BACK TO THE FUTURE
FORMER PLAYERS LABARRIE AND WEST SIGN ON TO RE-BUILD TECH HOOPS WITH NEW COACH JOSH PASTNERâ€™S STAFF
HOME GROWN Todd Stansbury returns to Georgia Tech as a shining example of the leader the Yellow Jacket athletics program strives to develop
WINTER 2016 • VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2
EDITOR Mike Stamus ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lauren Rupert Mike Flynn WRITERS Jon Cooper Simit Shah Adam Van Brimmer Matt Winkeljohn PHOTOGRAPHERS Clyde Click Kyle Hess Danny Karnik FIBA DESIGN & LAYOUT Summit Athletic Media www.summitathletics.com
T H I S
BACK TO THE FUTURE
EURO STEPS AHEAD
THE CENTER OF SUCCESS
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I S S U E
Todd Stansbury returns to Georgia Tech as a shining example of the leader the Yellow Jacket athletics program strives to develop Former Yellow Jacket players Darryl LaBarrie and Mario West bring strong ties to Tech’s basketball past and high expectations for the future to new coach Josh Pastner’s staff International stars Chelsea Guimaraes and Francesca Pan add maturity, experience gained at this summer’s U20 Championships to The Flats Freddie Burden’s Georgia Tech career marked by persistence and perseverance
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HOME GROWN TODD STANSBURY RETURNS TO GEORGIA TECH AS A SHINING EXAMPLE OF THE LEADER THE YELLOW JACKET ATHLETICS PROGRAM STRIVES TO DEVELOP BY MATT WINKELJOHN
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Stansbury played at Bobby Dodd Stadium in the early 1980s when the playing surface was still Astroturf.
ATHLETICS | HOME GROWN
you had,” he said of the Tech experience. “You are surrounded by achievers; it’s just part of the culture. I think that gives us an advantage when you have to show up every day and compete.”
• Athletics will more aggressively push the school brand rather than try to recruit around it. He wants recruiting in all sports to place even more emphasis on the benefits of a Tech degree.
At his introductory press conference, Stansbury spoke of always wanting to return to Georgia Tech someday.
odd Stansbury is quite busy preparing both to take over his dream life as athletics director here at Georgia Tech and tying up loose ends there at Oregon State, yet his forward focus on The Flats is singular. He can hardly wait to return to his alma mater, to the crucible that forged him first as a football player and later as a junior athletic administrator. His vision is clear, which is interesting considering that both of Stansbury’s previous intersections with Tech were triggered by a relationship hatched through a random meeting with a former backup quarterback who at first appeared aimless. Scott Zolke, who first met Stansbury while wearing a diaper, is now a hugely successful attorney in Los Angeles, and will remain a consigliere. However, Stansbury’s ideas are his all his own and carved in stone. He believes Tech has a singular niche that can fetch even more greatness. His goal is to better capitalize on what already exists. Stansbury makes it clear that upon his arrival in late November/early December:
• The Yellow Jackets will continue to embrace, rather than run from, the unique balancing act required of student-athletes to simultaneously navigate the paths of Division I sports and scholastic stresses because they shape young people so well. “I really do believe that’s what set us apart. You end up finding a gear that you did not know that
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“Look at what we’re doing five and 10 years down the road,” he said of Tech graduates. “I don’t have to go far for examples. Look at some of my teammates. John Dewberry (an Atlanta developer) has done very well for himself. “Sheldon Fox is president of Harris Corp (a Florida-based technology and communications business). Sammy Huntley is senior director at Under Armour. I’ve got a pretty good docket of candidates to be part of my collateral.”
• Georgia Tech will better go back to former student-athletes, especially those who’ve gone pro in sport. Georgia Tech does not have the massive alumni base of many Power Five conference schools and the percentage of graduates interested in athletics is modest relative to peers. Therefore, Stansbury believes Tech has to better connect with former student-athletes in search of donations. “That is important,” he said. “We have so many success stories. These folks have a chance to be involved.” Since his hiring was announced in September, Stansbury has attended several home football games at Bobby Dodd Stadium. He loved the Georgia Souther weekend, in particular, as he attended Tech’s Hall of Fame induction that included Calvin Johnson, Jarrett Jack and pro golfer Nicholas Thompson. “Just looking around that room at the success of those former student-athletes, was remarkable. To me, that was the Georgia Tech story,” he said. “Many were already in the Hall of fame. What was so inspiring about the event is that Georgia Tech was a launching pad. “It didn’t end up being the apex of their lives; it was another point that launched them into success.” Stansbury’s launching pads were different. He grew up in Oakville, Canada, outside
Toronto, playing hockey. Football became his thing in high school, he said, “with the goal of going to the United States on scholarship.” Zolke had something to do what that. He didn’t play much as a quarterback at Tech in the mid-‘70s, but made an impression in 1974 when he and Stansbury’s family happened to both be spending spring break in Daytona Beach, Fla. Zolke’s a big shot now as an entertainment, media and sports attorney in Los Angeles, where he’s a partner in Loeb & Loeb. But he was a goofball back then. As he said, “Everybody called me Captain Crazy or Big Z.” “There was a guy at the Hawaiian Inn who was Scottish, and he would parade out every morning with others in a kilt and a bagpipe and raise the Scottish flag,” Zolke said. “I said, ‘I’ve got to do something.’ One day, I came out with a towel around me like a diaper and I rode a tricycle off the high dive. “One night, I had a situation in the bar and I needed cover, and [Stansbury’s mother] Marlene saw me and said, ‘You can stay here.’ I crashed in their room. I said, ‘When you’re driving back to Toronto, you’re going to come through Atlanta, and you should stop and come see a practice.” The Stansburys stopped by The Flats while on the way back to Canada. “Seeing these bigger-than-life football players have such a good time, and for [Zolke] to befriend a 12-year-old and my brother and
sister and parents had an impact on me,” Stansbury said. “It was easy to say let’s stop for a practice. We had never been to a football practice, let alone on a college campus.” The Zolke relationship grew deep roots. That summer, “They invited me to Canada and I took them up. I went with the plan of staying on a four-day weekend,” said Zolke, who grew up in Chicago. “Three weeks later my mother is calling Marlene and saying, ‘If you need to kick him out, go ahead.’” Zolke went on to earn a law degree and work at as an academic advisor in Tech’s athletic department. Meanwhile, Stansbury took up football in high school and as he neared graduation, he ran into his older friend again. “I’m working at a summer camp in Brevard, N.C. with a couple Georgia Tech coaches and he catches their eye and they start recruiting him,” Zolke said. “I was there when he signed with [former Tech assistant] Ken Blair.” Little was special about Stansbury’s playing career at Tech, which began in the fall of 1980. He was a linebacker, lettering in ’81 while doing significant duty on special teams. “I ended up with a neck injury which pretty much put me on the sidelines for my junior and senior years,” he said. Stansbury stayed busy in the football program in an administrative role, exchanging film with opponents. “That would either mean driving to a midpoint or taking film to the airport or that sort of a thing,” he said.
GEORGIA TECH DOES NOT HAVE THE MASSIVE ALUMNI BASE OF MANY POWER FIVE CONFERENCE SCHOOLS AND THE PERCENTAGE OF GRADUATES INTERESTED IN ATHLETICS IS MODEST RELATIVE TO PEERS. THEREFORE, STANSBURY BELIEVES TECH HAS TO BETTER CONNECT WITH FORMER STUDENTATHLETES IN SEARCH OF DONATIONS.
