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Tennis Junkie Rising tennis star Chris Eubanks had a summer to remember on both sides of the Atlantic

FALL 2015





fall FALL 2015 • VOLUME 9, NUMBER 1


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In This Issue 4 10


Chris Eubanks had a summer to remember on both sides of the Atlantic

PROVING GROUND Athletes in all Tech sports use the summer months to hone their skills and compete on a different level

14 18 22 26 30 32




Georgia Tech Athletic Association is working to get the most from its world-class facilities

BACK UP TO SPEED A broken leg cut short Broderick Snoddy’s 2014 season, but not his football and track career

FEARLESS IN SEATTLE Far from Tech and his Kentucky home, Steve Raible has become a Hall of Fame broadcaster

TOP OF THE CLASS Highly-decorated class of nine to be inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame Oct. 16

DONOR PROFILE: TOM COOPAT Former Tech swimmer has kept tabs on the Jackets from the corners of the globe

AT-FUND Athletic Facilities Update Scholarship Endowment Update Annual Giving

Boosters and student-athlete employment







Eubanks and ATP World Tour veteran Donald Young, both from Atlanta, teamed up to win two doubles matches at the BB&T Atlanta Open.




Chris Eubanks admits he is a “tennis junkie.” Armed with a devastating serve and great court coverage, while carrying a long and not-yet- filled out, 6-foot-7 frame, the Atlanta native played at No. 1 singles for the Jackets as a freshman and is glued to YouTube watching classic tennis matches -- or any others he can find -- when he isn’t playing. So it’s only natural that any summer plans would involve tennis. For Eubanks, that meant living a fantasy camp-like three months, first traveling Europe with an ATP pro and attending Wimbledon, then getting to actually play singles and doubles in the prestigious BB&T Atlanta Open. The fun started when Eubanks got invited by close friend and 11-year ATP pro Donald Young to accompany him around Europe for a few weeks. Eubanks and Young, seven years his senior, have known and hit with each other since Eubanks was 12. The two have formed a relationship that has grown beyond mentor-protégé into one more closely resembling big brother-little brother. “I think it was right after NCAAs. It was a quick text, ‘Hey man, do you think you’d be free to maybe go to Wimbledon and do the grass court circuit with me?’ I was like, ‘Sure!’ That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go over there and see that up close, get a behind-the-scenes look.” Traveling with his “big brother” wasn’t all fun as Eubanks served as Young’s hitting partner. “When it was time to get on the practice courts, I had to give him my all, because I didn’t want him to feel like it was a mistake me coming,” he said. “So I gave it everything I had to make the practices as good as I could. Hopefully I did my job.” “[He helped] a lot,” said Young, the No. 75-ranked player in the world, who had taken Eubanks around Europe, including to Roland Garros for WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM



Television also apparently doesn’t do justice to the fan experience during matches. You can throw out the image MEN’S of the stuffy crowds in which yelling and TENNIS cheering are frowned upon. “I always heard Wimbledon was more ‘the right way,’ more gentlemen with the clapping, quiet crowd. It’s not like that over there,” he said, “maybe on Centre Court. Those tickets are very exclusive, very hard to get. But when you’re on the outer courts, they’re chanting, they’re pumping you up. It’s a really cool experience, especially on the outdoor courts. TV really doesn’t do that justice. Everybody has a little bit of fever. “On the outdoor courts, they go wild,” he continued. “It’s a really cool atmosphere. At the outdoor courts fans are usually a lot closer than they are on the stadium courts, so it may not be as loud on a decibel meter as Centre Court but how close it is and to hear all the people, I think that gives a different feel to it. When I set foot on those courts, and I saw some of the seating, the stands, the stadium in the background, it was like, ‘Wow, this is showtime.’” As part of Eubanks’ first trip to Wimbledon, he got to volley on Centre Court while Young was practicing with former UGA star, John Isner. He took another day to just sit in Centre Court and admire. “No one was in there. The courts were covered because it rained, so it interrupted a practice,” he said. “So we got to go into Centre Court, sit down and take it all in. It was really cool. Everything around it, all of the courts, they take so much pride in keeping Wimbledon so prestigious.” The experience allowed him to imagine Eubanks returns from his summer abroad and the BB&T Atlanta Open richer for the experiences. playing in and winning the event. Another cool benefit of practicing with Young was that it allowed him to show his stuff against some of the best players on the French Open, in 2012. “He’s a little brother-type figure. We talked the ATP, and it even provided an opportunity to show his stuff on a difabout girls and all the stuff people talk about. It’s good motivation. He’s ferent court -- the basketball court -- in an impromptu basketball game, seen me play a lot. I’d just throw a little information his way here and with pros Bernard Tomic, Ernests Gulbis, and Gaël Monfils, during some there. It was a great trip. It’s been great to bring him around, get him downtime. around the pros.” He showed he had game, torching Tomic. Exchanging forehands and rubbing elbows with ATP pros was fun but “Bernard is very efficient in his moves, he’s not going to run too much, not as awe-inspiring as it used to be, although there still were a couple of so the first couple of times I got the ball, I shot it and made a few jumpers players whose presence did distract him. right off the bat,” he recalled. “I get more and more confidence because “The first time it actually hit me was when we were sitting in Madrid, he still wasn’t playing that close to me. So I would get the ball maybe step and he looks at me and he says, ‘’Fed (Roger Federer) just walked by.’ I back behind the three and I started letting them go and they kept going in. looked and I see him and I’m like, ‘Okay, that’s actually HIM,’” he re“Monfils started getting mad. He started saying, ‘Will you GUARD called. “Maybe five seconds of that and then it goes away. I got to see some more players over there, see some of the women, like Sloane Stephens and him? Will you GUARD him?’ Bernard goes, ‘Gaël, he’s almost shooting from half-court. What do you want me to do?’ He said, ‘Put a hand up.’ So Serena [Williams]. When you see them, your initial reaction may be like, they started going back and forth.” ‘Oh, I’ve seen them on TV.’ But it goes away after a while. It’s just like, That confidence got the better of him a little later on, as he received a ‘They’re people, too.’ The aura doesn’t stay forever.” reminder from Monfils, that while he has the skills to compete with the The same cannot be said of Wimbledon, itself. pros, he’s still only 19 and not quite at their level yet physically. “Now THAT’S a different story,” he said. “When you’re watching it on “The things that [Monfils] can do on the tennis court just blow your TV, you don’t really get the full magnitude of how Wimbledon is actually in a neighborhood and the way they actually built the whole city of London mind, but the things that he can do on the basketball court are absolutely ridiculous,” raved Eubanks. “He took some dunks that were almost pretty much around Wimbledon.” similar to LeBron-style. He’d throw himself an alley-oop, catch it with two



hands, throw it so hard it shakes the rim.” Seeing an opportunity to posterize the 28-year-old, 6-4, 177-pound Frenchman, who is in his 11th year on the tour and ranked 17th, Eubanks went for it. “There was one possession where I got an outlet pass, and I was going down court. Gael’s standing in the corner, catching his breath,” he recalled. “I look at him as I’m dribbling and I’m like, ‘He’s about to go up with me.’ Eubanks saw it as the stuff of dreams. “In my head, as I’m going up, I’m thinking, ‘This is about to be a great story,’” Eubanks said. “I take a couple of dribbles, he gets closer, we go up at the same time.’” Then reality set in. “I go up and then the story doesn’t go that great. It’s not going to be the story that I want to tell,” he said with a laugh. “My body hits his and then my body just caves over. He went straight up in the air, no foul or anything. I’m cocked back ready to go on top of him and it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t even come close. After that, I said, ‘At least I tried.’ But there’s no way I could do that. That guy is a freak, an absolute athletic specimen.” It turned into an unforgettable moment, though. “Monfils, he’s a pretty aggressive defensive player. [Eubanks] tried to take it to him and he couldn’t get by him,” said Young, stifling a laugh. “It was crazy, but he shot a lot of threes and they really liked him and they want to play with him again sometime.” Eubanks left England feeling the same way about getting on the same side of the net as his “big brother.” “That would be pretty cool,” he said. “I hope one day that gets to happen.” That “one day” came sooner than he’d realize, as only weeks after returning to the States, Eubanks teamed with Young, at the BB&T Atlanta Open (he received a Wild Card invitation to play both singles and doubles).

