June 26, 2008
TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
We are approaching the middle of the summer with the 4th of July coming next week. I am sure many of you are in and out on family vacations and weekend trips to the lake. Many of our athletic department employees are doing the same – catching a breather and re-charging their batteries for the new academic year just ahead in August. Yours truly will grab a little time with family next week as well, but I thought I might give you a glimpse of the AD’s current worksheet for the summer months.
We have been very active in our discussion with regard tomulti-media rights. I have informed you in this space before thatwe are in a window in which our current rights-holder ISP hasexclusive negotiating rights for a contract extension past 2010.Our talks have been very substantive and innovative. It is nowclear to me that whether we remain with ISP or look elsewhere for apartnership, Georgia Tech is well-positioned in the area for thefuture. Our location in the heart of this thriving hub of the Southcombined with our tradition, prestigious academic standing and abright outlook for success in athletics has us in an enviablesituation. Look for this picture to become very clear before thecalendar year is out. On a separate but somewhat related matter, weare on the verge of announcing a major partnership extension withRussell Athletic that will provide uniforms, apparel and alucrative cash distribution over the next several years. When theterms are completed, Georgia Tech will find itself in the uppertier in these types of agreements in all of college sports. Lookfor a formal announcement in August. We are finalizing the firstphase of a plan to bring a state of the art video screen, ribbonboards and sound system to Bobby Dodd Stadium in 2009. While the huge visual change won’ttake place for this season, we are busily building theinfrastructure this summer to complete the back-of-house technologythat will drive the new system in the future. Current work is beingdone to provide a state-of-the-art production unit that will allowus the most up-to-date video and audio capabilities on the market.We hope to have this behind-the-scenes equipment on hand and in useby August. If all goes well, construction on the new in-stadiumdisplays will begin soon after the football season concludes.Academic reform continues to be an important undertaking. Two majorpieces of academic change were accomplished during the last fewmonths thanks to great cooperation from the Institute, its facultyand Provost – now Interim President – Dr. Gary Schuster. Thanks tothis work, the playing field has become more level forstudent-athletes at Georgia Tech and we should begin to see agreater level of retention and academic success. The Budget processhas occupied a good bit of the last month and is now ready to rollout. Our 2008-09 budget has been approved by the GTAA Board ofTrustees and I feel confident that we will meet our revenueexpectations while giving our programs and financial opportunity tosucceed. We will spend the summer in our annual evaluation processfor our coaches and employees. I believe this is critical if we areto continue to improve while giving our staff honest and directconstructive feedback on job performance. It is my mission toensure that we have the right people, doing the right jobs andperforming to their utmost capability within the program. Doing sowill translate into more success on the field and in the classroom.This is a great time of year to really dig down and assess thestrengths and weaknesses of our organization both as a whole andindividually. In addition to time in the office there have been acouple of summer road trips for workshop and committee work. Lastweek I was in Dallas for the annual National Association ofCollegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) meeting, where I servedon a panel to discuss “Dashboard Indicators.” This is a program offinancial benchmarks that allows schools to compare their financialdata with other institutions. And just last night I returned fromChicago after two days of service on the NCAA’s ChampionshipsCabinet – the committee that sets policy and procedure for thevarious NCAA post-season competitions in all sports. We have andwill spend a good deal of time this summer on our various facilityprojects and some deferred maintenance. We continue theconstruction of our new softball complex just off Fowler Street oncampus. Likewise, we are working toward a March ’09 start to theZelnak Basketball Practice Facility – adjacent to AlexanderMemorial Coliseum. These are major additions to our landscape thatrequire solid planning and discussion this summer. Not so visibleis the work to provide a bit of a facelift to some of theinfrastructure within Bobby Dodd Stadium. For this season we will see the completerepainting of the East Side Upper Deck. After the ’08 season moredeferred maintenance issues will be tackled.
NOTEBOOK ITEMS: Congratulations to golfer Chesson Hadley for being named a first-team All-American by Golfweek magazine… Hadley is currently playing on the United States team which is competing in the annual Palmer Cup matches in Glasgow, Scotland… congratulations to golf alumnus Stewart Cink for capturing his fifth PGA Tour title last week at the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Conn… Cink currently ranks No. 2 in the points standings (behind Tiger Woods) to make the U.S. team for the Ryder Cup, which will be played in Louisville, Ky., in September… We’d also like to congratulate basketball alumnus Chris Bosh (2002-03) who has been named to the 12-man U.S. basketball team for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China… Bosh, an NBA all-star with the Toronto Raptors, was on the U.S. squad which won a bronze medal in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, and participated in the 2007 Senior National Team training camp…. Kristi Miller received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship… Derek Dietrich was named to the 20-man USA National Baseball Team that will tour the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic before competing in the FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championships to end the summer… Miller and Amanda McDowell knocked off the tournament’s No. 3 doubles seed to advance to the quarterfinals of the CHRISTI Pro Tennis Classic in Wichita this week… make sure to continue to check out RamblinWreck.com for updated blog and journal entries by members of our golf and baseball teams… Speaking of the website, you have an opportunity to vote for the seven greatest games in Georgia Tech football history… the top seven vote-getters will get a spot on the cover of each of our home football game programs this fall.
I hope you all enjoy a great 4th of July holiday next week as well as the rest of the month of July. I will reconnect with you via the Good Word beginning the first week of August. Go Jackets!