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HAPPY 100th

Fall 2013

Georgia Tech celebrates a century on Historic Grant Field

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WITH A high-octane offense, coupled with an energized defense, Georgia Tech football is primed for an exciting season

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fall 2013 • Volume 7 , Number 1 EDITOR

PHOTOGRAPHERS Danny Karnik

Dean Buchan EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE Katie Hodges

DESIGN & LAYOUT Summit Athletic Media www.summitathletics.com

WRITERS Simit Shah Adam Van Brimmer Matt Winkeljohn Jon Cooper

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ADVERTISING – IMG COLLEGE

2013

Tom Stipes For Information on Advertising, Please Call (404) 733-1130.

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 Amanda Hobbs to: IMG College 540 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 831-0700 x1769 or (888) 877-4373 x1769

In This Issue

On the first day of practice (August 1) Will Jackson goes through a drill while offensive line coach Mike Sewak gets a view from the field.

2013: THE ‘SHOW ME’ SEASON

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STILL GOING STRONG

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LAW ACE

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Philanthropy at Work

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GROWTH SPURT

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Gift Planning at Georgia Tech

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SETTING UP FOR SUCCESS

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Returning talent, depth and experience creating optimism on the Flats

A century after Grant Field was born, it remains one of college football’s best settings

Tennis All-American Kristi Miller wants to leave her mark on the law as she once did in college tennis on the Flats New-look ACC built for long haul

THE FIVE-YEAR PLAN

Tech’s small-town, big-man tandem has endured and become the anchor of the Yellow Jackets

donor profile: Art Brannen

Growing up near Grant Field, Georgia Tech was Art Brannen’s first and only destination Capital Projects Update as of June 30, 2013

A feature by guest writer Peter J. Ticconi

Senior setter Kaleigh Colson wants more for Georgia Tech Volleyball in 2013

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FB FOOTBALL

2013: THE ‘SHOW ME’ SEASON Returning talent, depth and experience creating optimism on the Flats

By Adam Van Brimmer

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Every Georgia Tech football player knows Coach Paul Johnson’s favorite mantra. “Show me, don’t tell me.” The “show me” season is ahead. The Yellow Jacket roster is littered with veterans. They have talent to rival that of the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference title team. New defensive coordinator Ted Roof has infused the Jackets’ much-maligned defense with a renewed spirit. Likely first-year starting quarterback Vad Lee has stirred memories of Joshua Nesbitt, if not Joe Hamilton and Shawn Jones. Yet all those strengths mean nothing until they translate into victories. As Johnson quips almost daily on the practice field, “show me, don’t tell me.” “Until you do it on the field, it’s really hard to talk about,” Johnson said. “We’ll have our opportunities.” Johnson’s sixth season on the Flats looks to be the one he’s been building toward. His brilliant start at Georgia Tech – 20 wins in his first two seasons and a Bowl Championship Series game berth – proved impossible to match the last three seasons, even as the Jackets played in the ACC Championship game last fall and came within a game of it in 2010. Those were young teams, though, as Johnson redshirted as many players as possible in his early recruiting classes. This fall, Georgia Tech will start as many as 16 players who have contributed significantly the last two seasons. The offensive line, vital to any offense but particularly so for option teams, will feature players with 102 starts between them. “This is our oldest team, with guys who have played a lot of football,” Johnson said. “We’ll see how it goes.” All eyes will be on Lee, the redshirt sophomore quarterback who dazzled at times in 2012. He is the first true dual-threat quarterback Johnson has had at Georgia Tech and naturally draws comparisons to Hamilton and Jones, who ran option-style offenses as Yellow Jackets in the 1990s. Teammates say his leadership skills match his physical abilities. In a team survey conducted by Georgia Tech’s sports information department this summer, Lee was voted the “best leader” with 67 votes. The second highest vote getter, offensive lineman Ray Beno, received five votes. Offensive lineman Will Jackson spoke high-

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Only 10 active players in college football own more career interceptions than Jemea Thomas.

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ly of Lee at the ACC’s preseason media days, praising his maturity and leadership and even referring to him, albeit jokingly, as “Jesus.” “If I had a son, I’d like him to be like Vad Lee,” Jackson said. “He has impeccable character.” Lee has yet to start a college game, though, and Johnson has tried to temper expectations. He insists Lee will have to win the job in a fall camp competition with redshirt freshman Justin Thomas. “Vad is a gifted young man with tools, and he’s a hard worker,” Johnson said. “But my thing is, let’s not build him up to the point where he fails. Pretty soon expectations get so high Superman couldn’t reach them. He’s a talented young man but needs to be given a

chance to grow a little bit.” Johnson refuses to show the same patience with his defense. He hired former Yellow Jacket player and coach Ted Roof to make Georgia Tech’s defense respectable again. Roof’s aggressive, high-energy approach – a reflection of his days as the on-field leader of the Jackets’ “Black Watch” defense of the mid-1980s – has been embraced by the veteran and talent-laden unit. “We’re going to be attacking more; less sitting back and reacting to what the offense does,” defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu said. Roof “can relate to players, and when we go out there his passion and energy translate into being a player.” Attaochu is arguably the linchpin for Geor-

gia Tech’s defense this year. The Yellow Jackets’ leading pass rusher the last two seasons as a linebacker, he will come off the end this fall as Roof transitions the defense from a threelineman, four-linebacker scheme to a fourlineman, three-linebacker alignment. The Yellow Jackets have plenty of talent remaining at linebacker and have hopes that play-making safety Isaiah Johnson is back from injury in time for the opener. “Ted’s coaching style and philosophy closely resembles my own in terms of getting after people,” Johnson said. For all the knowns going into the 2013 season, Georgia Tech is not without unknowns. Lee’s passing abilities should translate to a more balanced offense, but he has no proven

Junior Darren Waller is the most experienced among a group of young wide receivers.

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AMCGT-0


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No, she’s a physical therapist at Atlanta Medical Center.

At Atlanta Medical Center, we treat you with the kind of care we’d want for ourselves. At Atlanta Medical Center, we offer over 36 different services, such as a Level 1 Trauma Center, a variety of birthing options (including water births) and minimally invasive robotic knee surgery. Every year we deliver over 3,600 babies and have performed more than 5,000 bariatric procedures for weight loss. We’re also training the next generation of doctors. Our numerous services come with a high level of care that has garnered several awards. For example, we’ve received Top Performers on Key Quality Measures for two years in a row. Our weight loss center has been listed as a Center Of Excellence. We’ve won a Platinum Award in Managing Acute Coronary Syndrome, and the American Heart Association has certified us as a Gold Plus Stroke Center. When you need quality medical treatment, it’s nice to know we’re right in your neighborhood. Atlanta Medical Center has been taking good care of Atlantans for over one hundred years.

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players to catch balls. Darren Waller, at 6-foot6 and 235 pounds a physical specimen on par with Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, is the only receiver with catches as a collegian, and he caught all of eight balls for 172 yards last fall. The offense also has receiving threats at the A-Back position in Robbie Godhigh and B.J. Bostic, but the duo combined for just 22 catches in 2012. “We have some young guys who have matured, but until you do it in a game, you never really know,” Johnson said. The Yellow Jackets will find where they stand early given the schedule. They play four Coastal Division games in a row between Sept. 14 and Oct. 5, finishing the stretch with Virginia Tech and Coastal Division favorite Miami. Georgia Tech also plays ACC newcomers Pittsburgh and Syracuse later in the season, both at home. The schedule difficulty contributed to the Yellow Jackets being picked fourth in the preseason ACC media poll, well behind thirdplace choice North Carolina. The players like being the under-Jackets, though. “We definitely recognize the lack of respect,” Attaochu said. “The underdog persona is one we take on every time we play. We like it.” ■ Head coach Paul Johnson watches his squad break the huddle to open the first practice of 2013.

