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BUILDING MOMENTUM

NEW LOCKER ROOM, STAFF HIRES PART OF GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL’S GREATER COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

THAT’S

JACK, THAT’S

GEORGIA TECH After a 50-year span in which he evolved from football recruiter to master fundraiser, Jack Thompson looks forward to connecting Tech’s past to its present

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CONNECTING YELLOW JACKETS

®

TO THE WORLD. OFFICIAL AIRLINE

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WINTER 2017-18 • VOLUME 11, NUMBER 2

SPRING 2018

EDITOR Mike Stamus ASSOCIATE EDITORS Kevin Davis Mike Flynn Alex Keator Liz Ryan WRITERS/CONTRIBUTORS Jen Abrams Jon Cooper Adam Van Brimmer Matt Winkeljohn PHOTOGRAPHY Appalachian State Athletics Clyde Click Georgia Tech Alumni Association Happy Hour Headshot Atlanta Delvin Jones Danny Karnik Wofford Athletics DESIGN & LAYOUT Summit Athletic Media www.summitathletics.com ADVERTISING – IMG COLLEGE General Manager – Dave Bouteiller For information on advertising, please call (404) 733-1330

The Buzz is published four times a year by IMG College in conjunction with the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. The price of an annual subscription is $9.95. Persons wishing to subscribe or those wishing to renew their subscription should send a check or money order (credit cards not accepted) to: THE BUZZ IMG College 540 N. Trade St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101 All material produced in this publication is the property of IMG College and shall not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from IMG College and Georgia Tech. The appearance of advertising in this newspaper does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser and/or the advertiser’s product or service by Georgia Tech or IMG College. The use of the name of the University or any of its identifying marks in advertisements must be approved by Georgia Tech and IMG College. Please send all address changes to the attention of Sarah Brophy to: IMG College

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JACK, THAT’S 4 | THAT’S GEORGIA TECH

After a 50-year span in which he evolved from football recruiter to master fundraiser, Jack Thompson looks forward to connecting Tech’s past to its present

10 | BUILDING MOMENTUM

New locker room, staff hires part of Georgia Tech football’s renewed and even greater commitment to excellence

14 | TAKING THE MIC

Former Yellow Jackets hoopsters Fallon Stokes and Tabitha Turner rising in second careers as broadcasters

18 | FINDING HIS CENTER

The journey of Tech junior Abdoulaye Gueye from Senegal to Birmingham to The Flats has been a gratifying evolution

22 | THE GREATER GOOD

Golf coach Bruce Heppler honored as a Tech Honorary Alumnus for his longtime dedication to high standards in his program

27 | A-T FUND | EVERYDAY CHAMPIONS

Former Tech track and field athlete Joe Brucella endows a scholarship in his sport on The Flats

28 | A-T FUND | FACILITY UPDATES

Football locker room and baseball stadium upgrades underway

29 | A-T FUND | ENDOWMENT DINNER

More than 350 Alexander-Tharpe Fund scholarship donors gather to meet their recipients

31 | COMPLIANCE CORNER

Extra benefits and Georgia Tech boosters

540 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 831-0700 x1769 or (888) 877-4373 x1769

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ATHLETICS

THAT’S J THAT’S GEORGIA T AFTER A 50-YEAR SPAN IN WHICH HE EVOLVED FROM FOOTBALL RECRUITER TO MASTER FUNDRAISER, JACK THOMPSON LOOKS FORWARD TO CONNECTING TECH’S PAST TO ITS PRESENT BY MATT WINKELJOHN

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SA TECH JACK, WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM

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ATHLETICS | THAT’S JACK, THAT’S GEORGIA TECH

Letterwinners Club executive director Lucius Sanford and director of athletics Todd Stansbury present a letter jacket to Thompson.

FACT

Jack Thompson helped recruit Georgia Tech’s first AfricanAmerican football player, quarterback Eddie McAshan.

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here was some recent funny business at Georgia Tech before Jack Thompson was honored for 50 years of service to the Institute and his proclivity for raising money – like more than half a billion bucks – for the Athletic Association. It came in his old office, in a chat, which Thompson is very good at. This is a very rare man – one of a couple -- who bridges the gap at Tech between legendary football coach and athletic director Bobby Dodd and now. Here’s the humor: When Dodd grudgingly hired him in 1968 a year after the ascension of Bud Carson from defensive coordinator to head football coach, the boss told Thompson that he probably wouldn’t last long because he was a Carson acolyte. “Coach Dodd said, ‘You’re going to get fired ... because the history of following a coach who had the success I had is not good,’” Thompson recalled with a chuckle. Carson lasted five years. Thompson made it 45 more, and he’s not done yet. He left his position as senior associate athletic director for development – i.e. fundraising – on Jan.

31, yet will still be around, serving as a special assistant to athletics director Todd Stansbury. Thompson has left a lot more marks than Carson. Since his elevation to associate athletics director in 1982, the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, Georgia Tech Athletic Association’s primary fundraising arm, has raised nearly $600 million. It’s no wonder former Tech quarterback and current developer John Dewberry says, “Very quickly, I figured out that Jack knew where all the bodies are buried, and I might need some help somewhere along the way.” Thompson has solicited endless help from Dewberry, and Jack has returned favors – like helping Dewberry meet his wife, Jaimie, who once worked with the Alexander-Tharpe Fund. Every Georgia Tech athletic facility has been constructed or undergone major renovation in Thompson’s time, and he’s helped raise money for all of it. Stansbury says: “There’s not one thing in athletics that doesn’t have his fingerprints on it, whether it’s a capital building, the scholarship dollars, the donor base, the alumni base, the letterwinners, the former student-athletes ... “ Enough details. Thompson’s more about stories. Man, does he have stories. Thompson would rather ask where you’re from, or what your children are up to, or where you’re thinking of taking your next vacation. “I love people,” he said. “It’s nothing at all for me to make five or six calls before people make a gift. You become friends. People don’t do business with someone they don’t have feelings for.” For the longest time while growing up in Louisville, Ky., and while attending the University of Kentucky, the former Wildcat says, “All I ever wanted to be was a coach.” He served as a student assistant under head football coach Blanton Collier and eventually got his wish, albeit in a roundabout fashion. While interning at an auto dealership in Lexington, Ky. as an undergraduate, there came a day when all the salespeople were away and the manager asked Thompson to occupy a couple. That sparked a career. Thompson made such an impression on the man, who was the athletic director at Fork Union Military Academy, that he wound up as the swimming coach at Fork Union after spending a couple years in the Army Reserve. From there, he took a job in Columbia, S.C. – or, make that jobs.