While he was unable to advance past Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in the first round of singles, falling 6-2, 6-2, Eubanks and Young had great success. They won a pair of matches to get to the semifinals. It took the world’s No. 1 team and the most prolific doubles team ever formed, the Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike, to derail the Eubanks/Young express, as they dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision. The dream of a title was over...for 2015, at least, but the way Eubanks represented himself and the experience gained during the summer of 2015 will benefit the 19-year-old, down the road. “He’s developing a lot in the physical part. I think when he went to school he was 145, Now he’s about 170 or close,” said Young. “He’s picking up weight, he’s serving better, he’s hitting cleaner, he’s doing a lot more fitness because you have to do it. All that can only help him get better. “Honestly, there isn’t a ceiling for guys like that,” Young continued. “Guys that are over 6-5, they can take the racket out of your hand. If they can be consistent with that they can give everybody on tour trouble. It’s a matter of how hard he wants to work, and how hard he wants to play and if he really wants to do it, because if he wants to do it he can be a great player.” Eubanks definitely wants it. He wants it all -- from his Wimbledon dream to getting redemption with Monfils. He can’t wait to get back to England and do Wimbledon again, with one caveat. “Hopefully as a player. That’s the ultimate goal,” he said. “I got a little taste. The next time I want my name on the credential.”




...{ period! }




Baseball sophomore Kel Johnson belted 23 home runs in this summer’s TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby in Omaha, Neb.


Summer is a time when students-athletes relax and unwind, unfettered from the burdens and responsibilities of academics. But having no classes doesn’t mean they are any less competitive. If anything, given more time Georgia Tech’s student-athletes let the athletic part of their DNA come to the forefront and take over. Many Yellow Jackets honed their chosen crafts over the summer, putting on impressive performances in all parts of the globe. Buzz



Magazine took a random cross-section of the participating Jackets student-athletes and how they spent their summers. While it isn’t close to a complete retrospective of the entire Yellow Jackets student-athlete body, the excellence and passion of those mentioned is indicative of it.

“I played the last month of the season as a Yellow Jacket and I was not myself,” he said. “It was apparent to my coaches, my teammates and any fan that I was not myself. I wasn’t swinging the same and I wasn’t running the same, due to my front ankle. So now it has become priority No. 1 to come back to full health, 100 percent, not some 75 or 80 percent, but 100 percent.”







The power-hitting outfielder from Palmetto, Ga., showed just how much power he was packing when he put on a breath-taking performance in the sixth annual TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby on July 2 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb. Johnson blasted 23 home runs, with 17 bombs coming in the first round, a total topped only by eventual winner Jeff Campbell of North Dakota. While happy to be there, the freshman soaked up the entire experience but never swung like he was just happy to be there. “It was really an honor,” said Johnson, who led all ACC freshmen with 10 home runs, despite missing 13 games with an ankle injury. “I have confidence in myself and my ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, but I was not sure that I had portrayed that thoroughly enough in the short time I was able to show my power for the first month and a half or so of the season. So to hear that they had the confidence in me to give me that opportunity, I was definitely very grateful.” Over the summer’s final month, Johnson played for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the premier summer baseball league in the country. He plans on using all of what transpired to create an even better 2016.

Italian-born point guard Antonia Peresson followed up her freshman season (32 games, 22 starts, 3.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 30.2 shooting from three) by representing her country at the U20 European Championships held in Lanzarote, Spain. The 5-9 sharpshooter helped Italy to a 5-4 record, good for fifth place overall, and made the Italians a tough matchup, as both Championship finalists, France and Spain, sweated out tough games against Italy. Peresson displayed the kind of shooting that Yellow Jackets Coach MaChelle Joseph envisioned, as she made 42.6 of her attempts from behind the arc in the tournament. “I probably had more threes than twos,” said Peresson, with a laugh (she made 20 three-pointers vs. 11 two-point field goals). “This year, here at Georgia Tech, Coach Jo made me shoot more threes than twos so I got used to that type of game. I prefer to shoot threes.” Peresson had four double-digit scoring games (her high was 17 in a 64-60 loss to Portugal), and hit multiple three-pointers in six of the nine games (she nailed a personal tournament-best five vs. Portugal). She plans to step up and step into more threes on the Flats this year to help fill the scoring void left by the transfer of leading scorer Kaela Davis and expects big things from the Jackets. “I think this year we are such a great team. I like everybody,” she said. “We can do really big things.”

The summer of 2015 was back to the future for junior Vincent Whaley. Whaley, who was all-state at McKinney Boyd High School, in McKinney, Texas, found his game recording three top-15 finishes and qualifying for the U.S. Amateur. “I’ve been working really hard on keeping my clubface as square as I can for as long as I can, kind of like how Dustin Johnson swings,” he said. “It feels really simple when it’s on and it’s working properly. I just noticed after ACC, I didn’t play very well, and I had to think back to when I did play well, and I made the connection that I’m just trying to keep my foundation as square as I can for as long as I can. Brennan Webb, our assistant coach, and I did a lot of work on that.” That work paid off over the summer. Whaley started by posting a top-10 finish at the 75th Monroe Invitational at the Monroe Golf Course in Pittsford, N.Y., overcoming a tough start by shooting rounds of 2-under-par and even over the final three days. The Monroe was Vince’s first top-10 since winning the Robert Kepler Invitational in mid-April. He’d follow up with another top-10 the next weekend at the 86th annual Southeastern Amateur, in Columbus, Ga., where he tied for eighth. While he finished 39th at the Dogwood Invitational at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta and missed the cut at the Players Amateur in early July at the Berkeley Hall Club, Bluffton, S.C., Whaley finished the summer with a strong 12th-place at the Porter Cup played at Niagara Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y. He was consistent, shooting rounds of 1-under and 3-under and never shot a round higher than 2-over. The Porter Cup put a nice bow on Whaley’s summer and second year with the Yellow Jackets and bodes well for the upperclassman come 2016. WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM




Like Peresson, senior Yuval Safra had an opportunity to represent his native country, swimming with Israel at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. In his third appearance with Israel at the Worlds, Safra swam the 5K and 25K, finishing 26th in the 5K, with a time of 55:33.2 and 12th in the 25K, logging in at 5:02:52.9. “The World Championships are an amazing experience,” said Safra, who set Israeli records for the 5K and 10K while in high school and was one of four Yellow Jackets swimming at the Championships -- former Yellow Jackets Gal Nevo (Israel), and recent graduates Nico Van Duijn (The Netherlands) and Andrew Chetcuti (Malta) also were there. “You get to swim against the best swimmers in the world, which is an awesome challenge.” Yuval has blossomed into one of the Jackets’ top distance swimmers and will head into his senior year as the holder of top-five school marks in the 500 freestyle (4:21.48, second), 1,650 free (15:09.72, third), and 200 backstroke (1:43:49, third) and just out of the top five in the 1,000 free (9:17.22, sixth). He’ll look to build on a season that saw him set career-best times in seven different events (100 free, 500 free, 1,000 free, 1,650 free, 100 back, 200 back and 400 IM). Yuval also recorded career-best finishes of seventh in the 500 free with his personal best and was ninth in the 1,650 free at ACCs. The Worlds this summer were a great place to start.

The youngest of three tennis-playing Kays -- older brother Casey plays for the Jackets, while Casey’s twin sister, Whitney, stars at North Carolina -- Michael stepped into the spotlight over the summer. He reached the finals of a pair of events, then had an opportunity to qualify as a wild card at the BB&T Atlanta Open. The summer began with a finals appearance at the Atlanta City Open. The tournament’s fifth seed, Kay dominated, winning his first five matches in straight sets, even knocking off fellow Jacket Daniel Yun. But in the final, Kay lost, 6-2, 6-2, to No. 9 Trey Yates. Two weeks later Kay again swept through to the finals, this time of the U.S. Open National Playoffs Southern Qualifying tournament. He didn’t drop a set on the road to the finals, but, fell short against top seed Jesse Witten, who back in 2009 reached the third round of the US Open, losing 6-1, 6-4. All that quality tennis helped him earn one of four places in the BB&T Atlanta Open Wild Card Challenge, but he’d fall, 7-5, 6-3, to Trent Bryde from Life Tennis Academy on a brutally hot July day. Kay admitted he’d learned from his defeats. “I just need to look at mentality,” he said. “I was just too nervous coming out to play [against Bryde], made way too big of a deal out of it. Against Jesse Witten I overplayed a little bit against him, pulled the trigger on too many shots, could’ve stayed in the points a little bit longer.” He’ll take those learned lessons into 2016, where great things lie ahead.