Stansbury, shown here working with Tech’s All-ACC quarterback Shawn Jones, got his start in athletic administration as an academic advisor. WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM
ATHLETICS | HOME GROWN
After a tryout in the Canadian Football League, Todd returned to Tech, graduating in ’84 with a degree in industrial management. He went to work in Atlanta with the former C&S Bank. “Coach [Bill] Curry made a couple calls on my behalf,” he said. “That’s what got me the interview in their asset-based lending division.” After plugging along for a while, Stansbury’s mentor was ready to be a lawyer, and in ’87 he had a thought. “I’d been at Georgia Tech six or seven years but never saw myself [in athletic administration] long term. Bill Curry took the job at Alabama and I wasn’t going to Tuscaloosa,” Zolke said. “I said to him, ‘Hey, let me go to (former athletic director) Homer (Rice) and tell him I have my replacement. “I told (athletic director) Homer [that] Todd would be perfect. He’s got my pedigree, he’s been in the business world, he’s young enough to relate to the players.” Stansbury jumped and it took nearly no time to figure out that athletic administration would be his thing. He still embraces Rice’s “Total
Person” program to the Nth degree. “It was something that I never considered, but of course I said that’s something I’d like to do,” he said. “I really didn’t have a target. I knew that down the road, a master’s may be necessary. GSU had a very strong sports administration program that would allow me to be an assistant AD and work on a master’s at the same time. A big turn came as Stanbury earned a graduate degree at Georgia State. Stansbury had met his wife, Karen, and they married in February of 1995. They took off a month later on a plane and didn’t return to the U.S. for more than a year. “Traveling around the world was something that had always been a dream of mine; we just felt that was time to do it,” he said. “Before we left, a lot of people thought we were crazy and [that] I was throwing away my career, [but] it turned out that every interview that I got [later] started out with, ‘Tell me about this backpacking trip.’ I feel like it helped me, because it set me apart.”
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While abroad, he worked. The International Institute of Sport tasked him with building a data base of educators who might forward promising student-athletes toward higher education. “I was putting together a directory while traveling. You’d just show up at a private school in Mumbai and explain to the head master what you were doing,” he said. “We started off with a oneway ticket to London and ended up backpacking through Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Nepal, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. “We didn’t want to come back totally penniless and also wanted to get back for the Olympics.” Upon returning to Atlanta in ‘96, Karen got a job working with the Games and Todd started applying for jobs everywhere. After brief work at Southern Network Services, he landed at Houston as an associate athletic director and adjunct professor, then as athletics director at East Tennessee State. Following a stint as an assistant as executive athletic director at Oregon State, he took over as AD at Central Florida before returning to Corvallis, Ore., as the AD.
“After he got the call [from Georgia Tech], he called me and said, ‘What do you think?’” Zolke said. “I said, ‘Are you kidding me? This is it!’ He’s been around and been the main man at a Power Five school. The timing is perfect.” In his heart of hearts, Stansbury’s ticker lies on The Flats, where he was multiplied as a man. “Obviously, I’m excited about coming back and it’s such a great story, the Georgia Tech story,” Stansbury said. “I think that’s where our advantage is, telling that story, because I really do believe that’s what set us apart . . . that needs to be central to your brand. “This is the focus of who we want to be and we want to educate our donors and potential donors. While your initial interest may be on what happens on the field, your donations help us develop leaders through this incredible leadership program called intercollegiate athletics ... I know it works.” Just look at the Yellow Jackets’ new leader for proof.
Stansbury and his wife Karen embrace following his introductory press conference.
GEORGIA TECH’S NEW MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH DIDN’T HAVE TO DIG TOO DEEPLY TO IDENTIFY THE UPSIDES OF TWO OF THE STAFFERS HE ULTIMATELY HIRED TO HIS NEW STAFF. IN DARRYL LABARRIE AND MARIO WEST, PASTNER FOUND TWO INDIVIDUALS WHO POSSESSED WHAT THE HEAD MAN LACKS: STRONG CONNECTIONS TO THE YELLOW JACKET PROGRAM.
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BACK TO THE FUTURE FORMER YELLOW JACKET PLAYERS DARRYL LABARRIE AND MARIO WEST BRING STRONG TIES TO TECH’S BASKETBALL PAST AND HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR THE FUTURE TO NEW COACH JOSH PASTNER’S STAFF BY ADAM VAN BRIMMER
osh Pastner’s vetting process for assistant coaches is said to be as intense as the background check the intelligence agencies perform on those meant for topsecret security clearances. Georgia Tech’s new men’s basketball coach didn’t have to dig too deeply to identify the upsides of two of the staffers he ultimately hired to his new staff. In Darryl LaBarrie and Mario West, Pastner found two coaches who possessed what the head man lacks: strong connections to the Yellow Jacket program. Both played at Georgia Tech. Both were favorites of teammates and fans. And both maintained their ties to a place they are incredibly fond of. “There’s nothing like being at your alma mater,” LaBarrie said. “Nothing against any other position I’ve held, but there is something special about representing the school you played at.” West echoes LaBarrie’s sentiments. “Walking campus, checking classes—I’m in heaven to be back and part of such a special place again,” he said. Part of West’s and LaBarrie’s new jobs is to bring that specialness back to the Georgia Tech program. As players, they were part of accomplished
teams that made the Yellow Jackets perennial Atlantic Coast Conference contenders: LaBarrie played for both Bobby Cremins and Paul Hewitt, competing in the NCAA tournament under Hewitt; West was part of the 2004 Final Four team and two other NCAA tourney participants. LaBarrie also coached at Georgia Tech previously, first as a graduate assistant and later as a fulltime staffer. Those teams made the NCAAs as well. “I only know winning at Georgia Tech, and Mario even more so,” LaBarrie said. “I have a positive outlook on the program, and that’s all I can express to the players.” Ensuring LaBarrie and West possessed such positivity—and tireless work ethic—was the motive for Pastner’s exhaustive research during the hiring process. Pastner made headlines this spring by admitting he had an unwritten “regular golfers need not apply” policy because he couldn’t accommodate a staffer who chose to use five waking hours on the weekends to squeeze in rounds at the links. LaBarrie jokingly estimates Pastner sleeps less than an hour a night, and while the head coach doesn’t expect his assistants to forego a good night’s slumber, he does demand a comparable output of energy.
LaBarrie played for both Bobby Cremins and Paul Hewitt at Tech, and later was an assistant coach on Hewitt’s staff.
I ONLY KNOW WINNING AT GEORGIA TECH, AND MARIO EVEN MORE SO. I HAVE A POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON THE PROGRAM, AND THAT’S ALL I CAN EXPRESS TO THE PLAYERS. —DARRYL LABARRIE
BASKETBALL | BACK TO THE FUTURE
WEST’S DRIVE TO SUCCEED IS LEGENDARY WITH THOSE CLOSE TO THE PROGRAM. HE SET THE STANDARD FOR EFFORT IN PRACTICE, PLAYING SO HARD THAT HEWITT PROMOTED HIM FROM WALK-ON TO SCHOLARSHIP STATUS IN THE MIDDLE OF A WORKOUT.
West went from walk-on with Tech’s 2004 Final Four team to making the Atlanta Hawks’ roster as a free agent.
