TECH’S SECOND-YEAR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS FROM THE MAILBAG
AFTER A SUCCESSFUL SPRING, GEORGIA TECH HAS EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE IT CAN EXCEED EXPECTATIONS IN 2014
SUMMER 2014 • VOLUME 7 , NUMBER 4 EDITOR
DESIGN & LAYOUT
Georgia Tech Sports Information Staff
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In This Issue 4 8 12 16 20 24
UP AND RUNNING
RUSS CHANDLER BASEBALL STADIUM RENOVATION CHALLENGE
Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski responds to a mailbag of questions
Johnson wants to return to a high-octane rushing attack; big names replaced on defense
THE COLLIER WAY
New head coach Michelle Collier brings her love of volleyball and winning ways to Georgia Tech
$2.5 Million Commitment Funds Challenge Grant
IT IS SO, JOE
A large number of Georgia Tech student-athletes have wellknown, former professional athletes as parents Yellow Jacket great Joe Hamilton is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot
NOONAN GOLF FACILITY
ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM COMPLIANCE CORNER
Pre-existing relationships & recruiting
A VOICE AT THE TABLE
The Student-Athlete Advisory Board has served many purposes for many years
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gt GEORGIA TECH
GEORGIA TECH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MIKE BOBINSKI RESPONDS TO A MAILBAG OF QUESTIONS BY SIMIT SHAH
Georgia Tech director of athletics recently fielded questions from Georgia Tech fans. Here are his responses:
WHAT’S YOUR GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF THE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SEASONS? On the men’s side, I think it’s fair to say that the season didn’t end the way we had hoped for or anticipated as we went into the season. We felt like we had a postseason-capable team, but the reality that unfolded is that we never had the full roster available as injuries certainly took their toll. We never got all 12 guys out there in any sort of cohesive way. That’s certainly part of the game, and we’re not alone in dealing with that. We were good enough to be in a lot of games, but not good enough to close them out successfully. As we look ahead, we have to develop the ability to win games down the stretch, which in my mind has a lot to do with trusting each other as teammates and having the discipline to execute in pressure situations. I thought the women’s program had a good bounce-back year with a return to the NCAA Tournament. We had terrific seasons from Ty Marshall, who leaves as our all-time leading scorer, and freshman Kaela Davis, who had an exceptional year. It was a good year for our program. There’s clearly another step to take, and we need to strive to be successful against the top teams in the ACC, all of which are very good.
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FOR ASSESSING EACH HEAD COACH? It’s a conversation. It’s a backand-forth conversation about what needs to happen for each program to make progress. I offer
my observations and want to hear how each coach assesses the key areas and components of their program. The most important thing to me is whether there’s a strategy to move from where we are to where we want to be in the future. That’s the single biggest thing to me – I want a coach to be able to articulate an achievable plan. Without a plan you have very little chance of achieving or sustaining positive momentum.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING UNIONIZATION OF COLLEGE ATHLETES? It’s an understatement to say this is an interesting and volatile time in college athletics. We’re all extremely interested to see how this unfolds, and while there are lots of possibilities, I do believe the chance for a positive outcome exists. Many of the issues being raised are common sense matters that, in many cases, and certainly here at Georgia Tech, are already being addressed or provided. That being said, I do believe there are opportunities to truly re-orient the experience of student-athletes to better fulfill our educational promise to them. I’m hopeful we’ll head in that direction, while at the same time making sure we meet the legitimate health, safety, nutritional and academic support needs of all our student-athletes.
HOW WILL YOU PAY DOWN OR ELIMINATE THE DEBT TO ALLOW THE GTAA TO BE MORE FLEXIBLE AND MAYBE EVEN ADDRESS THE LONG TERM NEEDS OF THE FOOTBALL STADIUM IN A WAY THAT ALSO MAXIMIZES QUALITY SEATING (AND
THUS INCOME FOR THE GTAA) IN THE DISTANT FUTURE? I’m asked pretty regularly about our finances and specifically about the impact of our long term debt obligations. At all but a handful of schools across the country, financial challenges exist and the need to operate with great fiscal responsibility is of the highest importance. We certainly work hard to do so and an integral part of that is a debt management plan established when the current bonds were issued. That plan is being executed and is performing as designed. The impact on our annual operations is significant, but no greater than anticipated, and manageable as we move ahead. Future improvements to Bobby Dodd Stadium, or any of our facilities, will require a sound and selffunding financial model. Private funding, in the form of charitable donations, or new and reliable revenue streams that can be reasonably expected to cover the cost of any projects will be necessary. I’m confident that any truly essential facility improvements will be achievable in the years ahead.
ARE THERE PLANS TO ADD SOCCER OR ANY OTHER SPORTS IN THE FUTURE? That’s a good question and the short answer is no, there are no current plans to add any new sports. Our primary focus is on attempting to more fully support the 17 varsity sports we currently offer and ensure that we’re providing each of them a championship-caliber opportunity. That being said, we are always evaluating the competitive environment and other relevant factors, including our undergraduate male/female enrollment ratios, to ensure our current sport offerings are appropriate and in accordance
Athletic Director Mike Bobinski
with regulatory requirements. If at some future date we do consider new sport offerings, a key consideration will be access to, or the availability of space for practice and competition facilities. That will be a challenging proposition, as unoccupied space on campus is limited and any athletic needs would have to be considered in the context of all other Institute priorities.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO GET BETTER STUDENT ATTENDANCE AT GAMES? BETTER ATTENDANCE IN GENERAL? I want to emphasize that student support and engagement is a hugely important part of an energized and successful game day on the Flats. We have great student leadership at Tech and we’ve made concerted efforts to communicate and involve them in the decision making process as we establish student focused programs and policies. We implemented a student rewards program based on attendance this past year, and with the help of our partner IMG College, have stepped up promo-
tional efforts to engage students and encourage them to attend athletic events. Our undergraduate student strategy begins the day they step on campus for orientation (FASET) and continues through offering season ticket discounts for recent graduates. We’re also working to better engage our graduate students and their families. From a general attendance perspective, it’s our objective to create a welcoming and enjoyable experience from the moment you purchase a ticket to the time you leave campus after an athletic event. Our 2013 football attendance increased year over year by 10%, which was the 8th highest amongst major conference teams. We hope to continue that momentum in 2014, and have gotten a lot of positive feedback to our new slate of season ticket benefits. Renewals are moving at a good pace, but we won’t be satisfied until our fan base expands to the level needed to create an electric environment at Bobby Dodd Stadium on game days. I’ve encouraged our staff to be creative and
innovative in their thinking as we look to welcome returning and new fans to campus in the fall.