While a lot is known about the superb summer of Georgia Tech men’s tennis player Christopher Eubanks, fellow sophomore Michael Kay, Eubanks’ doubles partner, quietly played some of his best tennis of the year.



With another year of experience under her belt and a tremendous spring season (20-9 in singles, 21-10 in doubles with partner Johnnise Renaud), the junior from Boca Raton, Fla. took her powerful ground game overseas, playing in Italy. Most notable was her reaching the round of 16 at the Olaraga Cup 2015, a clay-court event in Viserba, Italy. McAdoo beat Martina Pratesi of Italy (6-4, 3-6, 6-0) and knocked off Caterina Pruccoli and Camilla Fabbri by identical 6-2, 6-0 scores before falling, 6-1, 6-2, to Stefania Rubini. McAdoo expects to build on her trip to Italy and backto-back 20-win seasons this fall.



It had been nearly 17 years since a Georgia Tech runner ran a sub-4-minute mile, and no Yellow Jacket had ever done so outdoors. Senior Brandon Lasater ended the drought on June 7, running a 3:59.24 to win the event at the Music City Distance Carnival held in Nashville, Tenn., on the Vanderbilt campus. The time broke the previous outdoor record of 4:00.29, set by Brendon Mahoney in 2002. As impressive is that the Perry, Ga., native, used his signature kick down the stretch to pass Nick Symmonds, a two-time Olympian. “What a great achievement for Brandon,” said Jackets head distance coach Alan Drosky. “We’ve had some outstanding competitors in our program over the years, so to take down the record and break four minutes for the first time is a testament to Brandon’s hard work, desire and drive. On top of all that, he wins the race outkicking a two-time Olympian in Nick Symmonds.” It was a terrific warm-up for Lasater, who ran the 800 at the 2015 USA Nationals in late June at Hayward Field, in Eugene, Ore. He’d finish 26th, with a time of 1:50.32. Lasater, who was named 2015 All-ACC Outdoor second-team in both the 800 and 1,500 meters and earned Outdoor ACC Performer of the Week for the weeks of March 24 and April 28 still has goals ahead of him, including finishing his Tech career with the 2015 cross country season. It should be noted that of the above athletes, Johnson, Lasater, Peresson, Safra, and Whaley also were named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.





Bobby Dodd Stadium hosted its first major concert in many years when the Rolling Stones appeared in June.




A favorite joke around the Georgia Tech campus in recent years is about how you can’t throw a textbook--even the heavy ones favored by the biology and chemistry faculty--without hitting a new athletic facility. While an exaggeration, the observation is not without merit. And the Georgia Tech Athletic Association has the debt service bills to prove it: $13.3 million annually. No wonder, then, that athletic director Mike Bobinski and his administrative staff are increasingly looking to leverage those shiny new assets into new revenue streams. Georgia Tech is actively--and successfully--marketing its facilities as special event venues to external customers. This summer’s Rolling Stones concert at Bobby Dodd Stadium is one high-profile example but is far from the only one. Georgia Tech facilities have recently hosted trade shows, business meetings, private dinners, wedding receptions, and even birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. “Investments of this nature should be used more than 45 days a year, or seven days a year in the case of the football stadium,” said Brett Daniels, Georgia Tech’s deputy director of athletics. “The first priority is always our teams and student-athletes, but where there is opportunity to rent these facilities without impacting them, we should be doing so.”

Georgia Tech’s athletic budget approaches $70 million annually and is set to climb this fall by at least $500,000 as scholarship values increase due to the adoption of full cost of attendance legislation. The athletic association traditionally generates enough revenue to offset or come close to offsetting expenses annually and has a healthy reserve to cover any shortfalls. Yet the goal of any business is to finish with a surplus every year, and with costs escalating, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association is examining its practices. Bobinski implemented the zero-based budgeting model for this year, by which the administration and the program leaders--the head coaches--prioritize their projected expenses. The revenue generated by facility rentals is meant to help provide the funds to cover the wants prioritized behind the needs. The Rolling Stones concert alone generated approximately $250,000 in net income for the athletic association. “We have some great facilities here, and they are definitely an asset,” said Marvin Lewis, the associate athletic director for finance and administration. “Being this close to downtown Atlanta with businesses all around us, whether it’s a corporate event or a production company, we have the assets here, and we need to maximize them.”



Tech began to show movies on the Bobby Dodd Stadium BuzzVision in the summer of 2014.



Georgia Tech’s athletic facilities are enjoying a renaissance as special event venues. Summer concerts at Bobby Dodd Stadium were once the norm. Prior to the opening of the Georgia Dome in 1991, Dodd was the place in Atlanta for stadium shows. Pink Floyd, Hootie and the Blowfish, Bob Seger, New Kids on the Block, Simon and Garfunkel, Aerosmith and Jimmy Buffet were among the acts to play there. The Rolling Stones were the first to rock Bobby Dodd Stadium since 1994, although the GTAA nearly brought in Bruce Springsteen and the Dave Matthews Band for shows a year ago. Daniels envisions more summer concerts in the years ahead. While Bobby Dodd Stadium’s revenue potential is huge, the new McCamish Pavilion is perhaps the bigger draw. The arena was designed with wide, open concourses, perfect for trade shows, and the Callaway Club, the courtside lounge with seating for 200, has become a favorite for corporate events and meetings. McCamish also has two smaller rooms--one for the media and the other a past letterwinners lounge--available for rent. Those spaces are potentially popular venues considering the business growth in the midtown Atlanta area, located across the interstate from campus. “What we have in that facility is something outside the norm,” Daniels said. “Anybody can hold their meeting or dinner in a hotel ballroom. But come here, and you can do things like play a video on the scoreboard. That’s a much more powerful message.” Turner Broadcasting, headquartered across 10th Street from McCamish, recently leveraged McCamish’s amenities for its corporate meetings. Another McCamish neighbor, the Byers



Tennis Center, is also a burgeoning revenue generator. The center opened in 2013 with a state-of-the-art indoor facility complete with six courts, lobby and lounge along with 10 outdoor courts. The organizers of the BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATPWorld Tour professional tennis tournament played at nearby Atlantic Station, rented the Byers Tennis Center as a practice and warmup space during the July event. “There is plenty of business out there, and the beauty of it is that it tends to build on itself,” Daniels said. “Somebody attends a business meeting in one of our facilities and decides it would be a nice place for a wedding rehearsal dinner. Or they tell their friends about it, and one of those friends stages a bar mitzvah or birthday party with us. It’s very organic.”

Opportunities aside, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association has not established revenue goals for facility rentals--mainly because the venues’ intended use, to serve the studentathletes, must remain the priority. Every event is analyzed for potential impact on the Yellow Jacket teams, so setting revenue targets could create a conflict. The approach instead is maximize the revenue potential of those facilities when it is convenient to do so. “There will be an ebb and flow,” Daniels said. “We may lose out on some big events, but we can’t get in a situation where we rent out McCamish for two weeks in February or host a concert at Bobby Dodd in September that is going to require us to replace the field. “We never lose sight of why we are here.”

The Callaway Club at McCamish Pavilion is available for events ranging from wedding receptions to bah mitzvahs.






Snoddy ran for 82 yards and scored three touchdowns last year at Pitt.




The injury, like most things that involve Broderick Snoddy, happened so fast he didn’t realize it at first. “I lost my footing and went down, but I didn’t realize something wasn’t right until I tried to get up and noticed my leg wasn’t touching the ground,” the Georgia Tech football and track star said. “Then I looked down.” What Snoddy saw was part of the tibia bone in his lower leg sticking out through the skin. He also snapped the fibula bone in his lower leg. The gruesome fractures, suffered during the Yellow Jackets’ 28-6 win against Clemson last November, cut short what was quickly becoming a breakout season for the speedy A-back.