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“South Carolina hired me in kind of a five-way position to run their aquatic facilities, to be the head swimming coach, help with recruiting on weekends,” he said. Thompson also worked in the football and sports information offices. Before long, his neighbor was Carson, who was an assistant coach at South Carolina under former Georgia Tech assistant coach Marvin Bass. “I used to go recruiting with him at highschool games and things like that. He said, ‘I’m going to be a head coach one day, and I want to hire you as my recruiting coordinator,’ because the NCAA allowed that at that time,” Thompson said. “Bud always wanted somebody with him.” Before his last season as head coach, Dodd hired Carson as defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech in 1966. Carson became head coach in 1967, and hired Thompson away from South Carolina in 1968 to be director of football recruiting. After four seasons in that role under Carson, during which he helped to recruit Tech’s first African-American scholarship football player in quarterback Eddie McAshan, and two more years under head coach Bill Fulcher, Thompson recruited in 1974 for head coach Pepper Rodgers. “It was an absolute blast,” Thompson recalled. “I had two assistants, and ... coaches didn’t have to do all the recruiting; it took all the pressure off of them.” Rodgers, who was coaching at UCLA, didn’t arrive immediately at Tech, where Jack had become one of Dodd’s boys. “Pepper was playing in a movie, and he wanted to finish the movie, ‘[The Trial of] Billy Jack.’ So it was like 30 or 40 days before he showed up, and I was not his first choice,” Thompson said. “He said, ‘I’m not sure I can help you.’ “Pepper came in, and three days after he got here my buzzer rings, and I think it’s my assistant, and he says, ‘Thompson! Rodgers! Come over to my office.’ He’s smoking a cigarette, and he keeps looking at me. Finally, he says, ‘Thompson; every man has to have somebody he trusts. Coach Dodd says you’re a man I can trust.’ That was big.” When NCAA rules changed in ’75 to eliminate recruiters who were not football

coaches, Thompson’s title changed to “assistant to head football coach.” He liked that, although Pepper could be a pain. Jack was a pacifier. “He was controversial. Coach Dodd didn’t like him. Coach Dodd used to talk to me and have me talk to Pepper,” Thompson said. “Pepper and I got along absolutely beautifully. “Pepper was the only coach here who ever got ratings on his TV show. He had Julia Childs, David Brenner and Tommy Lasorda as guests. He would spend 10 minutes on football, 10 minutes on something else, and 10 minutes with a member of his staff.”

EVERY GEORGIA TECH ATHLETIC FACILITY HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED OR UNDERGONE MAJOR RENOVATION IN THOMPSON’S TIME, AND HE’S HELPED RAISE MONEY FOR ALL OF IT.

Pepper could be a problem. Jack was a conduit. “Whatever Pepper didn’t want to do, I did,” he explained. “Then, Coach Dodd retires [in 1976], and Pepper sends me up to see the president to tell Dr. [Joseph] Petit that he wanted to be the athletic director. “Petit looks at me and says, ‘That’ll never happen. But go back and tell him that if he finds somebody that he thinks he’d be interested in, and I can agree on it, I won’t hire anybody else to be the A.D.’ He fumes around for a few minutes, and said, ‘We’re going to Carbondale [Illinois].’ “ WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM

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ATHLETICS | THAT’S JACK, THAT’S GEORGIA TECH

Thompson as he looked during his early years at Tech on the Yellow Jackets’ football staff.

At Southern Illinois University, Doug Weaver was the athletics director. He had been Rodgers’ offensive coordinator at UCLA. Soon, he became Tech’s first new athletics director since Dodd had taken the job in 1950. “Pepper looks at Weav and says, ‘Weav, I’m the king. You wanna be athletic director at Georgia Tech?’” Thompson remembers. “And Weav says, ‘Yeah.’ And Pepper says, ‘You make Thompson your assistant athletic director in charge of football operations.’ “And Weaver stands up and says, ‘Welcome, Mr. Assistant.’” Thompson’s new role involved fundraising, and he was adept at it. Weaver oversaw planning of the Arthur B. Edge Jr., Intercollegiate Athletics Center, where Georgia Tech’s Athletic Association is housed, although he left before it was completed to become athletics director at his alma mater, Michigan State. Dr. Homer Rice was hired as athletics director in 1980 and quickly noted Thompson’s aptitude for raising money. In 1982, he tabbed Thompson associate athletics director – development, and that title grew in 1988 when he became senior associate athletics director – development. “First of all, he was very connected to alumni and friends of Georgia Tech,” Rice said. “We went to person after person for funding of our program. At that time, we didn’t have a funding program. We were last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in

fundraising, and in two or three years we were at the top and Jack led the charge in all of that.” Thompson could probably talk a bull out of charging or a fly off a wall. He was integral in helping solicit a $5 million donation from John and Mary Brock for the construction of Tech’s indoor football practice facility. So many times, Mary has been with Jack in a suite at Georgia Tech football games, “Feeling like he knew more about me than I knew about myself,” she said. “When he would introduce me, I would think, ‘Wow; I’m kind of amazing.’ “The real gift that Jack has is that he makes everybody feel amazing. There is no better people person ... he just makes you smile. It is very hard to say no to him.” Thompson’s not going far. He’s connected countless Tech graduates with job opportunities, and that’ll be one of his primary assignments moving forward. His new office is in the same building, the Edge Center, but now it’s right next to that of Stansbury. Jack’s 1A. In addition to continuing to work on strategic development initiatives (i.e. – special fundraising projects), Stansbury sees Thompson working in tandem with Lucius Sanford – executive director of the Letterwinners Club – to better connect Georgia Tech’s past with its present. “One of my priorities is the intersection of the current student-athlete and the former student-

BY THE NUMBERS

$600M

Money the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, Georgia Tech Athletic Association’s primary fundraising arm, has raised since Thompson’s elevation to associate athletics director in 1982.

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Many of Georgia Tech’s football greats, including linebacker Joe Harris, turned out to honor Thompson. athlete, and how do we provide programming to develop our athletes while they’re here,” Stansbury said. “Because Jack has been such an integral part of so many of our former student-athletes’ lives for the last 50 years,

that’s an area that I want him to also help with. “It’s a lot easier when they’re right down the hall than scheduling an appointment. My earliest recollection of Jack was that he was incredibly connected and he could help you with anything, but the main thing was he could help you get a job.” Thompson walks with a cane now (he’ll have you know that’s a temporary consequence of a broken leg) but he still knows appointments. He’s had thousands, and he’ll definitely keep raising funds. He’ll keep speaking softly, engaging deeply, and, as Stansbury says, connecting to hit home runs. “It ended up that I seemed to have an aptitude for fundraising,” Thompson said humbly. Yeah, there’s definitely that. “All of the qualities that Jack exemplifies are the same qualities that make Georgia Tech athletics what they are,” John Brock said. “It’s all about integrity, it’s about honesty, it’s about being who you are, it’s about being transparent, it’s about winning ... but winning the right way. That’s Jack Thompson. That’s Georgia Tech.”