PUSH TO THE LIMITS Georgia Tech’s senior leader, Quinton Stephens, keeps a keen eye on the weight room door during his workouts. He’s come to expect an appearance by West. Not to spot him or give him the necessary encouragement during the last reps of a set. But to jump in and press the weights himself. “To this day, he’s intense,” Stephens said. “You still hear the stories about when he was playing here, how he was a walk-on who made it, or what he did in the NBA despite not having a jump shot. But you don’t truly understand what energy is until he walks into the weight room and immediate wants to jump in to your set.” West’s drive to succeed is legendary with those close to the program. He set the standard for effort in practice, playing so hard that Hewitt promoted him from walk-on to scholarship status in the middle of a workout. West was diving for loose balls—and nearly kneecapping teammates in the process—and Hewitt made the scholarship offer contingent on West’s agreeing to practice with more caution and prevent injury to others. He also was a dean’s list student and earned his degree in business management. “He is what the NCAA should hold up as an example of a student-athlete who has made the most of his time in college,” Hewitt told a reporter during the final weeks of West’s Georgia Tech playing career. West’s work ethic led to a five-year NBA career and four more years playing professionally overseas for teams in six different countries, from Italy to the Philippines to Argentina. He made the decision to get into coaching during his globetrotting years. He worked youth camps and was a volunteer assistant at a pair of Atlanta area high schools before Pastner hired him. As the program’s director of player personnel, his main duties are to be a liaison between the team and Georgia Tech’s academic support staff, to make sure players are fulfilling their academic commitments and to assist the players in matters related to housing, dining and marketing. He’s basically the Yellow Jackets’ designated big brother, Stephens said,
and he’s well suited for the job. “I love it because I get to live the life of a college student-athlete vicariously through these guys— and help them avoid all the pitfalls me and my teammates went through,” West said. “I see them go through the daily process and it makes me laugh. All the antics. Some things never change.”
NEW STANDARDS LaBarrie is charged with making sure one thing does change with the Georgia Tech program: the talent level. His recruiting acumen, particularly around Atlanta and the state of Georgia, is among his greatest attributes. LaBarrie grew up in Decatur and played at Tucker High School. Prior to joining Pastner’s staff, LaBarrie spent the previous five years as an assistant coach at Georgia State, where he made his reputation as a recruiter by convincing high school phenoms Ryan Harrow and Manny Atkins to join the Panthers program. LaBarrie is renowned for cultivating relationships with high school and AAU coaches, which should help Georgia Tech reestablish the instate recruiting presence it long enjoyed. His on-the-court focus will be the perimeter players, and Stephens attests to LaBarrie’s “precision” and “high standards” from working with the coach during the offseason. “He’s out to maximize what you do well,” Stephens said. “He keeps it simple and identifies little things that you can improve on to stand out.” The ties to the program that both LaBarrie and West bring seem to resonate the loudest with the players at this point, Stephens and the coaches agree. This marks the first time the Yellow Jackets have had two former players on the same staff since Mark Price and Willie Reese were assistants during LaBarrie’s playing days. “For a player, there is something unique about a guy who has been in your shoes and knows what you are going through,” LaBarrie said. “The players and coaches develop more of a brotherhood; there’s a different feeling between them. That betters the chances for success … hopefully.” Time will tell if LaBarrie and West can rekindle some Georgia Tech magic.
FOR A PLAYER, THERE IS SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT A GUY WHO HAS BEEN IN YOUR SHOES AND KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH —DARRYL LABARRIE
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EURO STEPS AHEAD INTERNATIONAL STARS CHELSEA GUIMARAES AND FRANCESCA PAN ADD MATURITY, EXPERIENCE GAINED AT THIS SUMMER’S U20 CHAMPIONSHIPS TO THE FLATS BY JON COOPER
here’s no substitute for experience. Sophomore Chelsea Guimaraes and freshman Francesca Pan have plenty of it. Never mind that Guimaraes, a 6-3 forward from Almada, Portugal, and Pan, a 6-1 guard from Bassno del Grappa, Italy, are both only 19. In basketball experience years they are much older. The Georgia Tech White and Gold jersey each will don this season (Guimaraes No. 15, Pan No. 33) will add to their a collection of jerseys from National Team play for their home
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countries -- a collection that went up by one over the summer when each played at the FIBA Under 20 Women’s Basketball Championships 2016, July 9-17 in Matosinhos, Portugal. At the U20s, both displayed the kind of skill and maturity that made them must-haves for Georgia Tech women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph, who has quite the knack for bringing international talent to Atlanta. Some of that knack comes from understanding the European athletes and how basketball works there.
confidence this summer, and I think that she “The international players leave their homes definitely has the potential to be an impact when they’re, like, 14 years old, and they live player for us. She gives us a lot of depth inside.” away from their parents, so they’re forced That kind of inside scoring will be big for Tech, to grow up and become independent early which must replace the rebounding of Roddreka on,” said Joseph. “They have a head start on Rogers, a role model for Guimaraes last year, as Americans, because they’ve already made well as the scoring of Aaliyah Whiteside. that adjustment of living away from home, Pan also had a superb tournament, working and they’ve also played at a really high level both in the paint, but also at the three-point because they don’t have high school basketball. line. She averaged 10.2 points, 4.0 rebounds They’re playing on club teams that have WNBA and 1.2 assists, while hitting five three-point players on them. They’re in a locker room field goals (all third on the squad). She shot 40 sometimes with 30-year-olds when they’re 15. percent, 25.0 from three, as the Italian team So it’s like a totally different experience than went 6-1, not losing until a 71-69 heartbreaker Americans have.” to Spain in the championship game. Joseph enjoyed her experience of seeing This summer‘s U20s was Pan’s Guimaraes and Pan up close first senior competition, but at the recent U20s. her fourth overall, in a Guimaraes, who begins youth national team her second year on the career that began at Flats, (in 30 games, age 15, when she including eight starts, participated at the she averaged 2.2 U17s, even though points, on 43.9 she was two years percent shooting, younger than many with 2.8 rebounds of her teammates in limited action, and opponents. 10.5 minutes per “The European game), was a major Championships are contributor to host —FRANCESCA PAN always emotional,” Portugal, which finished said Pan, who also sixth, at 4-3. She scored played in the U16 European 6.0 points and pulled down 5.5 Championships in 2013 and the U18 rebounds in 26.7 minutes. Euros in 2015. ”It’s always an honor to wear “It was good coming back and playing the Italian jersey and play for your nation. At the for the national team after a year out,” said same time, it’s a bigger responsibility because a Guimaraes, who was unable to play in last lot of people want to be on the national team. It’s year’s World Championships due to injury after amazing. You can play against players that come previously playing in U16 and U18 European from all over Europe. You can see how basketball Championships in 2012 and 2013 and U18 and U20 European Championships in 2014. “Portugal is in different countries. For me, it helps you to grow up as a person and as a player.” is a really small country, so our team is basically Pan, who comes from a basketball family (her the same as eight years ago. So it’s really good mother and father both played) and has been to go back and play with your friends.” playing since age seven after a year trying her Guimaraes’ tournament highlights included hand at gymnastics -- “I was TERRIBLE,” she said a dominating performance against Bosnia and with a laugh -- is versatile and plays both ends of Herzegovina on July 9, when she went for 16 the floor. That combination impresses Joseph. points on 8-for-13 shooting (61.5 percent), with “A lot of times with international players, they 11 rebounds, four steals and a block in the 94-67 don’t necessarily embrace the defensive end,” rout. She followed that the next night with seven she said. “The thing that was impressive to me points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal in about Francesca was the fact that she was the 64-60 win over eventual-champion Spain. taking charges and rebounding and, obviously, “It was great to see her being a go-to player she’s a scorer. But she does multiple things on inside and being a focal point of their offense,” the court that separates her and makes her an said Joseph. “I felt like that gave her a lot of elite player.” confidence. She was playing with tremendous
THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE ALWAYS EMOTIONAL. IT’S ALWAYS AN HONOR TO WEAR THE ITALIAN JERSEY AND PLAY FOR YOUR NATION.