What’s All the Buzz About ®

in Today’s Real Estate Market?

Mary Beth Lake - Associate Broker, GRI

Visit me online at MaryBethLake.com The BUZZ® Sculpture is ©2008 of Georgia Institute of Technology. The BUZZ word mark and the BUZZ Design Mark are treadmarks of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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GT georgia tech athletics

STILL GOING STRONG

A century after Grant Field was born, it remains one of college football’s best settings By Adam Van Brimmer

J

John Heisman’s standing as a football visionary is beyond dispute. He foresaw the potential of the forward pass and devised pre-snap formation shifts and the power sweep. His creation of Grant Field, however, was less a stroke of real estate genius than a desire to quit staging Georgia Tech football games in nearby city parks. Grant Field, or Bobby Dodd Stadium as it is now known, celebrates its centennial this year. The school will salute the milestone with the Sept. 26 ESPN Thursday night game against Virginia Tech. Every living Yellow Jacket AllAmerican and Academic All-American has been invited back to the Flats and will be honored during a halftime ceremony. The first permanent grandstands went up in 1913 on the western edge of the site (the concrete structure still exists underneath the current West stands). Prominent banker John W. Grant donated $15,000 toward the project, and the stadium was eventually named in honor of Grant’s late son. Heisman’s Yellow Jackets had been playing on the location since 1905. He’d taken the job at Georgia Tech in 1904 with the understanding the administration would find a suitable playing field close to campus for the team as soon as possible. Tech’s leadership leased a parcel of land known as “The Flats.” The property failed to fit the description. Littered with rocks and a haven for snakes, the lot made Piedmont Park look like a croquet field. Heisman used prison laborers from the City of Atlanta to clear the property, though, and challenged a group of Tech engineering students to build him a set of wooden grandstands. The makeshift stadium hosted its first game on Oct. 7, 1905, and Heisman’s team played three seasons there before Ponce de Leon Park, a sports cathedral for its time, opened in 1908. Heisman’s desire to play on campus never abated even as Georgia Tech’s fan base grew in the years at Ponce de Leon. Grant’s $15,000 donation – the equivalent of $343,000 in today’s dollars – allowed for the move home. “One hundred years later, Grant Field continues to be one of the best venues in the country to watch college football,” Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski said. “We cherish our history and tradition.” The Yellow Jackets defeated Ft. McPherson 19-0 on Sept. 27, 1913 in the first of many great

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moments for Grant Field. The stadium would expand and evolve gradually over the 100 years that followed, and the property known as “the Flats” would become an oasis in the urban desert of a growing metropolis. In addition to being home to the Yellow Jackets, the stadium hosted numerous concerts, including The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd and Jimmy Buffett, as well as speeches by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and South African leader Nelson Mandela. Author Jack Wilkinson aptly described Grant Field in the introduction to the book, Kim King’s Tales From The Georgia Tech sidelines. He called the stadium a “room with a view.” Through the years, those views have been memorable.

Oct. 7, 1916: The Cumberland Game Grant Field has seen more blowouts than a tow-truck driver over the last century. None compare to the infamous 222-0 pasting of Cumberland College, which stands to this day as the most lopsided victory in college football history. Georgia Tech scored touchdowns on all 32 possessions without attempting a pass. So proficient was the offense the Yellow Jackets failed

to officially record a first down – they scored on the first play or within the first few plays of every drive. Heisman had a juggernaut in 1916, finishing with an 8-0-1 record and winning the other eight games by an average of 23 points. But the Cumberland massacre had less to do with the Yellow Jackets’ prowess than the sham that was the Cumberland team. Cumberland folded all its athletic teams prior to the 1916 football season. The school had a contract to play Georgia Tech, though, and Heisman threatened to sue if a Cumberland football team didn’t show. Cumberland’s baseball team had used a bunch of professional players to humiliate Georgia Tech that spring, and Heisman, who also coached baseball, wanted payback. Cumberland’s student manager, George Allen, offered a group of his law school buddies shares of $500 and a weekend in Atlanta to play in the football game. The rout was a foregone conclusion. Wrote the Atlanta Journal’s Morgan Blake of the game: “With all due respect to the Tech team, it must be admitted the tremendous score was due more to the pitifully weak opposition than to any unnatural strength on the part of the victors. In fact, as a general rule, the only thing

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necessary for a touchdown was to give a Tech back the ball and holler, ‘Here he comes’ and ‘There he goes.’”

Dec. 3, 1927: “The Plan” Georgia Tech’s biggest and most-satisfying upset of rival Georgia came in the 1927 finale. The 1927 Bulldogs were arguably the most dominant of the era, shutting out six opponents and allowing just 23 points in their first nine games. The media had dubbed the Dogs the “Dream and Wonder” team. The Yellow Jackets would prove to be Georgia’s nightmare. So intent was Coach Bill Alexander on defeating the rivals he devised “The Plan” midway through the 1927 season. Six games in, he split his team into two squads: His 11 starters plus one reserve sat out the next three games and focused solely on preparing for Georgia; the rest of the team played LSU, Oglethorpe and Auburn. The ploy worked. Georgia Tech’s first-string was well-versed in defending Georgia’s go-to play, the dump screen, by the time the rivalry kicked off. The Yellow Jackets posted a 12-0 victory and spoiled Georgia’s Rose Bowl and national championship hopes.

Nov. 15, 1952: The $125,000 tackle Jake “Mouse” Rudolph made the greatest tackle in Grant Field history late in the 1952 national championship season. Rudolph, a 5-foot-7, 155-pound safety, upended Alabama’s Bobby Marlow on a fourth-down play at the goal line. The stop set up a victory that would propel them to the Sugar Bowl and earn the school the $125,000 bowl payout. Alabama’s Marlow was one of the great backs of his era. He’d rushed for 180 yards in a 1950 game against Georgia Tech, prompting Yellow Jacket coach Bobby Dodd to call him the “best back” he’d ever coached against. So Marlow made no attempt to avoid Rudolph when the safety stepped into the gap just short of the goal line. Marlow lowered his shoulder to run over Rudolph, and Rudolph countered by dropping to his knees and powering up into Marlow’s midsection at contact. The collision left Georgia Tech’s Rudolph unconscious but also dropped Marlow at the 1-yard line. The Atlanta Journal headline the next day read: “A little man charged an elephant and saved a football game for Tech.” The Yellow Jackets took possession and later scored a touchdown to post a 7-3 win.

Sept. 30, 1961: The Ramblin’ Wreck debuts Georgia Tech undergrad Dekle Rountree led the most memorable drive in Grant Field history when he piloted a 1930 Model A Sport Coupe across the turf prior to a 24-0 win against Rice. The car has since become one of the most eas-

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ily distinguishable mascots in college football. Its regular pre-game charge, with cheerleaders hanging from the running boards and the football team tailgating it across the field, gives goose bumps. The Ramblin’ Wreck is a lasting tie to the school’s past. The car resembles a 1914 Ford Model A once driven by Tech’s legendary dean of students, Floyd Field, during the 1920s. Tech students nicknamed Floyd’s contraption the “Ramblin’ Wreck” in 1926. The early Fords would become a favorite of Tech students, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s. By the turn of the decade, Tech President James Dull had launched a search for a pre-World War II Ford that could represent the school. He discovered the car that would become the Ramblin’ Wreck in the fall of 1960. A Delta Air Lines pilot had parked the Model A on campus to attend a track meet. Dull acquired the car in May 1961.