“THE REAL GIFT THAT JACK HAS IS THAT HE MAKES EVERYBODY FEEL AMAZING. THERE IS NO BETTER PEOPLE PERSON ... HE JUST MAKES YOU SMILE. IT IS VERY HARD TO SAY NO TO HIM.”

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FOOTBALL

BUILDING MOMENTUM NEW LOCKER ROOM, STAFF HIRES PART OF GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL’S RENEWED AND EVEN GREATER COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE BY JON COOPER

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eorgia Tech has always been held in highest esteem for being at the forefront of cutting edgetechnology worldwide. Being that gold standard made it surprising that it was so far behind the times in the football world when it came to locker room facilities and recruiting staff -- two aspects

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that go hand-in-hand in the all-important quest to attract the nation’s best student-athletes to The Flats. The days of being behind the curve are over, as Georgia Tech football is completing a makeover that includes refurbishing its locker room and beefing up the recruiting staff. It’s designed to get recruits thinking Georgia Tech.

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Head coach Paul Johnson began a makeover of the Yellow Jackets’ defensive staff with the appointment of former Appalachian State defensive coordinator Nate Woody to the same position at Tech.

Georgia Tech’s football locker room is undergoing its first major renovation since 2003. The new digs will include a wide array of technologically advanced features, including charging stations in each locker for student-athletes’ phones, laptops or tablets.

“There are three main things that the majority of recruits are most concerned about: ‘Who am I going to play for?’ ‘What is the commitment to football facilities?’ and ‘What am I going to wear?’” said director of athletics Todd Stansbury. “Those have been the things that we have prioritized -- stability of our staff through the contract extension for Coach Johnson and an increase in the salary pool for our assistant coaches; renovations to our football locker room, nutrition center, training table and lobby and, of course, our new partnership with adidas that officially begins in July.” Georgia Tech rang in 2018 by working to finalize a two-year contract extension for Paul Johnson, which locks him up through 2022. “Coach Johnson has proven that he can navigate the challenges that we have at Georgia Tech and put us in a position to win championships and develop young people who will change the world,” said Stansbury. “The numbers speak for themselves.” Johnson is the fourth-longest tenured coach in Georgia Tech history, behind only William Alexander (25 years), Bobby Dodd (22) and John Heisman (16), He enters his 11th season fourth in program history in wins (76) and

winning percentage (.585) -- only Dodd had more wins over his first 10 seasons (82). He’s guided the Jackets to six first- or secondplace finishes in the Coastal Division (only Virginia Tech has more during Johnson’s 10year tenure with seven), and he’s taken Tech to eight bowl games. As important is the Yellow Jackets’ 82 percent graduation rate -- up 38 points from when he arrived in Atlanta. While the culture Coach Johnson has created will stay in place, the area that in a lot of ways serves as a second home for his players will not, as Tech is bringing its locker room facilities into the new millennium. “That’s been needed for a while. That’s going to be great for our kids and hopefully give us a boost in recruiting,” said Johnson. “We haven’t done much to that locker room in a long time. It was pretty dated.” The locker room facilities hadn’t been renovated since 2003 -- that was four years before the first iPhone and well before Twitter, Google Docs, iTunes or YouTube. Technology that serves student-athletes’ everyday needs has similarly come a long way. To catch up, the Jackets hired the firm of Heery International, Inc., the company that WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM

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FOOTBALL | BUILDING MOMENTUM

Nate Woody filled out the defensive staff by bringing in former Wofford defensive coaches Jerome Riase and Shiel Wood.

FACT

Johnson is the fourth-longest tenured coach in Georgia Tech history, behind only William Alexander (25 years), Bobby Dodd (22) and John Heisman (16).

BY THE NUMBERS

82

Georgia Tech’s graduation rate for football, up 38 points since Paul Johnson’s arrival in Atlanta.

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designed the Zelnak Practice Facility, to design a new locker room, and JE Dunn Construction to make those plans a reality. The new locker room will include ventilation and drying systems, and charging stations in each locker for studentathletes’ phones, laptops or tablets. There’s an enhanced audio-visual system, a hydration station containing a variety of sports drinks, like Powerade, and Core Power (the school’s official protein drink) and a “gear wall,” trumpeting the school’s new partnership with adidas. Treatment facilities also will be upgraded, both in the locker room (with hot and cold treatment tubs) and around the Edge Center (including a renovated nutrition center and training table). “I think it’s just getting it up to date so we’re not so far behind the other schools that you’re trying to recruit against,” Johnson said. “I think Todd realizes that we’re way behind, and he’s doing everything he can to try to catch us up as quickly as he can.” The renovation, which will be complete by the start of fall practice in August, comes with a $4.5 million price tag, which is being picked up by an anonymous donor. The second piece of Stansbury’s plan is beefing up the Jackets’ football recruiting staff, which was previously one of the smallest in the ACC. Enter the Georgia Tech Recruiting Challenge, an initiative to add four much-needed positions to Tech’s football recruiting office at a cost of approximately $600,000 for the first two years. The initiative was spearheaded by an anonymous donor who offered a 50-percent matching gift on the first $400,000 committed by fans for the two-year program. The program went public in early January and Georgia Tech set an initial goal of raising $200,000 by National Signing Day on Feb. 7, which, combined with the $100,000 matching gift, would fund the first year of the program. Tech fans responded and the goal was surpassed, raising north of $315,000 in that

first month, and the process of adding four new recruiting staff members was underway. “It’s no secret that we face some unique challenges at Georgia Tech due to our rigorous and unique academic curriculum and how competitive the football landscape has become in our conference and region,” said Stansbury, pointing out that three of the four teams in the College Football Playoff (Alabama, Georgia and Clemson) are within a two-hour radius of the Tech campus. “We determined that we need to identify talent earlier, recruit talent more broadly and enhance the effectiveness and penetration of our messaging – telling the story of the Georgia Tech football brand. Doing all of those things requires a financial investment. Specifically for us, that means adding four new positions to our football recruiting staff.” “The response has been nothing short of terrific,” he added. “Thanks to the passion and generosity of our alumni and fans, we surpassed our initial goal and are already well on our way to raising the next $200,000, which will be applied to year two. “Hopefully it will help us broaden our base,” Johnson added. “Clearly the more people you have, the bigger net you can cast and for a school like ours that has a limited curriculum and high academic standards. The bigger net you can cast, the better off you’re going to be.” Fittingly, the new-look locker room will hold new gear, as July 1 marks the beginning of a sixyear deal between Georgia Tech and adidas. While wooing recruits was a goal for the program, Johnson did some recruiting of his own during the off-season, revamping the coaching staff after longtime defensive coordinator Ted Roof and defensive line coach Mike Pelton departed. Johnson made a splash nationally with the hire of highly regarded Appalachian State defensive coordinator Nate Woody to replace Roof. Six days later, he hired Wofford D.C. Shiel Wood to coach safeties and special teams. Finally, on Jan. 21, he brought in Jerome Riase to coach the defensive line -- he’d served in the same capacity at Wofford. Woody, a 27-year coaching veteran, implemented an aggressive 3-4 defense at App State, which led the Sun Belt Conference in total defense three times in four years and ranked in the nation’s top 30 all four seasons since the Mountaineers made the transition from NCAA Division I FCS to FBS in 2014. The unit had ranked eighth in the nine-team FCS Southern