The injury did not threaten his career, though, as some, including Snoddy himself, initially feared. The damage was almost exclusively to the broken bones, and surgery and rehab accelerated his recovery. He participated in non-contact drills during the football team’s spring practice and ran in the final three meets of the outdoor track season, culminating in a 10.73 time in the 100-meter dash at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. “It came back fast, but I lacked that top-end speed,” Snoddy said. “I’m all the way back now, and you can tell in my explosiveness and ability to change direction.” Snoddy’s successful return is important for the direction of Georgia Tech’s offense this fall. Quarterback Justin Thomas is back, as are four starters on the offensive line, but the Yel-

going to need to help the young guys shine, too,” said Tony Zenon, a former teammate and fellow A-back who finished his career in 2014. “The option offense is most effective when the defense can’t key in on one or two playmakers. The quicker he gets up to speed and gets the young guys up to speed, the better we’ll be.”



Speed is Snoddy’s biggest attribute, yet his rise with the Yellow Jackets was excruciatingly slow. He came to Georgia Tech in 2011 like so many of head coach Paul Johnson’s running back recruits--slightly undersized for a major college recruit at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds but with speed and athleticism to spare. In need of knowledge, muscle and maturity,

won four events at indoor meets and finished 13th in the 60 meters at the NCAA Championships. The confidence wrought by his track success and a thinning crop of veterans at his position led to Snoddy earning a spot in the rotation last fall. He made the most of the chance, showing off his speed by averaging 10 yards a carry, rushing for three touchdowns and catching three passes for 100 yards. Teammate DeAndre Smelter said Snoddy “made the most strides on this team” during the 2014 season. “He finally got in a spot where he could use his speed to make some plays, and he did that,” said Lamar Owens, Snoddy’s position coach. “Everybody’s timing is a little different. It took longer than I’m sure he wanted, but he seized the moment when it came along. Hopefully by the time the season starts, he’ll be right back at the level he finished at last year.”



Snoddy waves to the Bobby Dodd Stadium crowd while being carted off the field.

low Jackets are greener than the Bobby Dodd Stadium grass at the running back and wide receiver positions. Four of the top five rushers from a year ago exhausted their eligibility, and Snoddy is one of the few players on the Georgia Tech roster to have caught a pass in a college game. He is the lone veteran among the A-backs, and his play-making ability is potentially as big a factor in the Jackets’ offensive success this season as Thomas’ prowess reading defenses on the triple option. “[Snoddy’s] going to need to shine, and he’s



he redshirted his first year. A deep pool of veteran players limited his opportunities at A-back the next two seasons--so much so that the Georgia Tech coaching staff tried him at B-back for a year before moving him back to his more natural position. Snoddy drew plenty of attention his second and third years at Georgia Tech, but for his success on the track, not the football field. He broke the school record in the indoor 60-meter dash three times in the 2012-13 academic year and won a 200-meter event less than a month into his track career. The next year, he

To Snoddy, 2014 was an unfinished season. He reveled in the Yellow Jackets’ late-season run, culminating in the overtime thriller against rival Georgia, a near-miss in the ACC title game versus Florida State and the Orange Bowl triumph over Mississippi State. But he was still in the midst of rehab and uncertainty during that period. He couldn’t walk without crutches in the weeks following the game in which he broke his leg. The nature of the injury--which he himself labels a “freak accident” because he wasn’t hit by a defender on the play but instead got his feet tangled up and kicked himself in the back of the leg--made him a constant source of discussion everywhere he went on campus through the end of the fall semester. “I understood the curiosity,” Snoddy said. “I watched the video of the play three times, and it was so gruesome I couldn’t watch it anymore. So naturally, everybody else wanted to hear me talk about how it happened and how I was doing.” Truth be told, Snoddy was struggling. Not being able to do what he does best--run fast-was difficult for him mentally. He found the slow pace required for him to rebuild strength in his surgically repaired leg “frustrating.” Teammates like Zenon and Georgia Tech’s athletic training staff kept him focused on his recovery and bolstered his spirits. Competing on the track in the spring helped, too. Still, it wasn’t until the summer that he reacquired his “football mindset.” He had just finished a workout in the weight room under the Bobby Dodd Stadium stands when he decided to go for a stroll on the field. “It wasn’t the first time I’d been back there since the injury but it was the time where I got chills and it hit me: I’m back,” Snoddy said. “It’s time to look forward to what happens this year and not what happened to me last year.”




Raible had 24 career receptions and five touchdowns at Georgia Tech playing in a wishbone offense.

Sometimes, a quick glance back that started with the thought, “how did this happen?” turns into a study that opens a vault of history that answers the question. Take a little time, and you’ll see how Steve Raible keeps going deep 40 years after playing for Georgia Tech to become a Hall of Fame broadcaster. The former tight end/sprinter authored modest numbers for the Yellow Jackets from 1972-75 under run-oriented head coaches Bill Fulcher and Pepper Rodgers, yet with 24 career receptions, 452 receiving yards and five touchdowns he was inducted into Tech’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. So how’d that happen? How did an industrial management graduate come to be featured earlier this year by NFL Films? The cover of Raible’s book barely begins to tell his story. He was tabbed for Tech’s Hall for what he did on The Flats, where in 1975 he earned honorable mention All-America and first-team All-Southern Independent honors, and for what he’s done on and off NFL fields since. The tales of his time in Seattle -- where he has been involved in every one of the Seahawks’ 40 years as a player and radio broadcaster while carving out legendary status in the community through charitable works -- cannot be quickly told. Earlier this year, the high-end arm of the league, NFL Films, featured a smooth-talking Louisville, Ky., native who has more than football to chat about. Sitting at his KIRO 7 desk in downtown Seattle, not far from the famed Space Needle and a few blocks from views of the Olympic Mountains to the northwest and massive Mt. Rainier to the southeast, the local TV news anchor recently leaned back while wearing a Tech “Letterman’s Club” shirt, and began to rewind. Raible didn’t plan to settle so far from his old, Kentucky home, nor become such a dynamic figure in one of America’s fastest growing cities. His transition from 6-foot-2 tight end at Tech to NFL wide receiver was more predictable than all of that, especially since he was timed in 4.35 seconds over the 40-yard dash while in college. After catching four passes for 126 yards and a touchdown as a rookie in 1976, he went home to Louisville and then spent time with former Tech teammates. There was no view yet of the real future. “Some of my buddies were fifth-year seniors. I hung out for a while in Atlanta, and my coach out here, Jack Patera, wanted me back out by

March,” Raible recalled. “Once we started working out, in those days you got a job in the off-season. I made $27,000 my first year, and I was a second-round draft choice. “The first year I was a bartender and bar manager, and helped a guy build a restaurant -- literally, hammer and nails. I’d work out in the morning, go work with him all afternoon and tend bar in the evenings.” And in the second offseason, “I worked for a year in the construction industry. I’d go to companies and tell them to put guys in the next seminar on cost managing, cost estimating, time management. That was closer to my industrial management roots. I thought that might be something I’d do.” Before all the dots of his present life began to connect, Raible’s first inklings came on The Flats. He met legendary newscaster David Brinkley as a junior, and spent key time with iconic Tech broadcasters Al Ciraldo and Kim King. “I remember being hurt one game and sitting up in the press box and watching them, and that was something I will always remember,” he said. “I remember watching them thinking, ‘Wow this is great; this back and forth, this teamwork and how -- especially on radio -- everything is based on your description.’ “ Raible nonetheless did not consciously fashion a broadcasting career for himself. Yet after being drafted by Seattle in 1976 and playing six seasons for the NFL expansion team, he’s been on their radio crew ever since. Even as a part-time player – starting seven games and playing in 84 while catching 68 passes for 1,017 yards and three scores in the NFL – Raible became a go-to for the media. He nearly always had something to say, and eloquently. “After games ... we weren’t very good the first few years of the franchise, and I was a guy who always had a quote, so when we got beat again and again, people would always come to me,” he said. “I got to know a lot of the writers in town. “I also got to know the guy who was the play-by-play announcer, a guy named Pete Gross – the original [radio] voice of the Seahawks. He worked out of this building when it was KIRO TV and radio.” With assists from Gross and his TV counterpart, Wayne Cody, the seed for a career beyond playing was sown in Raible’s third off-season. “I would co-host radio shows,” he said. “As time went on, Wayne went from TV to radio and anchored a show three hours a night and