Nov. 17, 1962: The “Greatest Victory” The most underrated college football rivalry in history had to be Bobby Dodd vs. Bear Bryant. The two were close friends with innovative styles: Bryant wrote the bible on game preparation, while Dodd was a Saturday swami. The seventh meeting between the two would prove to be the most memorable, at least from Dodd’s perspective. In fact, the legendary coach dubbed the upset of the top-ranked Crimson Tide his “greatest victory.” Alabama featured Joe Namath at quarterback and a suffocating defense. But on a rainy day in Atlanta, Bryant handicapped his team with his paranoia. Trailing 7-0 midway through the second half, Alabama scored a touchdown to cut the deficit to a point. Fearing a tie would cost his team a shot at a national title, Bryant went for the two-point conversion and failed. The Crimson Tide flubbed two more chances to score the winning points late in the game, the last on an interception thrown at Georgia Tech’s 13-yard line – well within field goal range.

Nov. 6, 1976: The Pass-less upset Gary Lanier may not be the greatest quarterback to ever grace Grant Field, but he did play the starring role in one of the venue’s greatest moments. Lanier orchestrated a 23-14 shocker of 11th-ranked Notre Dame without attempting a pass in a game known as the “pass-less upset.” The Irish sacked Lanier, a true freshman forced into action by injuries to three veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, on the second play from scrimmage. The resulting celebration convinced Georgia Tech coach Pepper Rodgers to scrap the rest of the passes in his playbook. “That’s the last time they strut on Grant Field,“ Rodgers told his assistants following the sack. Georgia Tech didn’t need to go to the air. Run-

Other Key Moments in

Grant Field History Sept. 25, 1926: Tiny Oglethorpe University in Atlanta stunned the college football world with a 7-6 defeat of Georgia Tech at Grant Field. After the game, Oglethorpe fans reacted to the victory by staging a spontaneous parade through downtown Atlanta. Nov. 26, 1949: Georgia Tech defeats rival Georgia 7-6 to start an eight-year win streak against the Bulldogs forever known around the state as “The Drought.” Oct. 11, 1952: Georgia Tech shutout Tulane 14-0 to start a string of three consecutive home shutouts that paved the way to a national title. The Yellow Jackets beat Auburn 33-0 the following week and Vanderbilt 30-0 in the final game of the string. Sept. 29, 1984: Georgia Tech fullback Chuck Easley scored the winning touchdown with 33 seconds to go as the Yellow Jackets snapped Clemson’s 20-game ACC win streak. Oct. 19, 1985: Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson rushed for 242 yards and scored the winning touchdown on a 76-yard run in one of the greatest performances by an opponent in Grant Field history. Nov. 30, 1985: Georgia Tech return wizard Gary Lee returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown on a foggy night as the Yellow Jackets upset the rival Georgia Bulldogs. Oct. 15, 1988: Georgia Tech scored a 34-0 blowout upset of No. 8 South Carolina. The Gamecocks featured a pair of up-and-coming assistant coaches in Al Groh and Charlie Weis. Oct. 7, 1989: Georgia Tech quarterback Shawn Jones threw four touchdown passes to rally the Yellow Jackets to a 28-24 victory over Maryland and snap a 16-game ACC losing streak. Oct. 13, 1990: Georgia Tech walk-on Kevin Tisdel returned a kickoff 87 yards for the deciding touchdown in a win against Clemson. The Yellow Jackets remained unbeaten with the win and went on to capture a share of the national title. Oct. 5, 1996: Georgia Tech’s defense forced five turnovers and knocked off 12th-ranked Virginia in second-year coach George O’Leary’s first big win. Nov. 1, 2008: Georgia Tech freshman defensive back Rashaad Reid recovered a Florida State fumble in the end zone to seal the Yellow Jackets first victory over the Seminoles since 1975. Oct. 17, 2009: Georgia Tech’s upset of No. 4 Virginia Tech propelled the Yellow Jackets to the Atlantic Coast Conference title. Fans stormed the field and tore down the goal posts to celebrate Tech’s first home win against a top-five team since 1962.

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ning Rodgers’ triple-option offense, Lanier ran or pitched for 368 yards. Notre Dame focused on stopping the fullback dive, so Lanier gladly flipped the ball to Eddie Lee Ivery and David Sims on the outside. The Yellow Jackets turned an early 14-3 deficit into a 16-14 lead late in the third quarter.

Nov. 8, 1980: Notre Dame draw The 1980 Georgia Tech season was one to forget. The first under head coach Bill Curry, the Yellow Jackets went 1-9-1 and started a tight end at quarterback. Yet the Jackets were able to conjure a little Grant Field magic and tie the No. 1 team in the country. Georgia Tech was off to its worst start in four decades when Notre Dame came to Atlanta that November Saturday. The Yellow Jackets’ starting and backup quarterbacks were injured, although both would play in the game. Curry had given his tight end, Ken Whisenhunt, some snaps in practice that week, and Whisenhunt took over the offense midway through the first quarter. His first pass landed in the stands. But Whisenhunt found his composure and managed to avoid any cataclysmic mistakes. He led the Yellow Jackets to a decisive field goal on his fourth possession. Notre Dame, which would send 20 players from the team to the NFL, salvaged the draw with a field goal in the fourth quarter.

Nov. 27, 1999: Sanks’ sorrow Mention the name Jasper Sanks, and Georgia Tech fans will snicker. The Georgia running back’s fumble just short of the goal line created an opportunity for the Yellow Jackets to post one of the most memorable victories in the rivalry’s history.

The Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs were tied at 48 late in the annual showdown. Georgia had driven to the Georgia Tech 2-yard line with 20 seconds to go, however, and needed only to run a kneel-down play to run out the clock and kick the game-winning field goal. Bulldog coach Jim Donnan elected to go for the touchdown instead. He called for a handoff to Sanks, who fumbled while being wrestled to the ground. Georgia Tech’s Chris Young recovered to force overtime, and Yellow Jacket kicker Luke Manget kicked the game-winner on Tech’s first possession of the extra period. Television replays showed Sanks was down when he fumbled, but the game was played before replay was implemented in the college game. Adding further insult, Manget’s first attempt at a game-winning kick in overtime was blocked. But Georgia Tech recovered, and another rule that has since been changed allowed Manget to try the kick again.