International players Chelsea Guimaraes and Francesca Pan gained a world of experience at last summer’s FIBA U20 Women’s Championships.
BASKETBALL | EURO STEPS AHEAD
Guimaraes, who begins her second year on the Flats, was a major contributor to Portugal at last summer’s U20 World Championships.
Pan also had a superb tournament, as the Italian team went 6-1.
year I would go on the court and I’d be, Pan was impressed with Georgia Tech, ‘Oh, no, I made a mistake. What’s going to starting with the academics (she’s a business happen?’ That feeling that you can’t make a administration major), then with Joseph. She even had countryman, good friend, former club mistake. But basketball is a game of mistakes. It really is about learning that, get through it teammate in Venice and current Yellow Jacket and keep playing and enjoy the game.” guard Antonia Peresson on her team. Pan will be going through some of what “AT told me, ‘The ACC is the best experience. Guimaraes did last year, and while not quite sure This is an amazing team, this is an amazing what role she will fill, she plans to simply do what place,’” Pan said. “I trusted her, I trusted Coach she does and let Joseph and the coaches decide. Jo, I trusted all the people here. I said, ‘I have to “I don’t know what my strength is,” she said. do this.’” “Maybe defense, because the last two years I She even had a positive experience at the played with a pro team with people older than U20s from Guimaraes, who talked Tech up in me. I had to work on defense and then, when I their brief chat -- Portugal and Italy did not was free I take my shot. If you are the meet during the tournament. youngest, you can’t take 20 shots “I didn’t know her but a game. You have to take your I knew that one player shot when you are free or on the Portuguese take one when you are team played at sure, and you can’t miss Georgia Tech,” Pan a lot. You can play remembers. “I saw defense all the time.” her but I spoke She’ll take a similar with her only the approach about last day because navigating the ACC. she stopped me “I don’t know about and she talked with it,” she said, laughing me. We didn’t have sheepishly. “I know it is the opportunity to the best conference in talk before.” —CHELSEA GUIMARAES America, and I know there “I introduced myself to are a lot of very good teams.” her,” said Guimaraes. “She She always has Peresson to lean on. didn’t speak a lot of English. I “She helps me a lot. If I have a problem I was like, ‘How’re you doing?’ ‘Are you talk with her,” Pan said. “She’s my right-hand. excited to go to Georgia Tech?’ She had to ask I ask her everything and she helps me. So it’s someone to translate for her. It was funny.” amazing to have her here.” The two are speaking the same language Both are thrilled to be developing now -- Georgia Tech basketball -- and are under Joseph. looking ahead excitedly to the 2016-17 season. “I feel like when other international players It’s a building block year for Guimaraes, come here to visit, they can see,” said who last year was not only finding her way Guimaraes. “Most of us played against each in America, and the ACC, but doing so while other before. So they used to know me before I majoring in architecture. came here. When they see me play now they’re “It was really tough. As an architecture like, ‘You’re so aggressive. You’re different.’ major at Tech, I felt like it was impossible,” she People see what they can be and the difference said. “Even though I got through it, I got a lot that the game here can make on their game.” of help from the coaches. They were really “I’m not used to doing a lot of individuals,” understanding about my sleep time and for me added Pan. “I played with a pro team, so they to manage things. It definitely was a struggle, do individuals in the morning, but I was at but I feel like I’m getting better at managing school so I never did individuals. I trained with things and getting through things, so it my team in the afternoon. Now I have the definitely was a good experience last year.” opportunity to improve myself, my individual Chelsea also understands she can be more skills and I like it. I think it’s a good opportunity forgiving of herself on the floor. for me to grow up.” “I feel more comfortable,” she said. “Last
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IT WAS REALLY TOUGH. AS AN ARCHITECTURE MAJOR AT TECH, I FELT LIKE IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. EVEN THOUGH I GOT THROUGH IT, I GOT A LOT OF HELP FROM THE COACHES.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE CHARACTER? HE’D BE OFF THE CHARTS. I’VE KNOWN FREDDIE A LONG TIME, SINCE HE WAS A BOY, AND HOW HE HANDLED ALL HIS ADVERSITY, I WOULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED. —OFFENSIVE LINE COACH MIKE SEWAK
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Tech’s All-ACC standout is the center of attention in directing and leading the Yellow Jackets’ otherwise young line.
THE CENTER OF SUCCESS FREDDIE BURDEN’S GEORGIA TECH CAREER MARKED BY PERSISTENCE AND PERSEVERANCE BY ADAM VAN BRIMMER
he day Freddie Burden, high school tight end, decided to play college football for Georgia Tech, coached by Paul Johnson, he did so with the knowledge he’d be switching positions. Tight end isn’t even a recognized position in Johnson’s flexbone offense. And it wasn’t like Burden was unfamiliar with Johnson’s scheme—he grew up in Statesboro, Georgia, at a time when first Johnson and then Mike
Sewak, Johnson’s closest friend in coaching and top lieutenant, led the Eagles’ program. “I signed on figuring I’d play tackle or guard,” Burden said. “I never considered center—I’d never snapped a football in my life.” More than five years later, Burden has mastered the center-quarterback exchange and so much more. The three-year starter and 2014 all-Atlantic Coast Conference standout is the center of attention in directing and leading the
I SIGNED ON FIGURING I’D PLAY TACKLE OR GUARD. I NEVER CONSIDERED CENTER—I’D NEVER SNAPPED A FOOTBALL IN MY LIFE. —FREDDIE BURDEN
FOOTBALL | THE CENTER OF SUCCESS
BURDEN’S EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OFTEN RESULTS IN HIM IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY EMERGE. HE PERFORMS LIKE A PLAYER WHO HAS BEEN PLAYING CENTER SINCE HE FIRST PUT ON PADS IN PEEWEE LEAGUE, SEWAK SAID, NOT LIKE A LATECOMER TO THE TRENCHES.
Yellow Jackets’ otherwise young line. He has completed his education and has touched and inspired his teammates, coaches and the Georgia Tech community with the way he handled his father’s battle with congestive heart failure. “He’s as persistent and mentally tough an individual as you will meet,” Johnson said. “He’s a guy you can always depend on, a guy who will be a success in whatever he does in life.” Football remains Burden’s immediate life focus. In three seasons on the field, he’s been a part of Georgia Tech’s best season since the 1990 national championship year — 11 wins in 2014, including an Orange Bowl victory — as well as the worst since 1994 —three wins last season. The Yellow Jackets surpassed the 2015 win total in mid-October and Burden is anticipating a strong finish to his career. Along the way, Burden has positioned himself to play professional football, fulfilling a lifelong dream and carrying on a family legacy.