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Conference the year before he arrived in Boone. “I had known Nate from Wofford in the past, and I had always been intrigued,” Johnson said at his Woody’s introductory press conference. “When he went to Appalachian, they played really good defense. They always were sound. I’ve watched them play Clemson on tape, I’ve watched them play Georgia, I’ve watched them play teams that we play and you could see the method to the madness. You could see what they’re trying to accomplish.” Under the watch of Riase and Wood, Wofford led the Southern Conference in rushing defense each of the last four years and Riase’s line was part of a unit that didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher during the 2017 season. “I was really impressed when I met them,” said Johnson. “Jerome set himself apart a little bit. Nate was comfortable with Jerome and certainly with Shiel because they know the system, so hopefully they can hit the ground running. Hopefully, we can be a better football team – not just on defense but offensively, special teams, the whole nine yards.”

The easiest gauge in measuring the program’s progress will be in wins and losses and Johnson is understandably optimistic about 2018. History bears him out, as he’s followed each of the only three losing seasons in his career with at least eight wins and a bowl berth. That includes a 9-4 season two years ago. He’s looking for another bounce back. “Hopefully we can,” he said. “The conference has gotten tougher. You’ve got to get some breaks, you’ve got to keep people healthy and that’s what we’re shooting for this year.” The Jackets head into the spring with solid locker room leadership, as senior quarterback TaQuon Marshall and senior middle linebacker Brant Mitchell were named team captains. In the fall, the Jackets bring in a versatile signing class of 22, which exceeded expectations. “All in all I think that we fulfilled our needs well,” said Johnson. “We got a lot of outstanding young men and some really good players. “We’ve got a lot of new things going on,” he added. Toe meets leather on a new season Sept. 1!

THE JACKETS HEAD INTO THE SPRING WITH SOLID LOCKER ROOM LEADERSHIP, AS SENIOR QUARTERBACK TAQUON MARSHALL AND SENIOR MIDDLE LINEBACKER BRANT MITCHELL WERE NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS. IN THE FALL, THE JACKETS BRING IN A VERSATILE SIGNING CLASS OF 22, WHICH EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS.

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BASKETBALL

TAKING THE MIC FORMER YELLOW JACKETS HOOPSTERS FALLON STOKES AND TABITHA TURNER RISING IN SECOND CAREERS AS BROADCASTERS BY JON COOPER

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hen it comes to choosing a career, most people face the question “Which do I follow: my head or my heart?” Former Georgia Tech women’s basketball players Fallon Stokes and Tabitha Turner would probably answer, “Yes!” to following their hearts. Stokes (class of 2004) and Turner (class of 2009, who recalls meeting Stokes on a recruiting visit) used their heads in earning Georgia Tech degrees and forging careers. Stokes is an attorney specializing in criminal defense, family law, personal injury, and immigration with Trentacosta & Associates, PC, in Sandy Springs. Turner is a traffic engineer with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

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They are using their hearts in rising second careers as broadcasters. That second career has brought them back home to Georgia Tech and their coach, MaChelle Joseph. “To have the opportunity to come back to your alma mater to do this has been great,” said Stokes. “Seeing the girls as they continue to grow and improve, still having a good relationship with Coach Jo -- she’s been a big part of putting me in this position and giving me the opportunity -it’s fun outside of my day-to-day job.” “It’s good reconnecting with the people who helped shape me,” agreed Turner, who helps implement traffic-signal timing and designs intersections. “It’s easy to talk about Coach Jo and the rest of the team because I know her

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THEY ARE USING THEIR HEARTS IN RISING SECOND CAREERS AS BROADCASTERS. THAT SECOND CAREER HAS BROUGHT THEM BACK HOME TO GEORGIA TECH AND THEIR COACH, MACHELLE JOSEPH. Fallon Stokes (left) and Tabitha Turner both were excellent defensive players for the Yellow Jackets. Stokes serves as analyst on Tech’s ACC Network Extra productions, while Turner provides the same on the Tech radio broadcasts.

Stokes, now a practicing attorney, remains 13th on Tech’s all-time scoring list.

style of play. It’s helped with the adjustment as far as moving back.” Stokes arrived on campus in 2000, after graduating from Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs, where she was the 2000 Georgia AAA Player of the Year, three-time North Fulton Player of the Year and two-time all-state. Only 5-10, her heart made her a player after Joseph’s. “What separated her was her toughness,” recalled Joseph, an assistant coach under Agnus Berenato Stokes’ first three seasons on The Flats. “She was an undersized post player, but she was a great rebounder and defender. That’s what got her in the lineup.”

DEFENSE NEVER RESTS Stokes captained Joseph’s first Tech team as a senior, and as a junior played in Georgia Tech’s first NCAA Tournament game in a decade, scoring a game-high 25 points in a 61-59 loss to Virginia Tech. She was tabbed two-time AllACC, led the team in scoring and rebounding as a senior, became the 19th member of the school’s 1,000-point club and still ranks 13th in program history with 1,363 points. Joseph remembered Stokes as a strong defender on the basketball court and foresaw that she’d be as strong a defender in the court of law. “I always knew that she wanted to be a lawyer,” said Joseph. “She was pretty committed academically from day one to graduating from Georgia Tech then going on to law school.” Inspired by watching her godfather growing up, Fallon’s road to the bar began when she graduated from Tech with a B.S. in public policy awareness. She then earned her master’s in sports administration at Georgia State and attended Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School before working for the firm of Arora & LaScala and the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office. She has been at Trentacosta & Associates since August, 2013, and she has served as an

English adjunct professor at Georgia Piedmont Technical College since May, 2012. “I knew I wanted to be an attorney since I was 13,” she said. “Just wanting to help people is what drives me. The stakes are way higher than they were playing college athletics. At the end of the day you may lose a game but you still get to go home. In my field, my clients may not have that opportunity if I don’t my best job I can.”