S 22


four hours on Saturdays. One time, he said, ‘How would you like to host for a week? I’m taking vacation.’ So I did. What a great training ground ... and I thought, ‘I really like this.’ “ Raible enjoyed moonlighting on the air, but the Seahawks did not allow players to work during seasons, so he was a part-time broadcaster in every sense. His ultimate career change came as a surprise. “In my sixth season, I got a collapsed lung in the preseason and missed four games. In the last game, I tore ligaments in my ankle, so I spent two months in a walking boot,” he said. “My sixth year was not the best, but I had a contract, and I was prepared to play, came back and worked out and all that. “Early June, right before my seventh season, Pete Gross called my house and told my wife as I was playing a charity golf tournament in Spokane, ‘Hey, we’ve got some openings at KIRO if Steve is interested. Our analyst for Seahawks is leaving, and we think he could do it.” That was not an easy decision. Gross and Cody became recruiters to rival former Tech assistant Jerry Glanville, who 10 years earlier pulled Raible out of Louisville. Raible told the Seattle Times, “The gist of the conversation was, ‘Steve is never going to be a Pro Bowler. He’s always going to have [fellow wide receiver Steve] Largent in front of him’ ... Wayne almost strangled me when I told him I had to think about it. “I talked to my position coach, Rusty Tillman. He said, ‘Rabes, I think you could still play. However, after all the years I gave the Redskins, one day they cut me. To this day I wish I made the decision to retire for myself.’ That made a lot of sense. So, I retired at the end of June, and at the end of July I was working at KIRO.” Raible joined Gross on the Seahawks’ radio crew as a color analyst in 1982, and became the play-by-play man in 2004 with Warren Moon as analyst. On the TV side, he grew from part-time sports to sports and news to anchor. Even with five regional Emmys, including two as top anchor, Raible is as famed in the Pacific Northwest for his charity work as he is broadcasting. For years he and his wife ran a ranch for rescued animals, and he has given time to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Children’s Home Society of Washington, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, The Lupus Foundation and several other Seattle-area non-profit organizations. Raible has twice received the United Way Community Service Award, and in 2001, the NCAA made him a Silver Anniversary Award honoree for his collegiate athletic feats and professional accomplishments -- including contributions to charitable and civic activities

-- over 25 years since his playing days at Tech. The broadcasting seed has grown into a grand life. Playing for the Seahawks gave Raible a foothold in Seattle, and led him to drop anchor for good. “We were the first [major pro] team, so we had an entrée that a lot of people on a lot of teams didn’t,” he said. “We stunk it up good. We went 2-12, but the city was crazy about us, so every time we had opportunities to go out and do things for charity ... if I did one I did 1,000 luncheons, rotaries, Cub Scout things. “All of that worked in my favor because you develop self-confidence about getting in front of audiences. Pretty soon, it went from Cub Scouts to corporate lunch meetings for Boeing in front of a higher-end crowd. They’re getting to know you. That made sense when I started

Raible knows now. He’s supremely level on the news, and has covered events far and wide in addition to the Olympics. His football calls stand out. Whether he’s belting out a, “Holy Catfish!” or marveling aloud over another touchdown run by Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, Raible is distinct, and he clearly favors his adopted home town. He has a two-year-old Super Bowl ring. “I get letters that say, ‘I’m blind and I listen to you guys on Sunday, and you paint the picture,’” he said. “When people react, that’s really important to me. I get the other ones too – ‘You suck! You’re a homer!’ “Hey, I want the team to win, but if they’re not playing well, and they’re getting their [butts] handed to them, I’ll say that. I always

Raible, here sitting in his office chatting with Matt Winkeljohn, began his career in broadcasting while playing for the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo Credit: Betsy Evensen)

doing radio and television. That’s when it starting making sense to stay. I was making my bones here.” Raible’s transition to play-by-play was no more awkward than moving from tight end at Tech, where he was trumpeted by media and scouts as a fine blocker for what were the top two rushing teams in school history, to NFL wide receiver. “I think [having played] helps me a lot, because I understand what’s going on out there. I know what that feels like. When I watched Steve Largent get knocked out in a game in the late 1980s, I knew exactly what he was going through. I could see through binoculars tears running down his face. “When you get knocked unconscious, it triggers an emotional wave in your brain, and you can’t do anything. I did the same thing. I remember standing in the locker room, tears running down my face, and we’d just beaten Oakland so everybody thought I was happy about that. Nope. I didn’t know what the hell was going on.”

said I was not good enough to say that somebody else is not good so I will never say that he’s a bad football player. I will say that he’s having a pretty rough day.”



If the concept of royalty checks were defined a little differently, Steve Raible might be collecting on one of the more famous – or infamous -- moments in Georgia Tech football history: the Rudy game. Then again, if not for Hollywood, it might not be known as a moment at all. With the Jackets slated to play at Notre Dame on Sept. 19, it is likely mention will be made of Tech’s visit to South Bend, Ind., for a forgettable contest late in 1975. The Irish would win, 24-3, and little was notable but for its ending – a wrap-up not so clearly depicted by literary and cinematic revisionists who fanned a benign spark into the red-hot movie, “Rudy.” A flick built around the last play, where walk-on Dan “Rudy” Ruettiger helped sack WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM


former Jacket quarterback Rudy Allen, made waves in ’93. It was quite the box office hit. Never mind that so much of it didn’t happen. Perhaps the real hero was not the 5-foot-6, 165-pound Ruettiger, who played just that one snap in his career, and dressed out only for that game. If not for Raible’s speed, Ruettiger might not be the inspirational speaker that he has become. “At the end we were throwing a little more trying to get in the game. Rudy Allen let one fly,” recalled Raible. “I was a sprinter, but I couldn’t catch up to it. The defensive back was playing deep thirds, and he was standing there waiting to catch it. “I made a lunge to slap it away so he wouldn’t intercept. The next play, Rudy gets on the field and makes the sack. So, if I let that guy intercept, there is no Rudy game, no legend that has grown up about Rudy Ruettiger. I said on this NFL Films [feature earlier this year] that he owes me something.” In the movie, players and fans thundered, “Rudy! Rudy!” after the game-ending play, and Ruettiger was lifted by teammates. Former Notre Dame Quarterback Joe Montana, an Irish freshman at the time, has said many times that much of the movie was hyperbole. Danny Myers was the Jackets’ primary



quarterback in head coach Pepper Rodgers’ wishbone offense in ’75, and Allen was a designated thrower out of the bullpen. Allen told the Athens Banner-Herald in 2006 that he couldn’t figure out why the crowd, or Notre Dame players, would be calling his name. It might have been just a teammate or two calling out Ruettiger, and Allen had no idea the nickname of the young man who’d sacked him. Raible more or less calls bunk. “I always get asked about the Rudy game because I played in it,” he said. “I don’t remember anybody getting carried off. I don’t remember any chanting, ‘Rudy, Rudy,’ and that’s mostly because it didn’t happen. “Somebody sent me the YouTube video a few years ago. It was the last two plays ... we were not a happy group of campers. We had a wishbone offense that was great, and we just got stymied in South Bend.” Raible carries many more fond memories of his time at Tech, where he graduated with a degree in industrial management. After his first pro season, in ’77, he spent some time “hanging out” in Atlanta with former teammates, including younger quarterback Gary Lanier, and then returned to Seattle to work out and take an off-season job as a bar tender. He played for the Seahawks for six mostly

awful seasons. One particular NFL memory, notable because his parents traveled from Louisville to Pittsburgh to see him play, isn’t any warmer or fuzzier than the Rudy tale of college vintage. “I had run a crossing route after lining up in the slot. [Quarterback Jim] Zorn looks strong side and dumps it to me on the weak side,” he said. “Just as I was crossing behind [Steelers linebacker] Jack Lambert, he swung his arm back and hit me right in the throat. “I thought it broke my larynx. I couldn’t breathe for a few plays, couldn’t talk. We lost. I come out of the locker room, and I’m waiting for somebody to say, ‘Hey, you guys played well.’ The first thing my Dad says was, ‘Boy, Lambert sure knocked the crap out of you, didn’t he?’ “ The game’s been better lately. Raible has won five regional Emmy awards as a local broadcaster, and he’s been behind the mic for 33 years, including the past two trips to the Super Bowl. The first trip brought him a ring. “There was a time not long ago when Seattle was voted the worst sports town because they lost the NBA team, the Mariners were bad, and toward the end of [former Seahawks head coach] Mike Holmgren’s reign and in Jim Mora’s one year here we won four games,” Raible said. “It’s been great of late, though.”