Sept. 6, 2003: Reg-gie, Reg-gie Georgia Tech’s students carried true freshman quarterback Reggie Ball off the Grant Field on their shoulders following a 17-3 upset of the Auburn Tigers. The game marked Ball’s first start before the home crowd, and while his stats were pedestrian – 9 of 21 passing for 149 yards – his spunkiness excited the masses. The Yellow Jacket defense was more deserving of the shoulder ride. They sacked Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell seven times and limited the Tigers’ vaunted rushing duo of Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams to 40 yards on the ground. Defensive end Eric Henderson finished with three sacks and a forced fumble while linebackers Daryl Smith and Key Fox combined for 25 tackles. ■

Great Individual Performances

on Grant Field

Oct. 20, 1951: Receiver Buck Martin records 202 yards receiving vs. Auburn Dec. 1, 1951: Tailback Georgia Maloof rushes for four touchdowns vs. Duke Nov. 25, 1967: Linebacker Eric Wilcox makes 28 tackles vs. Georgia Nov. 9, 1968: Receiver John Sias catches 14 passes vs. Navy Sept. 12, 1970: Receiver Steve Harkey catches 14 passes vs. South Carolina Sept. 30, 1972: Quarterback Eddie McAshan passes for 371 yards vs. Rice; defensive back Randy Rhino intercepts three passes Nov. 17, 1979: Quarterback Mike Kelley passes for 361 yards and five touchdowns vs. Navy; receiver Kris Kentera records 203 receiving yards Sept. 18, 1982: Kicker Ron Rice kicks five field goals vs. The Citadel Nov. 6, 1982: Tailback Robert Lavette rushes for 161 yards and four touchdowns vs. Virginia Oct. 6, 1984: Defensive back Cleve Pounds makes 19 tackles vs. NC State Oct. 7, 1989: Quarterback Shawn Jones throws four touchdown passes vs. Maryland Dec. 2, 1989: Tailback Jerry Mays rushes for 207 yards vs. Georgia Oct. 13, 1990: Linebacker Calvin Tiggle makes 24 tackles vs. Clemson Nov. 23, 1995: Linebacker Ron Rogers makes 22 tackles vs. Georgia

GRANT FIELD OVER THE YEARS

Oct. 17, 1998: Wide receiver Dez White catches six passes for a record 243 yards vs. Virginia Sept. 30, 1999: Quarterback Joe Hamilton tallies 477 yards total offense vs. Maryland; Receiver Dez White records 215 receiving yards

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1914 or 1915

1920

Oct. 9, 1999: Receiver Kelly Campbell records 203 receiving yards vs. North Carolina Nov. 24, 1999: Quarterback Joe Hamilton tallies 435 yards total offense vs. Georgia Nov. 15, 2003: Tailback P.J. Daniels rushes for 240 yards on 36 carries vs. North Carolina Oct. 4, 2008: Receiver Demaryius Thomas records 230 receiving yards vs. Duke

1950s

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1960s

1968

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GT

Miller was the national player of the year in 2006 and led the Yellow Jackets to an NCAA championship in ’07.

georgia tech athletics

LAW ACE

Tennis All-American Kristi Miller wants to leave her mark on the law as she once did in college tennis on the Flats

By Adam Van Brimmer

K

Kristi Miller figured to make her living on the courts, just not the courts most associate her with. The Georgia Tech tennis great took the bar exam in August after graduating from Emory University’s Law School. Assuming she passes that test, she’ll start her career as a lawyer later this year with Atlanta firm McKenna Long & Aldridge. She won’t see much of the courtroom initially. She’s breaking into the profession doing corporate law, such as contracts and other transactional matters. But she admits the lure of the people’s court proved stronger than the draw of center court. Practicing law always appealed to her more than professional tennis, be it as a player, teacher or coach. Her college success – national player of the year in 2006, anchor of the 2007 NCAA championship team – prompted her to try life as a pro. But after a year as a player and another two as a teacher and coach, she knew she was destined to carry a briefcase, not a racquet bag, to work every day. “My goals in tennis all involved college tennis,” Miller said. “I’m glad I went pro, but I’m glad I stopped. I wouldn’t want to look back on my life a few decades from now and see I’d never done anything beyond tennis.”

law school where she “answered phones and ran stuff over to the courthouse.” But tennis soon trumped other activities. She won the Michigan state title as a senior and rose to No. 13 in the national junior rankings. She practiced and played year-round throughout her college career and once she turned pro. “Most Tech students work in their fields in the summers while still in school, but I didn’t have any sort of work experience beyond tennis,” Miller said. “I clerked for a judge my first summer of law school and was like ‘Wow, this is pretty amazing.’”

Expanding Horizons Tennis was Miller’s life for her first quarter-century. She’d shown an interest in law as a teenager. She interned at a

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Kristi (Miller) North recently graduated from Emory University’s Law School. At right is her husband, David North, who was a 1995 All-American tennis player at Tech.

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Miller clerked for Cobb Superior Court Judge Lark Ingram in the summer 2011. Last year, she interned as a summer associate for McKenna Long & Aldridge, rotating “through different areas to get a feel for what you want to do.” She’d gone into the internship thinking litigation would be her law destination. The drawnout nature of lawsuits turned her off, however. The athlete in her demanded to see results for hard work. Hence, her interest in corporate law. “In tennis, you hit a ball and either win or lose a point,” Miller said. “I want to be able to see where my work goes and how it affects things. If I amend a contract and send it to a client, I get it back very quickly.”

Still Volleying Miller still gets her tennis fix. She plays on an ALTA team, pairing with her husband, another former Georgia Tech tennis star, 2005 All-American David North, in mixed doubles. The team also features former Yellow Jackets Marko Rajevac, Amanda McDowell and Alison Silverio. Other teams in the league are littered with former college and professional players. “I am very fortunate to be able to say I have the best mixed partner in ALTA, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her husband,” North said. “She makes me look good. “ Playing recreationally, albeit at a high level, rekindled Miller’s tennis interest. She stopped playing once she made the transition from tour-

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ing pro to teaching pro in mid-2009. She had found the solitary life of a pro player unfulfilling, and not just because she lost nearly as many matches as she won in a year on the women’s tennis mini-circuits. “I couldn’t turn my brain off on the tennis court; I was always worried about what happens if I win, what happens if I lose,” she said. “I wasn’t happy being on the road. I was on the phone with my mom every week upset. Tennis was no longer fun for me.” Teaching tennis didn’t require her to play, and she enjoyed her year-and-a-half directing the junior tennis program at Marietta Country Club. She didn’t embrace competitive tennis again until she’d left the sport completely and enrolled in law school. Not having the pressure to succeed for the first time since she was a girl made the difference.

Program Pioneer Miller’s Georgia Tech tennis legacy is as sharp as ever. She was Georgia Tech’s first All-American in women’s tennis and can still claim to be the leader of the only Yellow Jacket team to win an NCAA championship (the football program’s titles are technically wire service championships). She mentored McDowell, who won the 2008 NCAA singles title. She credits Georgia Tech’s former coach, Bryan Shelton, and his successor, Rodney Harmon, for the program’s continued success. She does

Kristi Miller’s

Georgia Tech career * Program’s first All-American * Five-time All-American overall (singles and doubles) * 2006 Honda Award winner (national player of the year) * NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award recipient (2009) * Captain and lead player on 2007 NCAA championship team * 2006 ACC Tournament MVP * 2005 ACC Rookie of the Year take personal pride in being a part of establishing the program. “I understand a little bit what I meant to the program – in a sense at least,” Miller said. “We had a lot of success, and now there is a respect out there for Georgia Tech tennis. We’re getting quality players every year. We have a new tennis center. All that says something about what we started.” Miller wants to leave her mark on the law as well. She worked as hard in law school as she did playing tennis, her husband said. “She can go, like, eight hours without a break,” he said. “She’s going to be as great a lawyer as she was a tennis player.” ■

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GT georgia tech athletics

WR Devin Street and the Panthers visit Historic Grant Field Nov. 2.

C.J. Fair and the Orange will host the Yellow Jackets in the Carrier Dome this season.

GROWTH SPURT New-look ACC built for long haul

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By Adam Van Brimmer

Bigger doesn’t mean better or even stronger, but the Atlantic Coast Conference’s new standing as a superconference gives the league something more valuable than Bowl Championship Series berths or Final Four participants. Stability. A decade after coaxing Miami and Virginia Tech to leave the Big East – the first moves in a shell game that has since changed the college athletics landscape – the ACC has cemented its place as the dominant conference along the East Coast. Pittsburgh and Syracuse officially joined the ACC in July and will begin competition in all sports in the weeks to come. Notre Dame’s athletic programs, with the exception of football, will also be full-fledged ACC members starting this fall. Louisville gains membership next summer, replacing Maryland. The Terrapins, bound for the Big 10, will be the first member to leave the ACC since South Carolina in 1971. Stability comes not in the strength of numbers or depth of competitive programs but in a recently signed grant-of-rights agreement. All current members, save Maryland, as well as Notre Dame and Louisville once those schools join, have committed their television revenue to the conference through 2027. Should any school leave the ACC during that period, its television money would still go to the league.

