overcome several key injuries to put themselves in position to host a regional and super regional, and we need to reward them with the best possible home field advantage.
Secondly, this event requires a significant financial commitment to the NCAA, and we need to sell out Russ Chandler Stadium in order to be able to host regionals and super regionals year-in and year-out. We certainly realize that a 12 noon game on Friday is not ideal for many fans, but please understand that we have no control over the game times; the NCAA and ESPN set all times.
Baseball is not the only spring sport to enjoy a very successful season. Bryan Shelton’s women’s tennis team has had a remarkable two-year run, winning another ACC title this year and reaching the NCAA Sweet 16. Accolades continue to roll in for super sophomore Kristi Miller, both for her outstanding play and for her equally superior performance in the classroom – the No. 1-ranked singles player in the nation is also a 4.0 student!
Kenny Thorne’s men’s tennis team also reached the NCAAs for the sixth straight year, and our men’s and women’s track programs have individuals competing at the NCAA Championships this weekend. The Tech softball team, under Ehren Earleywine, made its fifth straight NCAA appearance and advanced to the regional final, led by freshman sensation Whitney Haller.
Bruce Heppler’s golf team did not fare as they would have hoped at the NCAA Championships, but congratulations to his squad for reaching the NCAAs in what could have been a rebuilding year, with two freshmen in the starting five. Rookie Cameron Tringale showed this spring that he could be the next star in Tech’s incredible line of great golfers.
Most importantly, our student-athletes had a very successful spring semester in the classroom. An all-time high 51.4 percent of our student-athletes in all sports achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better for the spring semester, highlighted by 27 Yellow Jackets who posted perfect 4.0 GPAs. The average GPA for all student-athletes for the semester was 2.85.
The golf team led the way with a 3.47 team GPA, including three team members with perfect 4.0’s, while the women’s tennis team sported a 3.26 GPA. Seven of Tech’s eight women’s sports posted team grade point averages above 3.05.
Regarding ticket sales, our marketing initiatives for football continue to grow and reap rewards. Two and a half months before the season, we are ahead of our total season ticket sales for all of last year by nearly 1,000. I’m also happy to report that the Bobby Dodd Stadium club seats are more than 86 percent sold for the season. We will continue to aggressively market and promote ticket sales throughout the summer.
As you know, this month season ticket holders have an exclusive window to purchase three-game flex packs. On the first day alone, season ticket holders purchased more 4,000 flex packs. I encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity. We want to ensure that Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field is filled with Georgia Tech fans on Sept. 2!
Last week, I attended a meeting of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board. During that meeting, Dr. Clough outlined some exciting prospects for the future of Georgia Tech. Be assured that athletics has a major role to play in the future success of the Institute. We are looking forward to being great partners and providing tremendous benefits, like our nationally televised opener with Notre Dame.
Again, thank you for your positive response to “The Good Word.” While I cannot guarantee a personal response to every email that we receive, please know that they will all be read, so I do encourage your continued participation in this process. Some of your questions could become topics for future issues of The Good Word.
I also encourage you to share this letter with any Tech fan who may not have access to the Internet. Our goal is to inform and engage as many Yellow Jacket supporters as we possibly can.
I want to personally thank you for your continued support of Georgia Tech Athletics as we move forward with our vision for excellence.