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Two-time Olympian and NCAA track champion Chaunte Lowe, All-American softball pitcher Jessica Cole, long-time director of broadcasting Wes Durham, as well as first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference tailback, Joe Burns, are among the nine former Georgia Tech sports icons who have been elected to the 2015 Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame class. Four-time Academic All-American punter Dan Dyke, first team All-American shortstop Tyler Greene, four-year Georgia Tech football manager and alum Charlie Germany, All-Atlantic Coast Conference golfer Kris Mikkelsen, as well as Jakie Rudolph, an All-American Specialist and two sport letterman in football and golf, are also in the 2015 class. These outstanding individuals will be inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame at the annual Induction Dinner on Oct. 16 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. “We are excited to welcome this 2015 class into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame,” said Tech director of athletics Mike Bobinski. “All of these individuals excelled in their own right, but they were also key contributors to the success of their teams, which achieved great heights during their time at Tech. It is a tremendous privilege each year to add a new class to our Hall of Fame and have these men and women back on campus, and we look forward to honoring them here on Oct. 16.” Tickets for the dinner are $50 and can be purchased through the Alexander-Tharpe Fund at 404894-6124. The inductees will also be honored during Tech’s football game against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 17, at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Following are brief bios on the 2015 Hall of Fame class, one of the biggest classes in recent memory:

Joe Burns, Football (1998-2001) A first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 2001, Burns ranks third in career rushing touchdowns in Tech football history (31) and seventh in Tech history with 2,634 career rushing yards. The Thomas County Central High School product played on the 1998 team that tied for first in the ACC, defeated Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl, and finished the season ranked ninth in the nation. He played on the 1999 team that rose as high as seventh in the polls. Burns also played on the 2000 team that finished tied for second in the ACC, and the 2001 team that beat 11th ranked Stanford in the Seattle Bowl. The Thomasville, Ga., native went on to play in the NFL for five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, and now lives in Atlanta.



Jessica (Sallinger) Cole, Softball (2002-05) An All-American pitcher from Kennesaw, Ga., Cole won the ACC Rookie of the Year award in 2002. She was also named ACC Pitcher of the Year in 2005. During her senior season, Cole broke the ACC career record for strikeouts (1,398) and wins (109). She ended her career fourth on the all-time NCAA strikeout list, averaging nearly 10 strikeouts per game. Cole, a threetime All-ACC honoree, holds Georgia Tech career pitching records in 10 categories, including wins in a season (31), ERA (1.12), complete games (123), and shutouts (52). She also hit 46 home runs in her career. The Harrison High School honors graduate went on to throw nine no-hitters and helped lead the Lady Jackets to one ACC regular-season championship and two ACC Tournament titles. She also helped the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in school history (2002). Cole, a two-time NFCA All-American and three-time NCAA all-tournament team selection, graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in management and now lives in Cumming, Ga.

Hall of Fame Selection Procedures

Wes Durham, Director of Broadcasting (1995-2013) A native of Greensboro, N.C., Durham is a nine-time winner of the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year Award, all of them during his 18 years at Georgia Tech. He also won the Furman Bisher Award, which was presented by the Atlanta Sports Council in 2006. The former “Voice of the Yellow Jackets” broadcast more than 750 football and men’s basketball games. In addition to his play-by-play duties, Durham also served as the host of weekly call-in shows and television features for Yellow Jacket football and basketball. His father, Woody Durham, was the “Voice of the Tar Heels” for 40 years. Durham is now the playby-play announcer for Fox Sports television coverage of ACC football, basketball and baseball and the radio play-by-play voice for the Atlanta Falcons.

Updated April 14, 2015

1. No more than six (6) inductees per year shall be inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame through the regular ballotting process. Any candidate nominated by the Veteran’s Committee and elected, or any candidate nominated and elected under provision No. 5 or 6 shall be in addition to the maximum of six. 2. There shall be a maximum of two (2) inductees per sport per year into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame. 3. Nominations beyond the automatic first-year additions are presented at the annual Hall of Fame Committee meeting, which shall be the first or second Tuesday during the month of April each year. Nominations can also be made by anyone outside the committee; the deadline for such nominations is March 1 each year. Nominations brought forth after that date will be tabled until the following year. Voting will take place during the month following the annual meeting. 4. Eligibility criteria for induction into the Hall of Fame for Student-Athletes are the following:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

National Player or Coach of the Year Individual Olympic medal winner First-team All-America Member of Olympic medal-winning team National champion National record-holder Second- or third-team All-America Conference Player or Coach of the Year First-team all-conference

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Second-or third-team all-conference Conference champion Conference record-holder Georgia Tech school record-holder First-team Academic All-America Second- or third-team Academic All-America Letter in four different varsity sports Letter in three different varsity sports Letter in two different varsity sports.

Graduation from Georgia Tech is not mandatory for induction into the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame.

5. A maximum of one (1) nomination each year may be made for a coach, broadcaster or staff member, if such a person existed with extremely strong credentials. This is not a mandate to choose such a person every year. Fulltime employees of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association are not eligible for nomination under this category until after they have retired or are otherwise no longer employed by the GTAA. This selection shall be in addition to the six student-athletes inducted through the primary voting procedure, and shall be subject to a yes/no vote on the ballot. A two-thirds vote is required for induction. 6. A maximum of one (1) nomination each year may be made for a student manager or trainer. This selection shall be in addition to the student-athletes inducted through the regular voting process, and shall be subject to a yes/no vote on the ballot. A two-thirds vote is required for induction. Criteria for nomination in the Hall are the following:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Earned three (3) varsity letters Served as head manager or trainer for at least one (1) year Must have contributed above and beyond his or her assigned duties Must have graduated from Georgia Tech

7. All nominees for induction should have exhibited in their daily lives the principles of the Total Person Concept. 8. The Georgia Tech Hall of Fame Committee must be thoroughly and extensively briefed on potential nominees to the Hall of Fame who may have experienced controversial situations.

Dan Dyke, Football (1999-2002) A four-time first-team Academic All-American, Dyke is the only Yellow Jacket football player to achieve such a level of academic excellence. He earned four letters as a punter and was Tech’s primary punter all four seasons. The Winter Spring, Fla., native was part of the Yellow Jacket teams that played in four consecutive bowl games and won a total of 32 games. Both the 1999 and 2001 teams climbed into the top 10 of the national polls. His career punting average (41.37) ranks third in Tech football history. Dyke ranks ninth in career punting yards (5,461) and 10th in career punts (132). A four-time Academic All-ACC selection, he maintained a 3.87 grade point average and earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in December of 2002. He also won the 2002 Anson Mount Scholar-Athlete Award presented by Playboy magazine. Dyke and his family currently live in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

9. Student-athletes who meet the induction criteria in No. 4 automatically become eligible for Hall of Fame induction 10 years after their final year of Georgia Tech athletic participation. The waiting period for a student manager or trainer to be nominated shall be 10 years after his or her final year of service. 10. The Communications and Public Relations Office shall provide to each committee member, not later than 10 days prior to the annual Hall of Fame committee meeting, information on eligible student-athletes who qualify under the criteria for induction listed in No. 4. 11. Attendance at the annual Hall of Fame Committee meeting is mandatory for all members. A member not present in any given year will not participate in voting for that year’s class. A member missing two consecutive meetings shall surrender his or her position on the committee. 12. Voting Procedures

a. Candidates shall be voted on using a point total of 1 to 8, with 8 being the highest point total awarded. No nominee shall be inducted into the Hall of Fame without being named on two-thirds of the ballots. Candidates will appear on the ballot in alphabetical order. Each voting member will be provided supporting information on each candidate detailing his or her accomplishments using the induction criteria listed in procedure No. 5. The candidates with the top six point totals, who also are named on a majority (51 percent or more) of the ballots cast, will be inducted.

b. If the ballotting results in the election of fewer than three inductees in a given year, a second ballot shall be sent to the committee which includes the other candidates who appeared on 50 percent or more of the initial ballots. The committee members then will be asked to vote on their top one, two or three candidates (the number required to fill the maximum of six inductees), using the appropriate point range for priority (1 through 3, 4 or 5). Candidates on the second ballot with the highest point totals, who also are named on two-thirds of those ballots, shall be inducted.

c. Nominees for induction into the Hall of Fame shall remain on the primary ballot for five years (note exception in item D below). After the fifth year, if the nominee has not earned the required votes for induction, he or she shall be eliminated from the ballot. After an additional five-year waiting period, that candidate may be considered for nomination by the Veteran’s Committee.

d. If a nominee on the ballot for the Hall of Fame receives zero (0) votes for three consecutive years, that candidate shall be removed from the ballot. After an additional five-year waiting period, that candidate may be nominated for consideration by the Veteran’s Committee.