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“This act helped stabilize the landscape of athletics and further solidified our standing as one of the nation’s premier conferences,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said of the grant-of-rights agreement. “We look to the future with great anticipation. The composition of our long-term membership has never been stronger, and geographically we go forward as a true Atlantic Coast league. “And the new membership only boosts our league’s credentials.” The expansion and grant-of-rights commitment will also be a boon to trust among ACC institutions, said Georgia Tech Athletic Director Mike Bobinski. His first few league meetings – he took the Georgia Tech job in January and started in April – were marked by “wondering who is not going to be around the table two years or three years or five years from now. “It led to a lack of trust, and when you lack trust it stands in the way of progress,” Bobinski said. “Now we’ve cleared the deck, cleared the air and are focused on what is sure to be a great future.” The ACC has “repositioned” itself “at the top of the pyramid,” Bobinski said.

Step Up To Play Expansion always seems to make the ACC more competitive, at least internally. Virginia Tech and Miami upped the level of play in football a decade

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ago, as did Florida State when the Seminoles joined the ACC in 1991. Georgia Tech needed a decade to elevate its programs but enjoyed across-the-board success in the late-1980s and early-1990s. Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Louisville aren’t pigskin powers but do have strong football traditions to build from. And part of Notre Dame’s deal with the ACC is the Irish will play five ACC opponents in football every year. “The ACC is really strong right now,” Georgia Tech’s football coach, Paul Johnson, said. “There is competition and it’s fierce on the field.” Fiercer still will be the play on the hardwood. Whereas the move to add Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College in 2003 and 2004 was perceived as strengthening the ACC as a football league, the latest expansion will be most noticeable during basketball season. Syracuse reached the Final Four last year and Pitt and Notre Dame were perennial contenders in the Big East Conference, arguably the deepest and most competitive basketball league in the country over the last half-decade. Louisville, meanwhile, is the defending national champion in basketball. Louisville and Notre Dame also boast two of the top women’s basketball programs in the nation. Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory is looking forward to the competitive challenge. Yet he acknowledges expansion will put his team at a disadvantage, at least initially, because the ACC is adding teams already “ahead of you in the race.” The long-term benefits to Georgia Tech and other existing ACC programs are worth the

short-term lumps. Adding four hoops powerhouses will raise the league’s already lofty profile with fans and recruits.

ACC membership

Reach And Leverage

1953-1971 Clemson Duke Maryland North Carolina NC State South Carolina Virginia Wake Forest

ACC expansion was about competition, and not just the on-the-field variety. Swofford, the league’s commissioner, talks often about the ACC’s reach now that the conference has schools in New York and Pennsylvania as well as the Midwest. The ACC Network reaches 65 million households. “Within our footprint, the ACC has the most TV households and highest population of any conference footprint from a national perspective,” Swofford said. “By 2030, 55 percent of the U.S. population will live within the ACC football footprint.” Such interest should give the ACC leverage as the college athletics landscape continues to evolve. The college football playoff starts with the 2014 season. And many of the major conference commissioners, including the ACC’s Swofford, have expressed concerns about the NCAA’s future. The ACC is in position to be among the power players should the NCAA decide to create a division expressly for the major conferences or should the conferences decide to break away from the NCAA completely. Count Georgia Tech’s Johnson among those anticipating more changes ahead. “I can see how it’s not that far-fetched the way things have been going lately,” Johnson said. Regardless, the expanded ACC is a united ACC. ■

ACC Newcomers About Notre Dame Location: South Bend, Ind. Enrollment: 8,371 Nickname: Fighting Irish Noteworthy: Notre Dame’s football program will retain its independent status but will play five ACC games a season starting in 2014.

About Pittsburgh Location: Pittsburgh, Pa. Enrollment: 18,427 Nickname: Panthers Noteworthy: Pitt will be one of only two ACC football programs to play its home games off campus. The Panthers play in Heinz Field, built for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Miami is the other ACC team to play home games off campus.

About Syracuse Location: Syracuse, N.Y. Enrollment: 14,798 Nickname: Orange Noteworthy: Syracuse has not fielded a varsity baseball program since 1972, although there is movement to elevate the current club team to varsity status.

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through the years

1971-1978 Clemson Duke Maryland North Carolina NC State Virginia Wake Forest 1978-1991 Clemson Duke Georgia Tech Maryland North Carolina NC State Virginia Wake Forest 1991-2004 Clemson Duke Florida State Georgia Tech Maryland North Carolina NC State Virginia Wake Forest 2004-2005 Clemson Duke Florida State Georgia Tech Maryland Miami North Carolina NC State Virginia Virginia Tech Wake Forest

2005-2013 Boston College Clemson Duke Florida State Georgia Tech Maryland Miami North Carolina NC State Virginia Virginia Tech Wake Forest 2013-2014 Boston College Clemson Duke Florida State Georgia Tech Maryland Miami North Carolina NC State Notre Dame Pittsburgh Syracuse Virginia Virginia Tech Wake Forest 2014Boston College Clemson Duke Florida State Georgia Tech Louisville Miami North Carolina NC State Notre Dame Pittsburgh Syracuse Virginia Virginia Tech Wake Forest

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VB volleyball

Colson and Co. are driven to make the postseason this fall.

SETTING UP FOR SUCCESS

Senior setter Kaleigh Colson wants more for Georgia Tech Volleyball in 2013

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By Jon Cooper

Two and a half games. That was the difference between Georgia Tech (19-12, 10-10) getting into the NCAA Volleyball Tournament — as NC State (22-10, 12-8) did and Clemson (21-10, 12-8) nearly did — and not getting in, something the Yellow Jackets haven’t done since 2009. That difference eats at Kaleigh Colson and the senior setter from Austin, Texas, is determined to do something about it in 2013. “It’s a huge deal for us,” said Colson, who graduates in May with a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. “We have never been, so this is our last chance. We’re all on the same page as to that’s one of our goals.” Getting and keeping the team on the same page on the court is the setter’s job, and few setters in the ACC, if any, do it better than Colson. The numbers say so. Last season, her 10.53 assists per set (1,221 total assists) ranked second in the ACC — trailing only Florida State’s Nrithya Sundararaman (10.72 assists/set) — while her 10.53 a/s (800 assists) in conference play set the pace. Her coaches and teammates say so, too, and that’s based on more than just sheer numbers. “She’s a kid that everybody on the team looks up to,” said head coach Tonya Johnson. “They love the fact that she’s confident but they also love the fact that she’s not up and down. She has the same look on her face whether she just lost a point or she just won a point. From that standpoint she provides some stability for this team, for them to stay even-keel and not experience the highs and lows of a momentum volleyball match.” “Everything she does, whether it’s extra reps or getting in the gym by herself or even in practice, she’s always focused for her teammates,” added sophomore middle blocker Chanell Clark-Bibbs. “She’s willing to