D.O.T.-ING HER EYES It’s ironic that one of Turner’s responsibilities with G.D.O.T. is keeping traffic moving, as she spent her playing days (2006-09) as a 6-2 stop sign. “Tabitha Turner was a defensive stopper inside,” recalled Joseph. Turner, who helped lead Miami’s Pace Academy to a state title, played stopper on Jackets teams that went 79-47, won 20 games each of her final three years, and twice played in the NCAA Tournament, including in 2007, when the Jackets recorded the program’s first win, 55-54 over DePaul in Minneapolis. Turner was unstoppable in the classroom, earning degrees in management, then engineering. “The thing that’s so impressive about Tabitha is how well-rounded she is and was at a young age,” Joseph recalled. “To get two degrees from Georgia Tech. A lot of people would be happy to get a degree in either one. The fact that she got a degree in both, at the same time she was pledging a sorority on campus and playing BCS-level basketball, that’s kind of unheard of to be able to manage all of that. Tabitha did. She proved me wrong.” She was fueled by her need to prove doubters wrong. “It’s one of those things where I had to finish it because the advisers were saying, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? We don’t think you can,’” she said. “That’s the wrong thing to tell someone like me, because then I’m going to prove you wrong.” After getting her second diploma while a grad assistant for Joseph for one season, Turner took a job with the Illinois Department of Transportation, where she worked for five years as a civil engineer. It was there she also got interested in the world of pageantry and twice finished top-five in the Miss Illinois USA Pageant. “It’s nerve wracking, but for someone like me, who’s an adrenaline junkie, it’s also very exciting. It’s very competitive,” she said. “That’s WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM

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BASKETBALL | TAKING THE MIC

Turner, a traffic engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation, played on Tech teams that won 79 games and played in two NCAA Tournaments.

“THEY WANT MORE GAMES ON TV. THERE’S GOT TO BE TALENT AT ALL THESE GAMES. THEY’RE IN THE PERFECT SPOT.” - PLAY-BY-PLAY VOICE RICHARD MUSTERER

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why I enjoyed it so much. A lot of prep goes into it, a lot of interviewing. That’s what made me want to come back to doing this.”

THE TRUTH IN THE BOOTH Both Stokes and Turner dabbled in sportscasting while students. When they came back to The Flats this time it was to pursue broadcasting. Georgia Tech women’s basketball was the natural starting point -following in the footsteps of their role model, LaChina Robinson, a former Jackets assistant coach and broadcaster now working for ESPN, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports South and NBATV. They found another thread -- and helping hand -- from their playing days in longtime radio voice of the Jackets, Richard Musterer. Musterer, an 18-year veteran, downplays his role in their success -- Stokes and Turner feel otherwise -- instead crediting former Georgia Tech senior women’s athletics administrator, Theresa Wenzel, who is now president of the Atlanta Dream, for opening the door for them. They did the rest.

“I’m working with a lawyer and an engineer,” Musterer said, with a laugh. “Before that both succeeded as student-athletes at Georgia Tech. So they both have a tremendous foundation. You have two smart women who can go back onto their playing experiences, for this coach. They have all kinds of insight and the ability to explain and relate it to the audience.” Georgia Tech television play-by-play man Andy Demetra also has worked with Stokes and Turner and believes their experience as players gives them not only perspective but appreciation for the players, which they convey in a way the audience can appreciate. “In television, the analyst is the star. I’m just trying to get the broadcast from Point A to Point B and that’s where Fallon really shines. She attacks her preparation the same way she did as a player, she’s very meticulous about what she’s doing and the points she wants to make and you can tell,” he said. “You can tell that Tabitha has had experience as an analyst on the radio. She’s very keen, very sharp, understands how to process the game as she’s watching it and then articulating points in a way a viewer can understand. That’s a delicate balance that analysts early in their career have a hard time grasping. Tabitha and Fallon both have that mindset of ‘Let’s celebrate these terrific plays that these kids are putting in!’ because they know how difficult it is to do it.” Things could get really interesting really soon for Stokes and Turner especially with the ACC Network expanding next July. “They want more games on TV. There’s got to be talent at all these games,” Musterer said. “They’re in the perfect spot.” Stokes and Turner, both good friends -- although they’ve never worked together -- enjoy their current fields but also welcome the challenge of going regional, perhaps even national. “I tell my boss all the time jokingly, ‘You might want to start looking for a replacement,’” Turner said, with a laugh. “I love my job but he knows, everyone knows my goal is full-time broadcasting.” “I think right now, if I could be Superwoman, I’m gonna try and do both,” said Stokes. “Eventually I want to expand into some other areas of the law, but broadcasting is fun. You can just talk about basketball and watch basketball. Who doesn’t want to do that?”

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BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s junior center worked hard in the gym during Tech’s holiday break and made himself into an ACC-level player when conference play began.

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FINDING HIS CENTER THE JOURNEY OF TECH JUNIOR ABDOULAYE GUEYE FROM SENEGAL TO BIRMINGHAM TO THE FLATS HAS BEEN A GRATIFYING EVOLUTION BY MATT WINKELJOHN

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he evolution of Abdoulaye Gueye is ongoing, and there’s no telling where it will take him, but it’s a good bet that the long road that he’s traced from afterthought to a primary spot on Georgia Tech’s front line will wind to success. It may take a while, or perhaps overnight. Just look at his first three-and-a-half seasons as a Yellow Jacket. After making the journey from Dakar, Senegal, to Birmingham via an exchange program, he chose Tech, “Because it was so close to home, a two-hour drive, and I liked the school and the program.” Simple enough. He played sparingly in eight games as a freshman, redshirted as a sophomore, averaged 1.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 2016-17, started the first eight games this season, and then lost the job because head coach Josh Pastner said opposing defenses weren’t bothering to guard him. This is a player who once said he wanted to pattern his game after another lean, lanky guy: Kevin Durant. Yet over semester break, Gueye re-made his offensive game – or rather centered it – stopped roaming, planted himself near the goal, abandoned jump shots and took off. In 12 non-conference games, Gueye averaged 21.4 minutes, 4.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 block per game while shooting 36.7 percent, including a 14-point game against Yale. In his first 13 ACC games, he averaged 27.1 minutes, 8.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks and shot 51.1 percent. “When I got the job, I said he wasn’t good enough, which he wasn’t,” Pastner said. “But through his work, and [assistant] coach [Eric] Reveno has done a good job with him he’s gotten better.