13. Veterans Candidates Veterans nominees are former student-athletes who have failed to be elected through the selection procedures outlined above, but who meet any of the criteria for induction listed in No. 4 or a student-athlete whose eligibility was completed a minimum of 20 years prior to the current induction year, has never been nominated previously and for whom documentation that the candidate has met the criteria for induction may not exist. Such candidates must have a considerable body of testimony on their behalf that would lead the committee to believe the candidate meets any of the criteria. Such candidates must be nominated on an annual basis, and each nominee would be subject to a yes/no vote on the ballot, and a two-thirds “yes” vote is required for induction. This candidate, if elected, shall be in addition to those inducted through the regular voting process. 14. If a candidate for the Hall of Fame who is nominated under categories five (staff), six (managers or trainers) or 12 (Veterans Committee) fails to receive the required votes for induction, that individual’s nomination must be re-submitted to the full committee at its annual meeting in order to be placed on the ballot in a future year.



Charlie Germany, Football Manager (1972-75) Germany lettered in 1972 as a manager for the Georgia Tech football team. A high school graduate of Oglethorpe County High School, he went on to graduate from Tech in 1975 with a degree in Industrial Management. Currently, Germany lives in the greater Atlanta area and is a Senior Financial Advisor at Ronald Blue & Co., one of the largest independent fee-only financial planning firms in the United States.

Kris Mikkelsen, Golf (1999-02) An All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer as a senior, Mikkelsen earned All-America honors twice during his four years on the golf team. The Woodstock, Ga. native was an honorable mention All-American in 2001, and a second-team GCAA All-American in 2002. He was on the ACC Academic Honor Roll all four years and was selected as a GCAA All-American Scholar twice (2001, 2002). In 34 career events, Mikkelsen had 12 top-10 finishes and five finishes in the top 20. When he graduated, Mikkelsen ranked sixth in Tech history with a 72.89 stroke average in 101 rounds of golf. He played in two NCAA Championships (2001, 2002), and helped lead Tech to fourth- and second-place finishes. Mikkelsen also finished sixth and ninth in his two ACC Championships (2001, 2002), and helped Tech win ACC titles both years. The Etowah High School graduate went on to graduate from Tech with a degree in management and still lives in the Atlanta area.

Tyler Greene, Baseball (2003-05) A first-team All-America and All-ACC selection in 2005, Greene played shortstop and started every game in his three years at Tech (186). He was a Freshman AllAmerican in 2003 and earned the ACC Tournament MVP Award in 2005. Greene helped lead Tech to two ACC Tournament championships (2003, 2005). The Plantation, Fla., native is one of just 13 players in Tech baseball history to have a 100-hit season (2005). That year, he led the team with 72 runs batted in, 77 runs and 31 steals. A product of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Greene was drafted in the second round by the Atlanta Braves, but opted to attend Georgia Tech instead. He ranks 21st in runs batted in (167) and 27th in hits (242) in Tech baseball history. A first-round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005, he went on to have a five-year Major League career (2009-13) with the Cardinals, Astros and White Sox, and now makes his home in Jupiter, Fla. Chaunte (Howard) Lowe, Track and Field (2003-05) A three-time Olympian (2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London), Lowe was a three-time NCAA Champion and a six-time Atlantic Coast Conference Champion in the high jump. The 2003 ACC Rookie of the Year went on to become a 13-time All-ACC performer, a six-time AllAmerican, a three-time ACC Most Valuable Performer, and a three-time NCAA East All-Region selection. She placed second at the 2005 IAAF World Championships. Originally from Riverside, Calif., Lowe still holds the Georgia Tech indoor and outdoor high jump records, and finished T-28th place in the Athens Olympics. Lowe still competes professionally and lives in the Orlando, Fla., area.



Jakie Rudolph, Football/Golf (1950-52) A two-sport letterman in football and golf, Rudolph was named an All-American Specialist by Collier’s magazine in 1951. He started at safety on the undefeated 1951 team that won the Orange Bowl. Rudolph was also the starting safety on the 1952 National Championship team that won the Sugar Bowl. The 1952 team had the second-ranked defense in the country. He helped lead a defense that did not allow a single touchdown pass all season.

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BY SIMIT SHAH It’s a lot easier to be a Georgia Tech fan when you’re around the corner rather than the other side of the globe, but Tom Coopat never let a little distance come between him and his beloved Yellow Jackets. The roots of Coopat’s devotion began as a youngster in White Plains, N.Y. A family friend was attending the Institute in the early 1950’s and helped plant the seed. “Of course, those were the glory years of Georgia Tech football and Bobby Dodd,” Coopat remembered. “He sent me a pennant, T-shirt or sweatshirt each year at Christmas. That’s all it took. From age eight on, there was no place else I wanted to go.” On January 1, 1953, Coopat intently watched the first televised Sugar Bowl as Tech beat Ole Miss 24-7 to complete a perfect 12-0 season, capturing the program’s third national championship. “We watched on our first family black-and-white TV,” he said. “It was probably 14 inches and the players were tiny. I watched that game recently on YouTube, and it brought back all kinds of great memories.” When it came time to pick a college, there was little doubt that Coopat was heading to Atlanta. He contemplated Brown, Tulane and Virginia, but “Georgia Tech was by far my number one choice.”

Tom Coopat shows his loyalty at the 2015 Orange Bowl.

Upon arriving on campus in 1962, Coopat joined the swimming and diving program, led by legendary Coach Fred Lanoue, as a walk-on. His work ethic earned him a partial scholarship as a junior, and he was named team captain as a senior when Coach Herb McAuley assumed the helm. “It wasn’t easy as a walk-on, because nothing at Georgia Tech is,” he recalled. “I just stuck with it. If you do that, good things happen.” Like most Georgia Tech students past and present, Coopat found the curriculum demanding.



“I wanted to be there and was happy to be there,” he said. “It’s not an easy place; it’s very regimented. You have to be a self-starter and persevere. You had to be independently motivated to stay on schedule for graduation. There wasn’t anyone else there that was going to do that for you. “This was before calculators, PCs and cell phones,” he added with a laugh. “All we had were slide rules and working out things long-hand.” More than anything, Coopat reveled in being able to attend games at Grant Field and being close to the program he had idolized for so long. “As a freshman, seeing Bobby Dodd walk out of the athletic building one day as I was going up The Hill was a sublime moment, I’ll never forget it,” he said. “I’d heard about him for 10 years, but to actually see him then and also during games on the sideline--that was special. “There was great camaraderie on campus, and we had great sports moments,” he continued. “The 7-6 victory over Alabama in 1962 was a special day. Dodd called it his ‘greatest game,’ and that’s still the pinnacle of my watching of Georgia Tech football over the years. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. Seeing Coach Dodd on one sideline and Bear Bryant on the other--it doesn’t get much better than that.” Upon earning his industrial management degree in 1966 (graduation was held at The Fox Theater in that era), Coopat entered the Navy as a junior officer. He served on active duty for three years, earning a Navy Commendation Medal for his pioneering work on a destroyer with drone helicopters armed with torpedoes. Coopat continued in the reserves for an additional six years while he earned an MBA at night from Pace University in New York and started his career with Avon Products in 1970. In the early 80’s, Avon tapped him as president of the company’s operations in Taiwan, then Indonesia and finally Japan over the course of two decades. “I think my Georgia Tech background of independent self-motivation served me very well as an expatriate leader,” he noted. “It was great preparation. It no doubt helped me to succeed and find creative solutions in challenging marketplaces, whether it was the Philippines finance director, Taiwan, Indonesia or Japan.” Throughout that time, Coopat went to great lengths to keep tabs on the fortunes of Georgia Tech’s football team. Before the age of the Internet and satellite television, he had to rely on the International Tribune

