Dec. 14, 2006
TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
Since my arrival at Georgia Tech last spring, communication has been a constant theme. It is, and will always be, a vital mission in my role as Director of Athletics. Over the last three weeks, I have received numerous letters and emails, and I have tried to answer every one of them.
I appreciate and respect the opinions of all the Tech alumni and supporters who took the time to write. I assure you this information will be taken into consideration as I evaluate every aspect of our football program following the season, as I do for all sports.
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Joe Irwin, Executive Director of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, and members of his Board of Directors. I’d like to share with you the message that was delivered by alums Dean Alford and Bill Goodhew.
Dean and Bill were very passionate in speaking about what it means to be a Georgia Tech alumnus. They wanted me, and everyone associated with our football program, to know that while they are very disappointed with the outcome of the last two games, it’s time to pull together and move forward in a positive manner because that’s what Georgia Tech is all about. Successful Tech graduates have setbacks in business, but they don’t throw in the towel; they fight back and work even harder. They pledged to support this team and this program, both in the short term and the long term, because it is the right thing to do. To sum it up, Dean said, “It’s time for us to show our true colors!”
Let’s not lose sight of the many positives. First and foremost, we are playing in a New Year’s Day bowl game against a great team with a chance for a 10-win season. That’s only been done at Georgia Tech twice in the last 50 years. In fact, our nine-win mark has been reached only six other times in the last half-century.
As important as the Gator Bowl is to this season, especially to this year’s senior class, it is even more important for 2007 and beyond.
We are scheduled to return 16 of 22 starters (18 including punter and placekicker), and certainly we’re all excited about the recruiting class that our coaching staff is assembling, which looks to be Georgia Tech’s most highly-rated group in quite some time. We open the season with a trip to Notre Dame, and we have another great home schedule with Clemson, Virginia Tech, Boston College, North Carolina and Georgia, plus the return of Bobby Ross with his Army squad.
All of these things point to a very successful 2007 season for Georgia Tech. But that must begin right now with a great showing by the Yellow Jacket Nation at the Gator Bowl. This is crucial to the long-term perception of Georgia Tech among our bowl partners. I am calling on Tech fans and alumni to heed Dean Alford’s call to “show your true colors” and purchase our tickets to the Gator Bowl. Even if you cannot attend the game personally, we have an option that allows you to purchase and donate the tickets and receive A-T credit. Either way, you are showing your pride and love for Georgia Tech — the Institute. A poor ticket sales performance will be a negative and could adversely affect on our bowl situation for years to come.
Click here to purchase tickets and find out about events and activities in Jacksonville.
Congratulations to our student-athletes who will be graduating Saturday as the Institute holds its fall semester Commencement ceremonies at Alexander Memorial Coliseum! Graduation day is the ultimate “return on investment” for everyone who supports Yellow Jacket athletics as our student-athletes go out into the world with an incredible Georgia Tech degree.
Among those “walking” Saturday are current football players Mike Matthews and Wayne Riles, as well as former players Ajenavi Eziemefe, Eddie Ivery, Jr., and Andy Tidwell-Neal. We’ll forgive Mike and Wayne if they are a little late for Saturday’s 12 noon practice, which, by the way, is open to the public, so I encourage you to come over to Bobby Dodd Stadium and show the team your support.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of the community service projects undertaken by our student-athletes. As you know, the Student-Athlete Advisory Board sponsors a toy drive each fall, collecting for Toys for Tots and other area charities. This fall, the group wanted to take things a step further. Spearheaded by baseball standout Michael Fisher, a large group of student-athletes took time out during finals week to visit the Hillside Foster Care Home, and personally deliver gifts and spend time with the children. The student-athletes have made plans to continue working with the young people at Hillside as tutors and mentors.
Again, thank you for your positive response to “The Good Word.” We welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.