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make sacrifices, especially on the court. She’s always asking for feedback so she can better the ball for the hitters. She expects a lot from the defense so she can get a good set for the hitters. Everything she does is to better the team.” She’s also a fiery competitor who expects a lot from herself on every point she’s on the floor, a place she expects to be. That passion comes from experiencing first hand what missing out on floor time can be like. After seeing the floor for only two sets as a freshman, something she expected as she observed and learned from legendary setter Mary Ashley Tippins, Colson found her path to starting derailed early in her sophomore season, something she did not expect. “I had worked my tail off the off-season of my freshman year to start and then I ended up getting hurt in preseason and couldn’t start, and had to fight my way back for my spot,” she recalled. “Last year I was a starter for an entire season. So, I’ve really seen all aspects of it, which makes me appreciate my time on the court. I know it’s not a right and I know it’s not just going to be given to me. I have to work for it every day.” As she showed last season, what she does is not limited to setting. Colson, one of four players in school history to record a triple-double (12 kills, 34 assists, 11 digs, on Oct. 16, 2011 at Miami), racked up 43 service aces (0.37 per set), fourth in the ACC, seven of them in the Sept. 8 match against Jacksonville, with 98 kills, fourth on the team, on .345 hitting, second on the team — she would have ranked seventh in the ACC. “Serving is such a huge part of the game. It’s always awesome when we can serve with aggression and get points that way. It’s the first ball of each point so it’s the easiest way to get points,” she said. “Attacking-wise, it’s always a benefit when your setter can be a threat as well and being left-handed makes it a ton easier for me to attack compared to being right-

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handed just because of the angle. It’s easier to do. So that’s a benefit also.” Perhaps the biggest benefit Colson, the lone returning starter from last year’s team, provides is her leadership through her demeanor. “I never get too high and energized but I don’t really drop off,” she said. “It’s that steady kind of energy and I think that really helps for people to look at me and know they’ll always know where their passes are going and to just calm them down if they need to. That’s kind of my role, to bring people back when things are going wrong, be someone to look to if they’re struggling or can’t really focus, or have too much going on.” While Colson preaches even-keel and calm that doesn’t mean she is incapable of showing emotion. “I remember one time in practice I actually raised my voice at somebody on the court and people were kind of like, ‘Whoa. I didn’t know you could do that.’” she said, with a laugh. “It felt a little uncomfortable but it’s just something you have to get used to. It’s one of those things that’s not a personal attack on anybody. It’s more, ‘I care about you and I want you to perform at your best. I’m getting on you because I know you have more to give’.” “She definitely has a little bit of an angry side,” said Clark-Bibbs. “I’ve seen it before. When we’re in certain workouts or certain parts of the game and we need to push, she has no problem with expressing that and letting her teammates know that there’s a sense of urgency that needs to be addressed at that moment in time. That’s how you know it’s game time, it’s serious.” Georgia Tech is serious about getting back to the NCAA Tournament, but have big shoes to fill. Following the program’s best season in three years and second-best in the Tonya Johnson era, which begins year five in 2013, the Jackets have some big shoes to fill, as five seniors have graduated, including legendary outside hitters Monique Mead, a three-time All-American and the school’s all-time kills leader, and Bailey Hunter, who with Mead, made up the team’s hitting leaders the last four years. Middle blocker Annie Czarnecki, the team’s leading blocker in 2012 also graduated as did the team’s 1-2 punch at Libero/defensive specialist, Nicki Meyer and Susan Carlson. Still, Johnson likes the look of the team’s frontline in seniors Jennifer Percy (110 kills in 63 matches, 1.75 per set) and Ivona Kolak, who missed most of 2012 due to injury, but impressed during the spring after moving to the right side, and junior Courtney Felinski (85 kills in 53 matches, 1.60 per set). Clark-Bibbs, who was named to the ACC All-Freshman team last season and played for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the U20 World Championships over the summer, and senior Quinn Evans vie for time at middle blocker. That’s an area the Jackets hope to improve as last season Tech finished ninth in the ACC with 2.12 blocks per set. “We have two disciplined kids who thrive off of that,” said Johnson. “Chanell wants to be a great blocker in this game and that’s really hard to be because it’s the most technical skill of all the skills that we train in volleyball. Quinn is the same way.” Libero/DS, meanwhile, is wide open. “I think (junior) Zoey [Morton] improved a ton, (sophomore) Wimberly [Wilson] made great strides and you’ve got (freshman) London Ackermann coming in from Louisville,” said Johnson. “So our gym is going to be pretty competitive but I do think they’ll all contribute.” Johnson is eager to see where Tech’s five incoming freshmen — Ackermann, twins Annika and Teegan Van Gunst (Annika is a middle blocker, Teegan, an outside hitter) from Fayetteville, Ga., setter Rebecca Martin from Novi, Mich., and 6-2 middle blocker Lauren Pitz from Carmel, Ind. — fit in the battle for court time. The spirited competition and the overall positive morale during summer and pre-season workouts has created a different feel around the 2013 team. It’s a closeness that Colson feels can lift the Jackets back into postseason. “We have been so close the past few years,” said Colson. “I think in the past we’ve had a point in the season where we’ve had a little lull. School picks up, you have your midterms coming in and it’s just a really stressful time. We’ve kind of let some [matches] slip away from us during that part of the season. I think it’s going to be huge for us this year, to power

Colson ranked at or near the top of every ACC statistical assists category last season.

through that as a team and find a way to win, even when it gets tough.” There will be tough sledding in the conference. Defending champion Florida State (27-3, 18-2) will once again be loaded, led by 6-3 senior middle blocker Ashley Neff, the 2012 ACC Player of the Year and the conference’s leading returning hitter (248 kills in 2012, including a career-high-tying 16 vs. Georgia Tech, and a .380 attack percentage). Expect Miami (25-5, 17-3) to be right on FSU’s heels, led by senior outside hitter and defending ACC Player of the Year candidate Alex Johnson (nine double-doubles, 86 assists and a .263 hitting percentage). Other challengers in the conference should be North Carolina, which may boast the best front line in the conference, with 6-2 redshirt junior outside hitter Chaniel Nelson (278 kills, 123 blocks), 6-2 sophomore middle blocker Paige Neuenfeldt (277 kills, 135 blocks) and up-and-coming 6-0 sophomore outside hitter Lauren Adkins (172 kills in just 13 starts). Clemson, featuring super-athletic 6-0 senior outside hitter Mo Simmons (345 kills, 334 digs, 88 blocks) also could be heard from, as could ACC newcomer Notre Dame, behind junior Toni Alugbue (a team-leading 390 kills last season). Regardless of how high the mountain might appear, Colson and Co. are ready to give it a go. She and fellow seniors Percy, Evans and Kolak know how they want to go out. “We’re going to be a really balanced, fast offense, which is going to be great,” said Colson. “We’re a close group of four. We’ve been through everything together, from the first year to this last year and we’re going to go down swinging.” ■

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mB Men’s Basketball

THE FIVE-YEAR PLAN

Tech’s small-town, big-man tandem has endured and become the anchor of the Yellow Jackets