Tom Coopat and his wife, Cheryle. Herald newspaper. With the time difference, game results didn’t hit the paper until the Monday edition, so Coopat typically wouldn’t learn the score of Saturday’s game until he got home on Monday evening. His sister would record games occasionally, and he’d be able to watch them two weeks later. He gave her a single directive: “Only send me the victories!” “For special games like the one in 1990 against Virginia, I’d call my mother in San Diego on Sunday to find out what happened,” Coopat said. “I did the same for the Georgia game and the Citrus Bowl that season. I couldn’t wait a few days.” Following his retirement in 2001, Coopat and his wife Cheryle settled on the island of Maui. By then, it was a lot easier to fuel his passion for Georgia Tech athletics. He followed and supported the program from afar, even endowing a football scholarship. However, he never had the chance to see the Jackets play in person since his days as a student. That changed in 2006 when Georgia Tech’s basketball team came to him by playing in the Maui Invitational. Just a short drive from his home, Coopat watched the Jackets play three straight days and fall just short of the tournament championship. And this past December, Coopat was at the Orange Bowl to see Georgia Tech thump Mississippi State almost 62 years to the day he watched his first Georgia Tech football game. “That was an incredible night,” he noted. “My initial passion was and continues to be football. I know it’s not the most important thing on Georgia Tech’s campus, but I think arguably it’s the most visible. All of athletics tie together the activities of Georgia Tech. “No matter where you are in the Tech family, people enjoy it when Tech wins,” he added. “People are proud and enjoy the experience. I know I do.”

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Please contact the AlexanderTharpe Fund at 404-894-5414 with your interest to support any of these facility projects.


Located Corner on Ferst Drive and Fowler Street

Named Commemorative Gift Opportunities Playing Field Third Base Gate & Plaza First Base Gate & Plaza Players' Locker Room Press Box Weight Room Players' Lounge Dugout Dugout Training Room Equipment Room Coaches' Locker Room Study Room

Private funds raised: Private funds goal: Total project cost:

$2.5 million challenge

$1.03 million $5 million $5 million

Name Recognition on Plaque

Triggering Commitment +

$1,250,000 $375,000 $375,000 $375,000 $250,000 $250,000 $125,000 $125,000 $125,000 $75,000 $75,000 $75,000 $75,000 $12,500

Challenge Resulting Naming Opportunity Grant Match =

$1,250,000 $375,000 $375,000 $375,000 $250,000 $250,000 $125,000 $125,000 $125,000 $75,000 $75,000 $75,000 $75,000 $12,500

$2,500,000 $750,000 $750,000 Reserved $500,000 $500,000 Reserved Reserved $250,000 Reserved $150,000 $150,000 Reserved $25,000


Located on Corner of Techwood Drive and Bobby Dodd Way

Naming Opportunities TBD Renovating the Edge Center will positively impact every student-athlete at Tech, regardless of their sport. The upgrades will be focused on enhancing the academic center and the sports medicine/rehabilitation center. It has been decades since either of these areas has been significantly updated, and now is the time to ensure that every Yellow Jacket has the tools and resources to excel academically, as well as access to the best treatment for the physical rigors of competition.

Private funds raised: Private funds goal: Total project cost:

$3 million challenge

$0.86 million TBD TBD


Located on 14th Street

Private funds raised: Private funds goal: Total project budget:



$8.06 million Phase I: $8.9 million

$11.9 million

Phase II: $3 million


Please contact Mindy Hyde at 404-894-5435 for more information or to make an endowment gift/commitment.

The Georgia Tech Athletic Association has an aggressive goal of becoming one of the few intercollegiate athletic programs to fully endow all athletic scholarships allowed by the NCAA for each sport. The gold icons below indicate endowed scholarships dedicated to each sport. Georgia Tech Golf has all available scholarships fully endowed. (Over forty-three unrestricted scholarships are endowed which are not shown here.)




































We encourage everyone who supports intercollegiate athletics at Georgia Tech to make unrestricted giving a priority. The annual giving program is dedicated to current operations and encompasses A-T unrestricted gifts, TECH Fund, and sport-specific gifts.

A-T UNRESTRICTED GIFTS Bridge the gap between scholarship costs and income received from donor-endowed scholarships. Here are some of the accomplishments made possible by the generous support received in FY 2015 from donors • 95 student-athletes received their degree from Georgia Tech • The mean GPA for all student-athletes was 3.00 • 31 student-athletes had a 4.0 GPA • GT Golf was ranked in the top 10 of the APR for the 11th consecutive season • GT Football beat Georgia, won the ACC Coastal Division Title and went on to become Orange Bowl Champions, all while maintaining a mean GPA of 2.72 - a program record!


(TRADITION - EDUCATION - CHARACTER - HEART) The TECH Fund is the per-seat donation program for preferred seats in Bobby Dodd Stadium and McCamish Pavilion. Contact Adam Roell at 404-895-5093 for more information on premium seating.

SPORT-SPECIFIC GIFTS Support your sport by giving annually to the program you are most passionate about and earn benefits for giving levels unique to the sport.





FAQ on employing student-athletes Shoshanna Engel Associate Athletic Director for Compliance

The impending academic year provides a great time to reflect as our student-athletes wrap up another summer full of meaningful internships, jobs and learning opportunities. The summer truly found our student-athletes representing the idea of global education – some studied abroad, others took summer classes, and many worked at summer jobs or full-time internships for local, national and global companies and organizations. Your continued support – via donations, internship/employment opportunities, participation in career fairs, mentorship and countless other ways – remains critical to the academic and professional development of our student-athletes. NCAA and Georgia Tech guidelines permit student-athletes to pursue employment, provided:

• Compensation is for work actually performed; • Compensation is set at a rate commensurate with the going rate for similar services within the organization and locality; • Compensation may not include any remuneration for value or utility that a student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame, or personal following that he or she obtains due to athletics ability; • All employment is reported to the GTAA compliance office.

I am a Georgia Tech booster. May I employ a Georgia Tech student-athlete? Yes! You may provide employment to a Georgia Tech student-athlete, provided the above guidelines are met, and the student-athlete and employer acknowledge understanding of and compliance with NCAA employment requirements.

Shoshanna Engel Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance (404)894-8792

Marquita Armstead Director of Compliance (404)894-5507

May I assist a Georgia Tech student-athlete with reviewing their resume or practicing interview skills?

Yes, it is permissible for individuals to assist studentathletes with these skills, provided no material benefits are received. Georgia Tech and the GTAA Total Person Program also provide a plethora of career preparation services, including resume workshops and mock interviews. Please contact the Total Person Program (Leah Thomas, if you wish to become involved with departmental efforts.

I employed a Georgia Tech student-athlete this summer and want to say thank you. May I provide a gift of gratitude?

While material gifts (e.g., cash, gift cards, item of value, etc.) may not be provided, Georgia Tech boosters may host a student-athlete for an occasional meal at home and/or on-campus. All occasional meals must be approved in advance by the compliance office. If all student employees receive a benefit, student-athletes may also participate, provided no special consideration is given due to status as a student-athlete. If you have any questions about employment of studentathletes, providing internships, participating in career preparation activities, or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact the compliance office.

Bret Cowley Associate Director of Compliance (404)385-0611

Shardonay Blueford Assistant Director of Compliance (404)894-0416



Profile for GTAthletics

Georgia Tech BUZZ Magazine - Fall 2015  

Georgia Tech BUZZ magazine - Fall 2015 issue

Georgia Tech BUZZ Magazine - Fall 2015  

Georgia Tech BUZZ magazine - Fall 2015 issue