HIS FATHER’S SON Burden didn’t fully appreciate his father Willie’s professional football accomplishments until he attended his dad’s induction ceremony into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 2001. “He was in the same class as Warren Moon,” Freddie said of his dad. “I was pretty young, but I knew who Warren Moon was. It was pretty cool.” Willie Burden played eight seasons in the CFL, setting the league’s single-season rushing record
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with 1,896 yards in the 1975 season. His college career at NC State was nearly as impressive—he was the first 1,000-yard rusher in school history and the ACC Player of the Year in 1973. Freddie Burden is projected by some as a late-round pick in next spring’s National Football League Draft, and he can improve his stock in postseason all-star games and the annual NFL Combine. He plans to take the spring semester off from his master’s degree studies—he earned his bachelor’s in business administration a year ago—to focus on his pro football future. His father’s memory will drive him. Willie Burden died last December while awaiting a heart transplant. He suffered from cardiac amyloidosis, or stiff heart syndrome, a condition where proteins build up in the heart and impact normal heart muscle. Willie Burden spent much of 2015 in an Atlanta hospital, a short drive from the Georgia Tech campus, awaiting a donor heart. Freddie visited almost every night, leaving right after offseason workouts or fall practices, staying at the hospital until about 10 p.m., then returning to The Flats to study and sleep. “Then I’d get up early in the morning and do it again,” Freddie Burden said. “It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through. But I knew what he wanted from me, and I was finishing up [those] last few classes right about the time he died. “I realized there’s nothing that can stop me and I can always get through anything.”
MATURITY IN ACTION Asked about Freddie Burden’s courage, his position coach gives a knowing chuckle. “How do you measure character? He’d be off the charts,” said offensive line coach Mike Sewak, the same Sewak who coached at Georgia Southern during Burden’s childhood. “I’ve known Freddie a long time, since he was a boy, and how he handled all his adversity, I would have never imagined.” Burden played youth sports in Statesboro with Sewak’s children. Sewak remembers first coaching Burden in Little League baseball. Burden was athletic and big, a power hitter who played first base and “did some good stuff,” but was prone to rely too much on his natural talents. “That is to say he was a little bit lazy,” Sewak said with a laugh. “I never would have thought he could develop into what he has. But his parents raised him right and he matured.” According to Burden, he had no choice but to mature. His father’s illness was the most difficult challenge he’s faced in his life, but by no means the only one. He has been plagued by injuries throughout his Georgia Tech career,
losing a full season to a torn knee ligament and playing through several other maladies during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He made it through the first seven games of this season unscathed but doesn’t like to acknowledge it, understanding injuries can happen at any time. “I’m as healthy as I’ve been since I’ve been here and that’s all I will say,” he said. Burden’s most valuable contribution this season is what he says to his teammates. He and quarterback Justin Thomas are the lone seniors on the offense and while Thomas is the man the Jackets look to in the huddle, Burden directs traffic before the snap and is a mentor in practice and workouts. Burden’s experience and knowledge often results in him identifying potential problems before they emerge. He performs like a player who has been playing center since he first put on pads in peewee league, Sewak said, not like a latecomer to the trenches. “It’s still difficult knowing everything starts with you,” Burden said, “but it’s a challenge I enjoy.”
Burden has already earned his bachelor’s degree and is working on a master’s while playing his final season of football.
Mary Beth Lake
HIGHER TECH GEORGIA TECH ATHLETES HAVE SOME PRETTY COOL TECHNOLOGY TO HELP MAKE THEM BETTER BY JON COOPER
hat an amazing time in which we live! Everybody has aptly named smartphones, which can do so many things that simply calling and talking to another person on it is one of the least-used aspects of it. Imagine, then, what an amazing time it is to be a student-athlete at Georgia Tech! Required to perform at the highest level, Yellow Jacket student-athletes can prepare using top-of-the-line technology that can analyze every action and move, correct every
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facet of their game and track their physical state so they can perform at their best and help coaches get the most out of their charges. Among the most important apparatus employed by training staffs at both the Zelnak Center and the Hugh Spruill Strength Center is GPS technology â€“ the basketball, volleyball and tennis teams who train at Zelnak use Polar Team Pro System by a company called Polar USA, while football and most all other sports that train at Spruill use Viper by StatSports, a Dublin, Ireland-based company.
GymAware can be attached to a platform or bar, and can be programmed to target up to 200 exercises.
Omegawave is a way of measuring an athlete’s physiological preparedness.
YES, WE WANT TO GET STRONGER, BUT WE ALSO WANT TO MOVE THE BAR. SPORT IS EXPLOSIVE. WE WANT YOU TO MOVE IT EXPLOSIVELY. —SCOTT MCDONALD
The same technology that gets drivers from Point A to Point B puts Yellow Jacket athletes on the road to success. Small enough to fit inside a pocket of a vest the players wear while working out (it’s 3.5 inches tall by 1.5 inches wide), the Viper can measure a variety of categories, from distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, sprints, collisions and dynamic stress loads. Football also is experimenting with a similar device called Catapult, which originated in Australia in 2006. The idea is to measure data, then, through an algorithm, create workouts to improve the athletes. “You want them all to be explosive,” said fourth-year director of player development for football John Sisk, who has worked as a strength and conditioning coach for more than 25 years, including stints at Vanderbilt and Furman. “If we’re doing speed or a sprint you
want to see how fast they cover ground but you also want to see how much distance guys are doing, how they’re recovering, not just from the load from week to week, but you have to add that data up year to year, and that’s going to change because they get stronger. It measures their max speed throughout the whole thing. We go through, and we timestamp everything they do throughout the whole practice. We can know where everybody is during training.” “We look at the athletes’ training load for practice, conditioning, individuals and weights,” said Georgia Tech director of Olympic sport player development Scott McDonald, who is in his 20th year at Tech, working at Zelnak Center with the women’s basketball, women’s tennis and volleyball teams. The data from the units is then uploaded and units have their own recharging stations. As explosiveness differs from sport to sport, so does the method of improving it. Tech’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams use the GymAware Power tool during their workouts. At around $2,200 per unit, GymAware can be attached to a platform or bar, and can be programmed to target up to 200 exercises. “We can basically set up individualized performance targets. We can change the target speed based on what we’re trying to train that day,” said McDonald. “It’s a key performance indicator for power and speed, and we can also do jump-height on it as well. So we can attach WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM
ATHLETICS | HIGHER TECH
Among the most important apparatus employed by training staffs at both the Zelnak Center and the Hugh Spruill Strength Center is GPS technology.
