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The Good Word

April 3, 2008

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

As time marches on I take a moment this week to celebrate my second full year on the job as a Yellow Jacket. It is just incredible how many wonderful people my family and I have met and come to know that are part of the Georgia Tech family. As each day goes by I learn more and more about how special this place is and how generous and supportive Tech fans can be. There is a real sense of pride and optimism.

I would be remiss if I didn’t write a line or two on the impending departure of President Wayne Clough, who on July 1 will become the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute. I congratulate Dr. Clough on this magnificent appointment and wish him and Anne only the best as they relocate for the time being to the D.C. area.

Dr. Clough has been a wonderful influence on Georgia Tech Athletics during his 14-year tenure and has presided over many great moments in our history. On a personal note, I have thoroughly enjoyed our relationship and have the greatest admiration and respect for him both as a leader and a friend. I have learned much from his integrity, style and grace.

We anxiously look ahead to the next chapter in the Georgia Tech story, understanding that we must continue to move the athletics program forward as we transition to interim leadership and then through a search for the next President. Our biggest goal during this period is to continue to show our constituents the value and importance of a successful, high-profile athletics program. Our role continues to lie in enhancing the overall experience for students, alumni and fans.

The buzz around Georgia Tech football continues to be high on everyone’s radar. Spring practice is progressing well as Paul Johnson and our new coaching staff work overtime to transition our football team to new attitudes and styles. I don’t know about you, but I have been extremely impressed with the comments in the media from Coach Johnson, his assistants and the players regarding the work in progress. I think it’s a testimony to the kind of young men we have in the program and the leadership we have in place.

Don’t forget our Spring Game is April 19 at 1 o’clock. We intend to roll out the whole football show – full band, cheerleaders, video screens and pre-game Wreckfest activities. Plan early and don’t miss it. During that same weekend, Georgia Tech will be hosting the ACC Track and Field Championships, so it will be a fun and festive atmosphere. Keep an eye on for information about traffic access and parking for the big weekend.

In the meantime, I appreciate the diligence of all of you fans in responding to our TECH Fund deadline, which recently arrived. An extremely large percentage of you have renewed your TECH Fund donation and are awaiting the arrival of season ticket invoices in the coming week or so. I am also encouraged by a solid number of new season tickets being reserved. A substantial increase in our season ticket sales over the next few months is our department’s No. 1 priority. If you can help in that effort by encouraging others to buy season tickets, by all means pitch in!

And speaking of “pitch,” Danny Hall’s baseball Yellow Jackets are doing that very well. Last night’s win over East Tennessee State pushed our overall record to 24-5. Our 14th-ranked club heads up to play a three-game series with 3rd-ranked North Carolina this weekend in Cary, N.C. Mark your calendars for the huge home series with 2nd-ranked Miami the following weekend (April 11, 12, 13). Game times are at 7, 7 and 1 p.m.

With the success of this year’s team, I have received some calls about our radio and TV coverage for baseball. Even though we have not been able to get all 58 baseball games broadcast live on radio, we have worked hard to put together an incredible amount of baseball coverage. WREK has a 31-game radio package that constitutes the bulk of our coverage.

Our staff worked hard to compliment that with a comprehensive TV and internet opportunities. Six other games will be carried on 790 The Zone and we are slated for 12 TV games, most of which will be carried by our partner CSS. And on top of that, don’t forget to keep up with Yellow Jacket baseball on the internet via ACC Select. This package brings you 27 games this year streamed live. There are many ways to keep up with Tech baseball. Click here for the full schedule.

And now, let’s take it around the horn for a look at what else is happening in Georgia Tech athletics:

Senior Chioma Nnamaka is one of eight women’s basketball players participating tonight (Thursday) in the nationally-televised three-point contest. It’s part of the 20th annual ESPN College Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championships. The event begins tonight at 9 p.m. And speaking of women’s basketball, kudos to head coach MaChelle Joseph and her team for earning an NCAA Tournament bid for the second straight year. The Jackets had a tough draw, basically playing a road game against Iowa State in the first round, but played their hearts out.

The golf team will have its final tune-up for the postseason this weekend at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational. The Yellow Jackets will be playing just outside of Augusta, in Evans (Ga.), a few days before the start of the Masters. Congrats to Bruce Heppler, his staff and athletic department staff members who helped the Georgia Golf Club with hosting the U.S. Collegiate Championships last week. That event has emerged as arguably the top regular season event in college golf, and despite bad weather on the first day, it was an overwhelming success.

The Georgia Tech men’s and women’s track and field teams saw their event, the Yellow Jacket Invitational, cut short last week because of bad weather. Men’s coach Grover Hinsdale and women’s coach Alan Drosky are due for good luck and good weather April 17-19 when Tech hosts the ACC Championships. There will be several events happening on campus that weekend and this should be on your list of things to see.

The defending NCAA champion and second-ranked women’s tennis team, fresh off a thrilling 4-3 win at Florida State, will close the regular season with four consecutive home matches. Good crowds during this stretch run would be very helpful to coach Bryan Shelton’s team. Shelton’s Jackets host Virginia Saturday, Virginia Tech Sunday, Boston College (April 12) and Maryland (April 13).

Can’t get enough college tennis? Sunday is the day for you. Following the 10 a.m. women’s match against Virginia Tech, the men take center stage at 2 p.m. to host Maryland. Coach Kenny Thorne’s team has one match before Sunday, however. That will come tomorrow (Friday) against Boston College at 2:30. Wins over the ACC’s two most-Northern teams would give the Yellow Jackets confidence heading into the final week of the regular season.

Congrats to junior Noah Copeland, who recently set a new school record in the 100-freestyle at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Copeland registered a time of 43.83 to break his own record set earlier this season.

In between what seems like a month of road games, the softball team has an important home non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday (April 9). Coach Sharon Perkins’ team will host the Georgia Bulldogs in a twinbill at 1 and 3 p.m. You should also check out the blog Jen Yee wrote recently while playing for the Canadian National Team. You can find that blog here.

While Coach Bond Shymansky’s volleyball team has played well in spring exhibition matches, Jacket rising senior Talisa Kellogg has earned a huge honor. She is one of 22 players nationally selected for the United States Women’s Senior A2 National Team. That’s quite an honor.

Derek Moore, our very enthusiastic football team chaplain, will be featured in a TVLand reality show called “The Big 4-0”. Moore was followed by a TVLand film crew during a home football weekend last season and we’re anxious to see Derek’s TV debut. The show airs April 16th at 10 p.m.


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