“He’s now a legit ACC player. He’s as good in the ACC with a jump hook with either hand as any player in the league.” There’s a two-part explanation to Gueye’s jump-start. First, he’s a workhorse. When he was benched in December in favor of freshman Moses Wright, he took his wandering ways with him. Pastner tweaked the offense, instructing center Ben Lammers to roam more because he has a better jumper than Gueye. That left more room for A.D., who dropped anchor in the middle. After making 2-of-10 threepoint shots in non-conference play, he tried just one in Tech’s first 12 ACC games. And with that hook shot, which Lammers said is virtually un-blockable, he started rolling. Gueye scored 16 points at Pitt, 12 at North Carolina, 14 against Florida State and 14 more against Clemson, prompting Tigers coach Brad Brownell to say, “He’s much, much improved.”

Gueye remade his offensive game with an improved jump hook which he can shoot with either hand.

BY THE NUMBERS

51.1 Field goal percentage for Gueye in ACC games this season.

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BASKETBALL | FINDING HIS CENTER

Gueye’s emergence helped Tech knock off No. 15 Miami, No. 25 Notre Dame and Syracuse in the first half of its conference schedule.

“HE’S NOW A LEGIT ACC PLAYER. HE’S AS GOOD IN THE ACC WITH A JUMP HOOK WITH EITHER HAND AS ANY PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE.” - TECH COACH JOSH PASTNER

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Or, Gueye is better centered. “Coach really told me I’m shooting a high percentage around the hoop, and just keep doing what you’ve got to do to help the offense flow,” he explained. “If I’m shooting a high percentage inside the arc, I don’t need to shoot more threes.” A.D. is keeping some options open. Majoring in business administration, he is actively engaged in fantasy basketball leagues and toying with the idea of one day trying to go into front office management in sports. “After I graduate, I want to maybe go play overseas, or see how I can help my community through the business side,” he said. “I want to be a business man or be a general manager.” That’s quite a range of possibilities, right? Figures. Gueye’s a rangy man. The 6-9, 214-pounder has covered considerable ground in 23-plus years. With an arm span that stretches seven feet, three inches, he was counted upon by Pastner to serve as something of a utility man. He popped a couple three-point shots in a 78-68 win over Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 22, when he scored a career-high 13 points, yet scoring was something of a third nature for him. That probably shouldn’t have been a surprise; he didn’t begin playing basketball until he was 14. “I always enjoyed soccer; it’s the main sport over there, so I was playing soccer. I didn’t really like basketball,” Gueye recalled. “My mom and my aunt and my dad were pushing me. They told me I got height, ‘Soccer is not going to work; it’s not you.’ I finally started getting into it, and after that I fell in love with it.” Gueye journeyed to the United States in 2012 through an exchange program, landing at the Central Park Christian School in Birmingham, Ala. Between two seasons playing for the Eagles, and a turn in summer AAU ball as well, the springy Senegalese player landed on recruiting radars and the honor student narrowed his college choices chiefly to Texas Tech, Minnesota and Georgia Tech. After averaging 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots as a senior, he committed to the Jackets and former head coach Brian Gregory. He still considers Birmingham a home of sorts. He hasn’t been back to Senegal, where his mother, Ndeye, and three older sisters and an older brother still live, since 2014. His father,

Osumane, passed away about a year before A.D. came to the United States. “My host family, I consider them – Nick and Catherine Crawford – like family,” he said. “We talk a lot, and I went over there to see them in December. They come sometimes to watch games.” The Crawfords, in fact, took Gueye back to Birmingham with them for the holiday season after viewing Tech’s Dec. 27 game against Coppin State. Nick, 30, and Catherine, 28, didn’t mean to take in exchange students in 2012, but they came across Gueye and Osa Hen of Nigeria through their church, which has a relationship with Central Park and its exchange program. “We had a teacher who was teaching there,” Nick said. “A.D. was there with us when our first son was born. He’s an awesome, incredible, kind, humble, loving dude. He’s a servant. Cares for people. Hard worker. We’re so proud of him.” After Wright’s substandard effort against Coppin State on Dec. 27 and underwhelming practices, Gueye went back into the starting lineup at Notre Dame, where Wright did not play for the first time this season. “The issue for us has been our [power forward] spot offensively between him, Moses and Evan [Cole], Pastner said. “That’s what was nice about [Quinton Stephens] last year besides his rebounding, at least teams gameplanned him.” Gueye has been so effective that teams have begun game-planning for him, sagging defenders to limit easy touches in the paint. “A.D. practiced better than [Wright] did; he kicked his butt in practice,” Pastner said. “That’s why I started him, and I told Moses that: ‘A.D. took your spot, and it’s going to be up to you to get it back.’ “ Basketball is better now. “I’ve been comfortable,” Gueye said. “I’ve gained a little confidence from my teammates and coaches keep pushing me.” A.D. has found his spot, and there’s another for him in Birmingham, where three young boys consider him a brother of another color. “Absolutely, he’s a part of our family. He’s our boy,” Nick Crawford said. “He sees family as probably one of his biggest foundations. He’s an incredible father even though he’s not a father. He cares for people as a father would, and serves in any way possible. He just jumps in.”

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GOLF

THE GREATER GOOD GOLF COACH BRUCE HEPPLER HONORED AS A TECH HONORARY ALUMNUS FOR HIS LONGTIME DEDICATION TO HIGH STANDARDS IN HIS PROGRAM BY ADAM VAN BRIMMER

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ruce Heppler holds three college degrees. His latest was the least challenging academically but involved “a little more extra credit.” Heppler was recently named an Honorary Georgia Tech Alumnus by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association after 23 years leading the Yellow Jacket golf team. He and Steve Swant, the Institute’s chief financial officer, received the honorary degrees on Jan. 25 at the Alumni Association’s Gold & White Honors Gala.

The honors go to those who have long devoted themselves to the “greater good” of the Institute. Heppler joins a group of former Tech athletics legends that includes football coach and director of athletics Bobby Dodd, tennis coach Earle Bortell, administrator John McKenna, radio voice Al Ciraldo, director of athletics Dr. Homer Rice, longtime fund-raiser Jack Thompson, team dentist Dr. Aaron King and basketball coach Bobby Cremins.

Over 23 years, Heppler’s Tech teams have won 11 Atlantic Coast Conference titles and 52 tournaments overall.