this to a stick and have them perform bodyweight jumps and kind of see where they are and how they’re recovering. Yes, we want to get stronger, but we also want to move the bar. Sport is explosive. We want you to move it explosively.” Explosiveness is often associated with jumping. Men’s basketball player development coach Dan Taylor boasts a piece of equipment called the Optojump that can test and improve jumping skills. Optojump, the creation of the Italian company Microgate and about 10 years old, is basically a pair of bars that are laid down parallel on the ground. Inside each bar is a series of LED lights. The athlete’s movements are measured as they run and jump. Ironically, research to improve the vertical has little to do with what happens in the air. “Optojump is a way of monitoring everything you do on the ground within a given area,” said Taylor, a self-taught fitness fanatic, who played basketball at D-II Franklin Pierce College before entering the field of athletic training, serving as head strength and conditioning coach for nine years at Siena, then joining coach Josh Pastner’s staff. “The best athletes in the world use the ground most efficiently. They’re getting force from the floor and they’re moving quickly. They don’t waste footsteps. They don’t waste time on the floor. “ Optojump begins measuring data immediately once an athlete leaves the ground and breaks the LED light beam. “The fact that I can have a piece of fairly simple apparatus that gives us really quick feedback about what is happening on the
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ground to me is very exciting, because that’s what you DON’T see,” Taylor said. “You see above the rim, and that’s exciting. I love dunks. But what happens on the floor can be really important to what Scott and I do, and that will enhance what happens above the rim.” Of course, the highest priority is keeping athletes at their peak and on the floor. To that end is the program Omegawave. The program, created in Finland in 1999, is a self-evaluation program for student-athletes that helps coaches gauge their readiness and physical state and set up practices and activities to get the most from their athletes. “Omegawave is a way of measuring an athlete’s physiological preparedness,” said Taylor. “It’s kind of ‘how do you feel on a scale of 1 to 10.’ Let’s say ‘I feel like a 5, that’s about average.’ Or just simply ‘How do you feel?’ ‘I’m a little banged up.’ So that’s some kind of evaluation or some kind of communication with the athlete, because that’s important. That’s their perception of what’s going on.” Omegawave can check the central nervous system, the cardiac system and the energysupply system in about four minutes and can be done by simply laying on the floor, be it in the training room or their dorm room. “It’s quite simple for them. It reads back to their phones,” Taylor said. “It connects to their forehead, through an electropad and the base of their phone. Then it reads their data for four minutes, which they’ll see on their phones.” The information is automatically uploaded, where coaches and the training staff can track it. They can then increase the workload in practice or back players off in their work. More important, it can find trends in the players’ health -- testing on the lower end for a number of consecutive days, for example, might mean there’s more going on than, say, exam anxiety. “It could be that he’s dealing with some kind of stresses that we’re not aware of, and we can talk to him about that and see what it is,” Taylor said. “Maybe it’s ‘Okay, we’re going to shoot, and we’re going to go through film, but you’re not going to go through a full practice, and then we’ll work toward getting you back again.’” While different sports require data of different skill sets, one criteria consistent for all is vision. That’s led to Georgia Tech’s use of the Vizual Edge Performance Trainer (VEPT). “I’m a big proponent of Vizual Edge training because it helps enhance athletically, but it also
IF YOU HAVE 10 MINUTES IN YOUR ROOM OR TRAVELING YOU CAN GET 10 MINUTES OF VISION TRAINING TO HELP PUTT BETTER, TO HELP HIT THE BALL BETTER, TO HELP THROW BETTER, TO HELP CATCH THE BALL BETTER, TO SEE THE FIELD BETTER.
on the other) then helps if you have perform the series of any visual issues,” exercises to test areas said Sisk, who used like depth perception, the technology while flexibility, recognition at Vandy, with, amongst —JOHN SISK and tracking. It’s others, current Chicago convenient, as student-athletes Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. can use it on their phones or iPads. “It also corresponds to school. How Convenience is a theme for all technology they see things, how they process things in a Tech’s training staff implements. classroom setting. When you see it you can “Every coach in the country is fighting time,” process it, you can learn it, you can use it. I think said Sisk. “If you have 10 minutes in your room it’s something that allows the athletes to have or traveling you can get 10 minutes of vision confidence in what they see. That’s one thing training to help putt better, to help hit the ball we’re going to continue to move forward with.” Vizual Edge isn’t new. It actually predates the better, to help throw better, to help catch the ball better, to see the field better. All the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. information pops up on my screen. I can see “That’s something that I actually went through how you did, how you’re doing, and I can come when I was [playing],” recalled Nick Scherer, back and evaluate you myself.” in his 10th season as Georgia Tech baseball As technology continues to get better the director of operations, who employed it during training staff needs to be very discerning. his playing days catching for the Yellow Jackets “As a strength coach I try to look at a lot of from 2004 through 2007. “I’m sitting there after things, at least kick the tires,” said Sisk. “You I’ve called a slider, having trouble picking up the have to find what fits. What you can use day in spin on it because my eyes were a little weak in and day out, and, with the number of athletes, certain muscles, being able to focus in on certain is it worth the cost. We can spend $10,000 on areas. In baseball, you’re trying to hit a round ball 10 Catapult systems, or we can spend $10,000 with a round bat, and that ball’s moving at 95 and get every athlete visual screens to help miles an hour with movement, and you have less them use the visual training. So you have to than a second to react. So eye strain and eye use your money wisely.” control is huge for us. We definitely have started New technology and equipment, however, to work that back into the mix.” continue to be developed and marketed, and Student-athletes use VEPT by putting on a Tech’s athlete development staff continues to pair of 3D glasses (paper frames with a red keep up with those advances. plastic lens on one side a blue plastic lens
The Motus sleeve analyzes consistency and deception while identifying flaws across pitch types.
BEHIND THE MICROPHONE
Plenty of back stories and statistical trends go out over the air waves when Demetra is on the air.
NEW “VOICE OF THE JACKETS” ANDY DEMETRA CONSTANTLY WORKING TO FIND NEW WAYS TO ENABLE FANS ENJOY TECH’S RADIO BROADCASTS BY MATT WINKELJOHN
ndy Demetra spent weeks adding to his databases about Georgia Tech before even taking over in August as radio voice of the Yellow Jackets and that’s hardly a surprise since he routinely spends much more time working off-air than on. He’s only been on the job a few months, yet his preparations already are epic. When the Chicago native sits down behind a mic on game days, self-made templates are spread before him stocked with trends, back stories, notes and talking points about the Jackets, their upcoming opponents and each team’s players and coaches.
“I kind of break it down into four or five S’s,” he said. “You’ve got the stats, the stakes, the scouting report and the storylines. I’m very evangelical about stats.” Perhaps Demetra inherited that last habit. His mother, Alice, taught math, his father, John, majored in math at the University of Detroit, and brother Chris majored in math and economics at Wake Forest. Andy, though, fancies words above all. All broadcasters have cheat sheets, but Demetra carries one specific to language, and it’s not fresh or new before every game. Shortly before an opening kick, tip or pitch,
Demetra’s first goal was television, but his voice won him work in radio.