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By Matt Winkeljohn

They’re going on five years side-by-side so it’s no stretch to label seniors Daniel Miller and Kam Holsey a rare tandem. College basketball players don’t often spend five years in a program, let alone two at the exact same time, yet Georgia Tech has a pair. These bigs are simultaneously simpatico, although not so much peas in a pod as a pea and a garbanzo bean. Small, Georgia towns produced each -- Miller hails from Loganville, Holsey from Sparta. Although they’ve never been roommates (a basketball staffer sets living arrangements), they hang out so much that Holsey says, “To me, he’s just like another brother. We can talk about anything; we’re like this.” And Miller reports, “We’ve become good friends, and we kind of see eye-to-eye on stuff.” It’s true; sometimes the slightest eye contact from one prompts hysterical laughter from the other. Matter of fact, they’re not serious very often, and definitely unique apart. Miller is a 6-foot-11 ½ shot-blocking center whom coaches have to goose into attack mode on offense. Even Holsey says, “I’m always telling Dan to be aggressive. I’ll be like, ‘Dan, go at ‘em.’” Holsey is a 6-8 ½ forward/pogo stick of whom Miller says, “sometimes you have to calm down.” They are two of Tech’s three team captains (Jason Morris is the third), and both young men have goods on the other. Think of big Daniel Miller, he of few words delivered in a bass that resonates as low thunder, super wide shoulders, sleepy eyes and deliberate gait. Now, let Holsey alter your view: “You should see him in a golfing suit, in his hat, his shoes, shorts and shirt. At 6-11 ½ playing golf? It’s funny. He loves to fish and hunt. He’s a country dude,” Holsey says. “And every now and then, he’ll dance. You have to catch him at the right time.” Turns out these guys bust out their moves in the locker room before games. “It’s nothing you want to see,” Miller says with a hardy laugh. “It entertains those guys when one of the white guys will dance, especially me because I’m the big, goofy one. Kam dancing is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He takes a lot of pride in it. “He’s got this one move that he’ll do before every game. He’s got his go-to dance move. He likes using the arms at first, back and forth, and then some kind of Irish leprechaun dance to end it.” When Holsey gets his jig on, that tends to give Miller happy feet, too. There was no dancing when first they met. It was late summer in 2008, and they were opponents just before senior years in high school. Miller’s AAU team – the Georgia Ballers – met the Georgia Stars and future Jackets Holsey and Glen Rice, Jr., in a championship game at Westlake High. That was less than a year before Miller and Holsey would enroll at Tech in a freshman signing class that included Derrick Favors, Mfon Udofia, Brian Oliver and Rice. “They kind of took us as a joke. We had a bunch of good guys; they were just smaller,” Miller says. “When we played them, they had all those good stars – Kenny Hall who went to Tennessee, Glen, Kam ... so we shouldn’t have won that game.” The Ballers won, and Miller was the BIGgest reason. “I remember thinking, ‘Man, he’s a big kid,’” Holsey says. “I just know he blocked everything, and finished around the rim. He was throwing everything out.” They met again in June of ‘09 at Tech, although Miller first signed a let-

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Since arriving at Tech five years ago, Daniel Miller (left) and Kam Holsey have seen great change: a new coach, a new arena and an expanded conference, for example.

ter of intent with Georgia only to ask for and be granted his release after UGA fired coach Dennis Felton. There have been other transitions: Tech fired Paul Hewitt, the coach who recruited both players, after ‘10-’11, and in ‘11-’12 the Jackets played home games in Gwinnett and Philips Arena as Alexander Memorial Coliseum was converted to McCamish Pavilion. Worst of all, where Miller asked to redshirt on an ‘09-’10 team that had Gani Lawal, Favors, Zach Peacocke and Brad Sheehan in the post, Holsey didn’t have a choice. On the last day of ‘09 summer classes, he tore an anterior cruciate knee ligament playing in the Atlanta Pro-Am league popular among current and former Tech players. “Derrick Favors, who had played a game or two [and suffered a facial laceration] told me I shouldn’t play. I said, ‘If we win, we’re going to the championship,’” Holsey recalls. “Jarrett Jack was playing [for the opposing team], and Will Bynum and Josh Smith. I got a rebound, took a

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dribble, made a spin move, and my knee kind of buckled.” Holsey’s injury led to more time with Miller as they red-shirted, and worked out. “The more I got to know him, I realized he has a sense of humor. He’s a funny guy,” Holsey says. “I call him Big Goofy sometimes. He’ll ask me where I get my energy.” That hasn’t been one of the changes. If Holsey’s not a get-it-and-gun-it guy, he’s in the zip code and good at it. His eagerness begs an occasional turnover, though, and coaches aren’t the only ones coaching. “There’s times when ... he’ll do too much when his best move is just to do the hook shot that goes in 80 percent of the time,” Miller says. “A lot of times, he gets called for traveling. He gets excited. Now, everybody knows his reputation and sends a double [team] because they know he’s not passing. “I try to help him out as much as I can. At times, because he was coming off the bench, he felt like he had to cover for time that he’d missed and he’d rush everything.” Miller, too, needs peer pressure. Holsey says, “I tell him to take the mindset that nobody can stop you. I say, ‘Be hungry like you haven’t eaten in three or four days. You’re starving, and you’ve got to eat.’” They’re both driven. Holsey is on track to graduate in May with a degree in Science, Technology and Culture, and Miller will walk with paper in Business Management. And they both drive. “He loves talking about his girlfriend, and showing me pictures of the flowers he sends her . . . I’m getting him good,” Miller says. “He probably gives me more rides than I give him. The other day I did take him to Walmart, because we had to put his new bike in the car. He and his girlfriend have a bike thing going.” Imagine! Wouldn’t it be something to see video of Kam Holsey on a two-wheeler? Miller’s smiling when he says, “I’ve got it all right here.” ■

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at alexandertharpe fund

donor profile: Art Brannen Growing up near Grant Field, Georgia Tech was Art Brannen’s first and only destination

By Simit Shah

Like a lot of Georgia Tech fans, Art Brannen remembers November 17, 1962 well. Bobby Dodd engineered a 7-6 upset of top-ranked Alabama and Bear Bryant, recording what Dodd would call the “greatest victory” of his storied coaching career. Brannen wasn’t at Grant Field that afternoon, but the youngster lived just north of Tech’s campus and was within earshot of the school’s traditional victory signal. “I remember hearing the whistle going off that day,” he recalled. “It’s a very distinct memory for me.” Brannen didn’t have any family that had attended Tech, and in fact his father was a University of Georgia graduate, but that didn’t stop him from pledging his loyalty to the Yellow Jackets at a young age. Following in his older brother’s footsteps, Brannen spent many fall Saturday afternoons at Grant Field selling Cokes and seatbacks, and watching Dodd battle the likes of Auburn, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia. “I can’t even remember how much I was making, but it was all about getting a chance to watch Georgia Tech play. They had some great teams with great players,” he said, rattling off a list of some of his favorites. Brannen graduated from nearby Grady High School in 1968, and Georgia Tech was the only school that he even seriously considered attending. “I was always a Tech fan, and when I started thinking about colleges, that was the natural choice,” he related. Brannen paid his own way through Georgia Tech. Beginning in high school and through his years at Tech, he worked at least 30 hours a week at the Big Apple grocery store on North Highland Avenue. Like so many Georgia Tech students before and after him, Brannen found the curriculum to be overwhelming in some areas. He entered the school as a math major and did