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HEPPLER JOINS A GROUP OF FORMER TECH ATHLETICS LEGENDS THAT INCLUDES FOOTBALL COACH AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS BOBBY DODD, RADIO VOICE AL CIRALDO, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS DR. HOMER RICE, AND BASKETBALL COACH BOBBY CREMINS. “The group I’m joining is really the reason for my success,” Heppler said. “It’s incredible the people who have honorary Georgia Tech degrees, leaders like Bobby Cremins and Homer Rice, who saved the school’s athletic programs in the 1980s. To get lumped in with them and to be a member of an alumni base the likes of Georgia Tech’s – I probably don’t deserve it, but I feel fortunate about it.” Heppler and his program in many ways personify what Georgia Tech prides itself on – excellence on the competitive stage, in the classroom and in life. The Yellow Jackets are among the nation’s most consistent teams on the golf course, with 20 consecutive NCAA postseason appearances, 16 trips to the national championship under Heppler and three national runner-up finishes. Every Georgia Tech golf student-athlete since 2005 has graduated and the program boasts a perfect academic progress rate, a measure instituted in 2004 by the NCAA. Beyond college, 11 Heppler pupils currently play on professional golf’s top circuits, the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour, and several more are active on developmental tours. Heppler’s peers appreciate his success yet few, if any, are surprised. They use descriptions

like “infectious passion” and “wise leadership.” “To be as successful as Bruce has been at Georgia Tech, you need to constantly solve problems and lead in a changing recruiting and developmental environment,” said Kenny Thorne, Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis coach. “Bruce has done this consistently better than anyone in the nation in my opinion. Isn’t that what Georgia Tech embodies? We lead, excel and solve problems in a constantly changing world.” Heppler’s honorary degree means the Yellow Jackets have an alumnus coaching every spring sport. Cross country and women’s track and field coach Alan Drosky, a 1987 Georgia Tech grad, joined the athletic department the same year as Heppler. Thorne, arguably the most accomplished men’s tennis player in Georgia Tech history, took over his program in 1998. Aileen Morales, class of 2009, leads the softball team, three Georgia Tech alums are assistants on the baseball team and Tech grad Christy Lynch is an assistant for women’s tennis. The announcement that Heppler would receive the honor caught some of his peers off guard -and not because they found him undeserving. “I just assumed he was an alum -- he embodies what it means to be a Yellow Jacket and has dedicated so much of his life to developing his student-athletes into leaders after graduation,”

After 23 years lifting the Georgia Tech golf program to unprecedented heights, Bruce Heppler, here with his wife Traci, joined a prestigious group of athletics staff members to be named an Honorary Georgia Tech Alumnus.

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GOLF | THE GREATER GOOD

Heppler gave credit to the Yellow Jackets’ golf success to Tech alumni and benefactors who have supported the program over the years.

BY THE NUMBERS

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Number of collegiate tournaments Georgia Tech has won in 23 years under Bruce Heppler, including 11 ACC titles.

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said Morales, the softball coach. “I couldn’t think of a more deserving person to receive this honor.” Drosky, the track and field and cross country coach, echoes those sentiments and applauded the Alumni Association for establishing the “greater good” honors. “It’s important to honor individuals like Bruce who have devoted years of valuable service to the Georgia Tech Athletic Association and the Institute as a whole, and who have contributed to the culture of Georgia Tech in very significant ways,” Drosky said. “In doing so, we not only express our appreciation for all that Bruce has done, but we also recognize that part of what makes Georgia Tech such a special place is that it doesn’t take a degree from here to understand and uphold the mission of Georgia Tech.” Heppler recognized Georgia Tech’s uniqueness soon after arriving on The Flats in 1995. A Brigham Young graduate with a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Heppler worked as an assistant coach at two of the nation’s most storied college golf programs, UNLV and Oklahoma State. Georgia Tech’s program lacked that pedigree – as did Heppler, the rare major college head coaching hire without

prior Division I head coaching experience -but both the administration and the program’s biggest supporters empowered Heppler to build a top-tier program. Heppler recruited tirelessly, arranged for his student-athletes to have playing privileges at two world-class clubs – East Lake and the Golf Club of Georgia – and later led the charge for a top-caliber practice facility just four blocks north of campus. “From Day One, I’ve tried to operate from the model to leave things better than you found them,” Heppler said. “You do that, you’ve earned your keep and done your job.” Heppler has proven adept at finding talent to elevate the program. Georgia Tech has had at least two players earn All-America honors 14 of the last 17 years and 21 first-team All-Americans overall. Three players, including Heppler’s first recruit, Matt Kuchar, earned national player of the year honors. Heppler shuns much of the praise he receives for the program’s success, crediting the players instead. He acknowledges that he felt a part of the Georgia Tech family long before receiving his honorary degree. Georgia Tech’s golf tradition dates to at least the great Bobby Jones, and sharing in that heritage has afforded him remarkable opportunities, from staying the night at Augusta National Golf Club’s Butler Cabin to being interviewed at golf’s major championships. Yet he still relishes his day-to-day duties, helping mold teenagers into quality young men. “We’ve been successful in creating a culture where student-athletes want to succeed in every part of their lives,” Heppler said. “They want to do it because the guys who came before them have done it. The message, which goes unsaid, is that if you are going to be great, you have to do everything to the best of your abilities. You can’t be a 10 in golf, a 2 in the classroom and a 3 as a friend. You have to turn your meter up to 10 at the start of the day and stay that way. “Life gets pretty easy when you’ve done that for four or five years.” Or 23 years. Heppler doesn’t need any more extra credit.

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ALEXANDER-THARPE FUND

EVERYDAY CHAMPIONS FORMER TECH TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETE JOE BRUCELLA ENDOWS A SCHOLARSHIP IN HIS SPORT ON THE FLATS A lot has changed at Georgia Tech since Joe Brucella, IE 1972, was enrolled. For instance, this year’s freshman class was a record-breaking 43 percent female. “It’s a wonderful thing,” he says. “When I was at Tech, I don’t think we even had 43 women, much less 43 percent women!” One thing Brucella knows has not changed at Tech, however, is its academic rigor. That’s why he has made a $1 million commitment to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund to endow the Joe Brucella Athletic Scholarship and create two successive Everyday Champion scholarships. These scholarships are to be awarded to undergraduate students participating in intercollegiate men’s and women’s track and field at Georgia Tech. This commitment is critically impactful for the track & field program because it provides a full scholarship to a studentathlete ($31,250) for the next eight years, and then funds an endowment for another full scholarship at the end of those eight years. When that is complete, Joe will join the 37 current members of the Golden Jacket Society. Brucella’s motivation to make this gift dates back to his high school days in New York City, when he was “a fairly decent track man.” He would like to have continued in the sport at Tech, but he had to work to put himself through school. To hold down a job and “expend the enormous effort necessary to succeed at Tech” and be a Division I athlete — “it was something I just could not do,” he confesses. But Brucella’s affinity for track and field endured. After graduation, he moved around the U.S., finally landing in Connecticut in the 1990s. Once settled, he coached high school track for 10 years while simultaneously advancing his career in the retirement housing industry. In 2015, after 35 years with Life