ATHLETICS | BEHIND THE MICROPHONE
Demetra joins former Tech offensive lineman Sean Bedford in the radio booth at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
he’ll review weathered lists of words and phrases that he’s clocked over 14 years in the business, 11 doing play-by-play. Never mind third-down tendencies or shooting percentages. The man’s got to be fresh in describing the action for the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network. He’s jotted down 32 ways to call a rebound, for example, ranging from “rips,” “reels in,” “pulls down,” “snatches,” and “hauls in” to “seals off _____ for the rebound,” “captures,” “plucks it off the rim” and “cleans the gutter.” So, in the final preparation ahead of every game, Demetra does linguistic calisthenics. “A half hour before I sign on, I’ll open up that sheet and kind of glance over those terms. That’s also a big part of my preparation,” he said. “I think of it as working up a mental sweat. I would never run a race without warming up first. Your mind is a muscle, too, so why wouldn’t you do the same with it? “If studying those terms helps me shorten my reaction time between what I see and how I describe it, or if it allows me to pull deeper into that reservoir of words, then I think it’s a worthwhile exercise.” Demetra, 35, has been pumping sport for a while. While growing up, he and his brother were big into games. In addition to playing them at the youth and neighborhood levels, they collected baseball cards like mad and Andy was the one who memorized the numbers on the back. “My childhood basically coincided with the Michael Jordan years, so it was hard not to fall in love with basketball,” he recalled. “We had a
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small high school radio station and I’m sure the signal didn’t reach the end of the parking lot. I got on the air, and that’s when I knew the bug had bit and I wanted to make a career of it.” After graduating summa cum laude from Syracuse, which produces more broadcasters than any program in the nation (including Marv Albert, Len Berman, Bob Costas, Ian Eagle, Megyn Kelly, Ted Koppel, Sean McDonough, Dick Stockton and Mike Tirico), Demetra set out to land a spot in the workforce in 2003. The goal was television. Ultimately, his baritone voice won him work in radio. “I thought I wanted to be the next SportsCenter anchor. I was either ignorant or oblivious to the fact that I looked roughly 15 years old and was more wooden and uncharismatic than I thought,” he said through a grin. “Nonetheless, that summer (2003), I sent my demo tape out to every small and mediumsized market that had an opening. I didn’t get a single call back,” he recalled. “About midway through the summer, I said let me make my radio demo tape just in case. “I never viewed radio as a viable way to make a living, because full-time jobs are so scarce on that side of the business. I started sending out my radio demo, and I go from getting zero callbacks in six months to getting two job offers in a 24hour span in radio. I guess that was my sign.” After three years calling South Carolina women’s basketball as an independent contractor and working freelance jobs in the offseason to make ends meet, he went to work in Winston-Salem, N.C. for ISP, which is now IMG College. “I was primarily doing studio hosting and production for our national ACC package and national Big East package,” Demetra explained, “but it was a full-time position, and I thought that if I did the right things and made the right connections, maybe I could take one step backwards on play-by-play to set myself up to take two steps forward down the road.” Sure, enough, South Carolina came calling again. Demetra spent another seven seasons covering the Gamecocks and refining his methodology. Since his beginning behind microphones, he’s believed that the way he describes athletics on the radio and the back stories of the characters involved matter as much as what happens on the fields or floors. He notes recently retired L.A. Dodgers announcer Vin Scully and Doc Emrick – who a couple years ago drew attention for coming up
ATHLETICS | BEHIND THE MICROPHONE
I NEVER VIEWED RADIO AS A VIABLE WAY TO MAKE A LIVING, BECAUSE FULLTIME JOBS ARE SO SCARCE ON THAT SIDE OF THE BUSINESS. I STARTED SENDING OUT MY RADIO DEMO, AND I GO FROM GETTING ZERO CALLBACKS IN SIX MONTHS TO GETTING TWO JOB OFFERS IN A 24-HOUR SPAN IN RADIO. I GUESS THAT WAS MY SIGN.
with 153 different ways within a hockey game to discuss puck movement -- as influences. “With radio, it’s just you, your voice and who you’re able to engage with your imagination. So maybe ... I could set myself apart in my ability to capture a listener. “[Scully] treated the listeners as his friends. He painted a beautiful picture. He humanized players. He shared stories that you’d remember and he never, ever made the game about him. That’s what I admired the most about him.” Demetra digs for back stories, like the one about Tech running back Clinton Lynch’s father playing for Illinois when the Fighting Illini faced Jackets head coach Paul Johnson in a bowl game years ago when Johnson was at Hawai’i. That came up this fall as Demetra hosted Johnson’s weekly call-in radio show. “I take pride in trying to paint as vivid a picture as possible for our audience. Saying ‘dribbling’ all the time, saying ‘passes’ all the time; it doesn’t really light a spark under me.” As Demetra calls Tech football alongside color man Sean Bedford with input from sideline reporter Randy Waters, plenty of back stories and statistical trends go out over the air waves. In his opinion, those mark an event as indelibly as first downs, 3-pointers or home runs. His notes are tiny, in six-point font, and short. They remind him, though, of bigger events that he’s already researched. “I’m always watching practice and picking the brains of assistants so I can learn about the individual tendencies of a team, how they like to run their offense and defense,” he said. “That’s generally how I have the tablets just so that if somebody makes a good dribble-drive with the
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left hand and finishes, I can share that was part of the scouting report; you have to take that away. “The stakes, you’re always trying to put the game into perspective for your audience. You treat your game as a time capsule. If you listen to this game 10-20 years from now, would you be able to listen back and be able to know exactly where your team was in that moment and time?” Demetra doesn’t rely merely on statistical analysis made available by schools, ESPN. com or standard mediums. He plows through box scores and game summaries himself and shoots the breeze with student-athletes frequently. “I always enjoy the hunt,” he said. “I want to figure out something unique. It could be something as simple as a player is only shooting 27 percent in the second half of his last three games while he’s shooting 63 percent in the first half.” It’s all about painting a picture, bringing a game to life for those who aren’t seeing it and giving listeners reasons to come back to the same spot on the dial. “There’s not a broadcast that I do that I don’t listen back and nitpick at half a dozen things that I wish I would have done better,” Demetra said. “Maybe there were certain phrases that I wished I would have used on certain plays instead of this one or maybe I over-used a certain word to describe something. “I’ll go to that category and jot down some alternatives on my chart ... I want to make sure whether they’re a Georgia Tech fan or not, they’re going to sit and listen because they enjoy how this game is being described.”
A-T FUND NEWS AND EVENTS
THE ALEXANDER-THARPE FUND (A-T) IS A DIVISION OF THE GEORGIA TECH ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (GTAA) AND SERVES AS THE PRIMARY FUNDRAISING ARM FOR THE BENEFIT OF TECH STUDENT-ATHLETES. INVEST IN GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: ANNUAL GIVING Provide more opportunities for student-athletes to attend Georgia Tech by increasing unrestricted gifts to help bridge the gap between scholarship costs and income received from endowments. Annual giving includes Athletic Scholarship Fund, TECH Fund, and Sport-Specific gifts. ENDOWMENTS Endowments provide a source in perpetuity for student-athletes and allow donors to leave their legacy or honor a loved one. Georgia Tech seeks to permanently endow all of its athletic scholarships. FACILITIES Without philanthropy, Georgia Tech’s athletic facilities would not be the state-of-the-art venues that they are today.
RECENT GIFTS & COMMITMENTS
(July 1, 2016 – October 25, 2016) Harry L. Beck $250,000 bequest establishing the Beck Golf Scholarship Endowment Dr. Laraine and Stephen R. Kendall $75,000 gift designated for the Edge Center Renovation Ms. Susan Kicak and Ms. Laura Spence $25,000 establishing the Gloria and Richard Kicak Scholarship Endowment J. Gary Sowell $1.25 million bequest establishing the Sowell Basketball Scholarship Endowment & the Sowell Football Scholarship Endowment
Please visit ATFund.org or call (404) 894-5414 for more information.
SCANA Services Inc. $28,500 designated for the SCANA Energy Scholarship Endowment
THE A-T FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jess Newbern III $111,010 designated for the Athletic Director’s Initiative
NEW AND RETURNING MEMBERS
Connie Moore and Roger D. Greer $125,000 designated for the Athletic Scholarship Fund J. Robert Love $25,000 designated for the Athletic Scholarship Fund
Michael K. Anderson IE 1979 | Atlanta, GA
Richard L. Bergmark IMGT 1975 | Houston, TX
Kathy T. Betty Atlanta, GA
Robert V. Norton $25,000 designated for the Athletic Scholarship Fund Todd W. Schlemmer $125,000 designated for the Athletic Scholarship Fund Jessica and Chris Reichart $25,000 designated for the Athletic Scholarship Fund James F. Letson $50,000 establishing the James & Janet Letson Men’s Tennis Scholarship Endowment
Thomas A. Fanning IMGT 1979 | MS IMGT 1980 | HON Ph.D. 2013 | Atlanta, GA
Douglas J. Hertz Atlanta, GA
Parker H. Petit ME 1962 | MS EM 1964 | Roswell, GA
S. Scott Freeman $25,000 designated for Men’s Basketball
Not pictured: Blair N. Rackley, BIOL 1990, Atlanta, GA For full list of A-T Board of Directors, please visit ATFund.org WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM
A-T FUND NEWS AND EVENTS
WITH TECH LEGENDS JARRETT JACK AND CALVIN JOHNSON HEADLINING THE CLASS, THE GEORGIA TECH SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION DINNER DREW MORE THAN 500 PEOPLE AND BECAME A SPECIAL AND INSPIRATIONAL EVENING.