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well in most of his core classes with one exception. “I really struggled with chemistry. I flunked 101, made a D in 102 and a C in 103, so I was really coming on,” he joked. Brannen was also on the freshman basketball team, an experience he remembers fondly. “We usually played games right before the varsity team, and we played some junior colleges, too,” he explained. “One small claim to fame is that I played in the first game at Littlejohn Coliseum at Clemson, and we ended up winning against their freshman team.” While Brannen was enjoying his experiences outside the classroom, the academic demands led him to take some time off from school and enter the Coast Guard reserves at the end of his freshman year. “Most people were going into the reserves to get out of the draft, but I went into the reserves to get out of Georgia Tech,” he laughed. “I just needed to get away since I was struggling. I was on active duty for about six months, and I got a chance to mature. When I came back, I started making better grades.” When he returned to Georgia Tech, Brannen also switched his major to industrial management, focusing on his interest in business. He was an active member of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity as the group’s director of professional activities. He became keenly interested in raising the political awareness on campus and helped to arrange visits from speakers like Andrew Young, a candidate for Congress at the time, and Sam Nunn, who was running for his first Senate term. Brannen earned his degree in 1973, but he didn’t have any clear plan for a career. “I had no idea what I wanted to do,” he remembered. “By chance, we had taken a field trip to Holder Construction Company, and they were interested in management ma-

jors since a lot of their work involved managing construction projects. I got to know them, and when they came to campus to interview civil engineering graduates, they agreed to interview me. They ended up hiring me, and that really got me started in the industry.” He stayed at Holder for four years, spending most of that time based in Miami. Brannen then moved on to jobs with a real estate developer and another construction firm before starting Brannen Development Company in 1981. Over the years, the company has built and developed numerous successful projects in 12 states, but Brannen has always kept the operation lean and focused. “I’ve liked to stay small,” he stated. “I have seven employees right now. When I first started, I had two employees. I’ve always like being an entrepreneur and staying small. I like being involved in the small details. “For the last several years I have discouraged people from entering the construction industry, but now with demand increasing and supply decreasing (many people retiring) I think it’s a good industry for someone young,” he added. “We just hired a recent engineering graduate from Georgia Tech.” Starting his own company in Atlanta gave Brannen an opportunity to reconnect with his alma mater, and he’s rarely missed a basketball or football home game in the last 30 years. He’s one of the few that can say he’s been to every bowl game during Tech’s current 16-year streak, which includes destinations like Orlando, Miami (twice), Seattle, San Francisco, Boise (twice) and El Paso (twice). “All of those trips have been memorable in their own way,” Brannen said. “It’s been a great experience, and I always enjoy meeting Georgia Tech fans on those trips.” Brannen has also been an active member of the Alexander-Tharpe

Fund and became a Life Member over a decade ago. He’s always had a passion for the basketball team and is still close friends with Bobby Cremins. “There are lots of way to help Georgia Tech,” Brannen said. “Even if they don’t reach out to you, there’s always an open door for alumni to get involved with the mission of the school.” More recently, he has helped support golf and tennis programs, and one of the main competition courts at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex is named after him. The more he’s around the school’s athletic programs, the more he’s been impressed with its caliber. “The more I’ve gotten to know the coaches and student-athletes at Georgia Tech, the more I appreciate our school and student-athletes,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for them, and they are special people that work hard in the classroom and on the field. It’s just a different environment than other schools.” Brannen is a member of the Alumni Association’s board of trustees and has also donated his time and money to the Scheller College of Management. He served on the school’s advisory board, and the school’s commons area within Technology Square is named after him. This quote from him is prominently featured in the area: “With organized hard work, you’ll never lose sight of your dreams.” “There are probably a lot of students that were just like me at Georgia Tech,” he noted. “There are two skills that Tech really teaches you. It conditions you to organize and be a hard worker. On top of that, you learn how to solve problems. In my profession, those skills have helped me tremendously. I feel that I’m good at what I do because of those skills that Tech taught me, and that’s probably the case for most graduates.” ■

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Gift Planning at Georgia Tech

The following feature is by Peter J. Ticconi, Jr., senior director of Gift Planning in the Office of Development at Georgia Tech.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.” – Yogi Berra This amusing and well-known quote from Yogi Berra is applicable to much more in life than just baseball. By their very nature, human beings benefit tremendously from the activity of planning. We all know how true this is for financial planning, family planning, and retirement planning. The process of planning provides us with a roadmap for reaching a specific destination point. While it may not seem obvious at first blush, this is also true when it comes to planning your philanthropy. When you craft a gift plan, the starting point is always the needs of you and your family. Your support for Tech can be optimized to accomplish personal objectives that match your family interests. In my 30+ years, I have worked with engaged donors with dedicated gift purposes. In so many words, their well-formed gift plans have provided great satisfaction. In today’s philanthropy, donors are more engaged than ever with their gifts, choosing to ensure that their support is effectively used for purposes that line up with their passions and values while enabling Georgia Tech to secure solutions to present-day challenges as well as prepare for the unanticipated challenges of the future. What makes philanthropy exciting and perplexing at the same time is the strange and wonderful feeling that comes with creating a plan to do good things. Fitting the plan into an individual donor situation might be thought of in the realm of the “art and science of philanthropy.” Once a donor decides to make a gift, then a gift plan can come together that artfully accomplishes donor wishes. The science of philanthropy might be thought of taking advantage of the tax laws allowing tax benefits that include charitable deductions and tax credits, all of which to help maximize gift impact. A few years ago, I was watching a Tech basketball game with an alumnus who told me that it was not a question of whether he would make a gift to Georgia Tech athletics, but rather when. He said that he’d made up his mind to make a gift to Tech that might have an impact many years earlier, leaving open the question as to when his

plan could come together. When, for him, was a matter of timing asset liquidity, planning family wealth transfer, and focusing on a designated use that could make a difference. In bringing his philanthropic plan together, he had a conversation with the dean that connected him with pressing needs to help advance the college, and a gift designation was in view. Family concerns were addressed with their advisors, and the best ways to complete their gift were introduced by the Gift Planning team. At the end of the day, their plan came together on their terms, fulfilling their passion to make a difference with steady immediate support today for Georgia Tech and long-term future support through their estates tomorrow – a winning combination all around for the donor, his family, and Georgia Tech. As you make your plan, it is worth bearing in mind four interests in the estate planning process: selfinterest, family-interest, the IRS, and philanthropy. The first phase of planning rightfully should focus on ensuring your and your family’s security. Next, address your philanthropy with an understanding of the taxes that would be due as a part of your

family planning in the absence of philanthropy. Once you decide philanthropy has a place in your gift plan, you can address how to make your gift, when to make it, and what assets to use to fund the plan. Timing gift support using tax-efficient assets and deciding on the right method of giving to complete the plan are key elements that move the plan in to action. The right “ways to give” will emerge based on personal objectives that work with family circumstances, whether giving longterm appreciated stock or a limited partnership interest to create a straightforward outright gift or one that pays income for a life. Donor needs always come first in the planning process. Yes, it may seem a bit like a role reversal away from selling the Athletic Association’s needs for funding, but ultimately, donor aspirations do converge with the needs and vision for Georgia Tech athletics. Please know that the AlexanderTharpe Fund is just a phone call or e-mail away. We hope that you will think of us as a personal resource to help you building your gift plan for Georgia Tech athletics. ■

For more information on Gift Planning at Georgia Tech, contact Jim Hall at 404-894-8219 or jhall@athletics.gatech.edu

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Enhancing the Student-Athlete experience through your gifts and commitments.

$30,000

One football team charter flight

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Laptop per Student-Athlete

$15,000

Football team hotel stay per game

$900

Team Game Day hydration

$3,992

Student-Athlete meal plan per year

$8,000

Football team ground transportation per game

$27,562

$8,258

Student-Athlete out-of-state tuition per year

Student-Athlete in-state tuition per year

$25,000

Cleats and shoes per season

$8,126

Student-Athlete housing per year

$1,500

Uniforms, practice clothes and jerseys per Student-Athlete

$5,000

$350

Footballs per season

Per helmet

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Profile for GTAthletics

Buzz Magazine (August, 2013  

Georgia Tech Athletics' quarterly magazine.

Buzz Magazine (August, 2013  

Georgia Tech Athletics' quarterly magazine.

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