Care Services, he retired as senior vice president of operations and one of its largest shareholders. For decades, he says, he lost touch with his alma mater. “I did what I assumed most people did — I started a career, started a family, and really didn’t have much contact with Tech, with the exception of writing a check to Roll Call every year,” he says. “I was separated by distance and responsibilities.” Then, about 10 years ago, his schedule began to ease up. He started to attend football games, soon becoming a season ticket holder who flies down for as many home games as possible. “It is a bit of a tailgate for me!” he admits. Two years ago, he joined the Alumni Mentor Program, and he also now serves on the alumni advisory board of his fraternity, Delta Upsilon. Inevitably, this stepped-up involvement led Brucella to connect with the sport that had eluded him as a student — he met men’s track and field coach Grover Hinsdale, and last spring, he went to a meet. That’s when his intention to establish a permanent way to give back to Georgia Tech began to take shape. “I wanted to do something permanent, so after consulting with my family, I decided I would endow a scholarship for a male or female track and field athlete,” he recalls. The recipient of Brucella’s Everyday Champion scholarship — Ben Jean, a second-year biochemistry major from Augusta, Georgia, who runs the 400-meter sprint — had the opportunity to meet his benefactor at a reception preceding the 2017 Tech vs. North Carolina football game. “He’s a really good guy,” Jean said. “It’s just great to see some of the alumni come back and support the athletes in the way he has.” Brucella enjoyed connecting with Jean, as well.

Joe Brucella (IE, 1972) poses with the first recipient of his Everyday Champions scholarship, sprinter Ben Jean, a second-year biochemistry major. “The student-athletes — the students in general at Tech — are just the elite of the elite, and it’s just amazing and inspirational to be around them.” For more information on Endowed Scholarships, Everyday Champion scholarships, or the Golden Jackets giving society, visit atfund.org or call the AlexanderTharpe Fund at 404-894-5414. WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM

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ALEXANDER-THARPE FUND

FACILITY UPDATES

FOOTBALL LOCKER ROOM AND BASEBALL STADIUM UPGRADES UNDERWAY Facilities projects underway and in process include a renovation of the football locker room and the second phase of renovations to the Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium. The football locker room renovation was secured and construction was able to begin after the generosity of an anonymous donor. Enhancements in support, facilities, and staffing have been top priorities for the football program and moving forward with the renovation of the locker room was just the beginning of multiple steps towards increasing support for the football program. “The locker room is one of the areas where football student-athletes spend their most time, so this upgrade will not only greatly benefit our current student-athletes, but is also a big part of our efforts to enhance our football recruiting,” Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury said. “We’re grateful for the generous gift given by an anonymous donor that has allowed us to provide our football studentathletes with a brand-new, state-ofthe-art home.” The locker room renovation is joined by support from donors to aide in football recruiting efforts as well as additions to the football coaching staff. Fundraising efforts for Phase II of the baseball stadium renovations are also under way. The second phase renovations are driven by the vision for Georgia Tech baseball: to enhance player development, improve fan experience, and celebrate Tech’s rich baseball history. The total cost of the renovation is $9 million, and a generous anonymous donor has stepped forward to match half of the costs of the renovation. With

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$1.3 million raised, there’s about $3 million left to reach the $4.5 milllion needed for the match. This project will become a top funding priority and a public push for support of the Yellow Jacket baseball program. From Stansbury on the impact of this project for the baseball program, “This next level of improvements will not only help us continue to attract

and develop players, it will also enhance the fan experience and allow us to share and celebrate the history of baseball at Tech.” For more information on support and donations to the baseball renovation project, please contact Jim Hall at jhall@athletics.gatech.edu or call the Alexander-Tharpe Fund at 404-894-5414.

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ENDOWMENT DINNER

MORE THAN 350 ALEXANDER-THARPE FUND SCHOLARSHIP DONORS GATHER TO MEET THEIR RECIPIENTS

Student-athlete advisor Derrick Moore and former Tech running back Roddy Jones

Red-shirt sophomore basketball player Sylvester Ogbonda

Former Tech basketball player Danielle Donehew is now the executive director of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Assocation

More than 350 scholarship donors turned out to meet the recipients of their scholarships.

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COMPLIANCE CORNER

BY LANCE MARKOS, ASSISTANT ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR COMPLIANCE

EXTRA BENEFITS AND GEORGIA TECH BOOSTERS An informed understanding regarding information on the NCAA’s extra benefit legislation is critical to preserving the eligibility of all Georgia Tech studentathletes. As such, here are some important tips on how to best navigate this issue on behalf of Georgia Tech. The definition of an extra benefit is any special gift or arrangement provided to a student-athlete, or student-athlete’s friend or family member, which is not available to LANCE MARKOS the general Georgia Tech student body or the general population. ASSISTANT ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR COMPLIANCE As a booster, the NCAA restricts the involvement that you may have with student-athletes. NCAA rules prohibit boosters from providing student-athletes with an extra benefit at any time, and doing so may result in the studentathlete being declared ineligible to compete on behalf of Georgia Tech. Examples of Extra Benefits (this is not an exhaustive list): • Use of an automobile or transportation of any kind • Admissions to an event (e.g. movies, athletics event, banquets, clubs, concerts, private parties) • Cash or loans in any amount • Gifts of any kind including those for special occasions such as birthdays, religious holidays, graduation, etc. • Free or reduced-cost services, rentals, or purchases or any type (e.g. meals, drinks, clothing, laundry, haircuts, legal fees, tattoos, rounds of golf, car repairs) • Free or reduced-cost housing for any length of time • Entertainment • Assistance with paying bills (e.g. cell phone, gas money, rent) • Awards • Loans (including co-signing) • Use of your credit card In addition, it is not permissible for Georgia Tech studentathletes to sell any item that belongs to a student-athlete or is signed by a student-athlete. This includes any gear, apparel,

Shoshanna Engel Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance sengel@athletics.gatech.edu (404)894-8792

Lance Markos Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance lmarkos@athletics.gatech.edu (404) 894-5507

jerseys, helmets, gloves, game balls, awards (ACC rings), shoes, etc. that has been provided to the student-athlete by Georgia Tech as incidental to their participation in their sport. In very limited instances, boosters may provide a meal to a student-athlete. In order to do so, the meal must be provided at either the booster’s house or a Georgia Tech facility, it may only be done on an occasional basis, and approval from the Georgia Tech Compliance Office must be received prior to the meal. Above all it is critical that you ASK BEFORE YOU ACT when it comes to any involvement with Georgia Tech student-athletes. Failure to do so may jeopardize their eligibility. You may contact the compliance office at compliance@gtaa. gatech.edu or 404-894-5055. Go Jackets!!

Bret Cowley Director of Compliance bcowley@athletics.gtaa.edu (404)385-0611

Shardonay Blueford Associate Director of Compliance sblueford@athletics.gatech.edu (404)894-0416

Christina Chow Compliance Assistant cchow@athletics.gatech.edu

Compliance Office Phone Number: (404) 894-5055

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Profile for GTAthletics

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