Though his official start date is still weeks away, incoming director of athletics Todd Stansbury (above) welcomed the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016 on October 14.
Brendon Mahoney was unable to attend as he was going through Army Special Forces selections. His proud parents graciously represented him.
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The AlexanderTharpe Fund treats their Golden Jackets (members of Georgia Tech athleticsâ€™ highest giving society) to an away football game each year. This year they attended the Tech vs. Pitt game. Pictured far left is Ken Byers with Tech Cheerleaders. From top Brent and daughter Lauren Zelnak, President Peterson with Pam Anclien, Trish and Ken Byers, Lauren Zelnak, Jeff and Greta Beech, Lauren DuPree, Bob Anclien, and Tom DuPree.
©2016 CHOBANI, LLC
Take a Dip I NTRO D U CI N G CH O BAN I M E ZÉ™ D I PS . A N EW AD D ITI O N TO YO U R WEEKEN D TAI LGATE . B O LD, CR E AMY AN D MAD E WITH O N LY NATU R AL I N G R ED I ENTS
DONOR PROFILE | JARRETT JACK
TECH’S NEWEST HALL OF FAME BASKETBALL PLAYER HAS INSPIRED MANY AROUND HIM WITH HIS DEDICATION BY SIMIT SHAH
As Jarrett Jack stepped up to the podium at the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame induction dinner, he retreated to a familiar role as a point guard – an assist man. He had been moved by the earlier acceptance speech of women’s tennis alum Jaime Wong, who spoke of personal and professional struggles. “Don’t be afraid to lean on your Georgia Tech family when things like that happen,” he encouraged her as well as everyone gathered that night. It was a fitting message from Jack, who spent his stellar three-year career lifting his teammates, culminating in an unforgettable run in the 2004 NCAA Tournament championship game. The Maryland native arrived at Georgia Tech in 2002 with plenty to prove. He quickly found inspiration from fellow freshman Chris Bosh, a noted gym rat always ready to head back to the court after a long day of classes and practice. “If this kid is already a lock to be in NBA and his appetite isn’t satisfied, I can’t be satisfied … It was those late nights where I really separated myself and allowed my game to grow,” explained Jack. The early days of his collegiate career were challenging, but Jack found plenty of support and tough love from Coach Paul Hewitt and the coaching staff. “Being a freshman point guard playing under Coach Hewitt wasn’t easy, but he stuck with me through the good, bad, up and downs,” Jack said with some emotion. “He just believed in me. He believed in me as a person, believed in me as a player. Coming from where I come from, that doesn’t happen.” “Jarrett was brutally honest with himself about his self-evaluations,” Hewitt recalled. “He was not one of these kids that would sugarcoat things to himself. If he saw something was wrong or somebody pointed out something that was wrong, he’d accept that. His desire to watch film helped propel his development. He
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probably developed faster than anybody I’ve been around. I see how far he came from when he came to Georgia Tech to where he is today, it’s a testament to his hard work.” During the course of his career in Atlanta, Jack improved every season in scoring, shooting, three-point accuracy while helping his teammates reach their potential. Opting to enter the NBA after his junior season, Jack was selected in the first round by the Denver Nuggets, who traded him to the Portland Trailblazers in a draft night deal. He’s played on seven teams during the course of his professional career, earning a reputation for his toughness and leadership. Despite the demands of the playing in the NBA, Jack kept a promise to his mother to finish his degree at Georgia Tech. He took classes over several summers to earn his remaining credits and walked across the stage at McCamish Pavilion in December 2014. Jack also pledged a major gift through the Alexander-Tharpe Fund directed for the basketball program.
“It’s well-deserved,” added director of player personnel Mario West, who also teamed with Jack during those two seasons. “It’s one of those things, where I was there. I was beside Jarrett in practice putting in sweat and just seeing everything that he’s accomplished in coming back and getting his degree. “As a teammate, as a brother, as a friend who’s stayed in contact throughout his tenure in the League and away from Tech, it was truly a privilege to be with this guy,” West continued. “I’m really, really excited to see someone accomplish all of his dreams. I have the utmost admiration and respect for Jarrett.” For Jack, Georgia Tech will always be “home.” He owns a house in Atlanta and has been a fixture at the Zelnak Center during the offseason. “No matter where I go, no matter how many great things I do in the NBA I’m always ‘Jarrett Jack from Georgia Tech.’ It’s like an extended last name,” he said.”
BY SHOSHANNA ENGEL, ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR COMPLIANCE
WHAT TECH BOOSTERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RECRUITING
SHOSHANNA ENGEL ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR COMPLIANCE
We’re more than halfway through the fall semester - the fall sport postseason is on the horizon, winter sports are off and running, and the fall National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing period is approaching quickly. As we move through the 2016-17 year, we wanted to provide answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. I’ve identified some talented prospective student-athletes in my area, can I help Georgia Tech recruit? Thank you for wanting to help! The best thing you can do if you identify prospective student-athletes is to pass along that information to the respective sport’s staff and let our talented coaches do the rest. You may always call/email our coaches and pass along this information, but you may not actively recruit on behalf of Georgia Tech – this includes contact with (e.g., in-person conversations, telephone calls, electronic messages, etc.) prospective student-athletes, their parents, or any other individual associated with them and/or their athletics participation. When in doubt, give us a call! I am involved with my local Georgia Tech affinity group, and we host an event for all admitted students. May
Shoshanna Engel Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance email@example.com (404)894-8792
admitted prospective student-athletes be invited and attend? Yes. If a benefit is available to all admitted prospective Georgia Tech students, prospective student-athletes who have signed and are admitted may also participate. Groups may not host events specific to prospective student athletes. May I provide an internship/job for and/or assist a Georgia Tech studentathlete with reviewing their resume or practicing interview skills? Yes, it is permissible for individuals to employ student-athletes as long as they are paid the going rate. You may also assist student-athletes with job preparation/ development skills provided no material benefits are received. Georgia Tech and the GTAA Total Person Program also provide a plethora of career preparation services, including resume workshops, mock interviews, and a student-athlete
Lance Markos Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance firstname.lastname@example.org (404) 894-5507
career fair. Please contact the Total Person Program if you wish to become involved with departmental efforts. I am employing a Georgia Tech student-athlete this summer and want to say thank you. May I provide a gift of gratitude? While material gifts (e.g., cash, gift cards, item of value, etc.) may not be provided, Georgia Tech boosters may host a studentathlete for an occasional meal at home and/ or on-campus. All occasional meals must be approved in advance by the compliance office. If all student employees receive a benefit, student-athletes may also participate provided no special consideration is given due to status as a student-athlete. If you have any questions about recruiting, current student-athletes, or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact any member of the compliance office staff.
Bret Cowley Associate Director of Compliance email@example.com (404)385-0611
Shardonay Blueford Assistant Director of Compliance firstname.lastname@example.org (404)894-0416
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Georgia Tech BUZZ Magazine - Winter 2016