WILL WE SEE THE RETURN OF THE GEORGIA TECH SPRING CARAVAN? We are not currently planning to reinstate the caravan in its previous format, as the time and schedule constraints became difficult to manage. We’re working on some other events in the spring and summer for fans to interact with our coaches and administrators. We want to focus our efforts on reaching as many fans as possible whether it’s in person, online or in other ways. Stay tuned for more on this.
ARE THERE ANY DISCUSSIONS ON CHANGING THE ACC FOOTBALL SCHEDULING MODEL TO ROTATE THE SCHOOLS CURRENTLY IN THE ATLANTIC DIVISION TEAMS MORE FREQUENTLY?
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The football scheduling model is a topic at every ACC meeting and with the expansion of our league I’m sure it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Currently, the model involves playing every division opponent (six total), one permanent crossover (Clemson) and a rotating opponent from the other division, for a total of eight conference games. Notre Dame is also now in the ACC scheduling rotation as a non-league opponent; we’ll travel to South Bend in 2015 and have a home game with them somewhere in the following 3-4 years. There are NCAA rules related to divisions and conference championships that helped form the current model. As the landscape changes and the new College Football Playoff gets underway next season, ACC leadership will continue to evaluate the best strategy for a conference schedule. From a personal standpoint, I think it would be great if we could ultimately rotate through the teams in the other division more frequently. ■
Bobinski now has a full year at Georgia Tech under his belt. Above, Bobinski throws out the first pitch at an Atlanta Braves game last year.
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Senior Quayshawn Nealy enjoyed an outstanding spring and has emerged as one of the ACC’s top linebackers
UP AND RUNNING
JOHNSON WANTS TO RETURN TO A HIGH-OCTANE RUSHING ATTACK ON OFFENSE; BIG NAMES REPLACED ON DEFENSE BY MATT WINKELJOHN
No panacea will ever be found in spring practice for a football program that aspires to better recent records, but rather the 15 practices serve as a testing ground to begin anew the processes of coaches gauging individuals and getting a feel for whether certain philosophical changes might be plausible for real. With that in mind, one answer has been unequivocally reached, although it did not take spring practice to solve the query. If you are wondering what Georgia Tech’s new offense will look like come fall, think back to the Yellow Jackets’ old version, or those that predated 2013. The shotgun and diamond formations that were brought on last season ostensibly to maxi-
mize the skill set of quarterback Vad Lee are gone – or at least they were in the spring. Lee transferred to James Madison; he took wrinkles with him. Third-year sophomore Justin Thomas, whose speed and quickness would remind long-time followers of head coach Paul Johnson’s QBs, exited spring as the leading candidate for the spot. Junior Tim Byerly also is in the mix, closing the gap between he and Thomas with a latespring surge. “I think we’re really diving into . . . we’re a triple-option offense,” Byerly said after rushing for 101 yards and a score in the spring game, which Thomas missed with a mild shoulder injury. “We get under center, we have to get four or
five yards every play to be successful.” Perhaps less important than who plays QB will be what they’re asked to do and, of course, whether the 11 Jackets on the field are fully committed to doing it as if on the same page rather than merely operating out of the same expansive book. Last season the offense put up typical Johnson-like statistics, ranking sixth nationally in rushing offense, but the option game didn’t hit on all cylinders. The defense, meanwhile, made strides under first-year coordinator Ted Roof. For Tech to improve in a meaningful way over last season’s 7-6 push, the Jackets will need a more concrete identity than they had – or didn’t have – in ‘13.
The primary goal of spring was to get back to what Johnson’s teams do: run the ball a lot, with precision, out of a unique offense which many people refer to as a “triple option” attack even if the head coach continues to remind that the option is only, “part of what we do.” There will be a lot of QB runs, B-backs Zach Laskey and freshman Travis Custis will be busy bulling, A-backs aplenty will zip every which way and a passing game will be hinged to baseball player-turned-NFL-prospect DeAndre Smelter at wideout. “I think Zach’s had a real good spring,” Johnson said. “He could block a little better.” A blunt appraisal fits because if you’re looking for bells and whistles, you need to look somewhere else. If you’re looking for tweaking, focus on a defense where Roof has in mind new-age changes that will make the “nickel” his team’s base approach in a nod toward the greater evolution of spread offenses far and wide. A Johnson team figures to usually be defined primarily by its offense. When Thomas missed the spring game, Byerly rushed 26 times and scored looking a bit like former Tech QB Joshua Nesbitt in the way he bulled time and again for more. The two may work together, perhaps, as counter punchers of sorts. The offensive Jackets had less on their agendas this spring, and therefore were – at least theory -- better focused on less. They were less scattered. Less will hopefully be more. “We didn’t go shotgun at all this spring,” Byerly said. “I think we’ve just gotten better quality reps in practice. There is no sense of false hope in that we’re transitioning to a shotgun offense or what have you.” If Byerly reads as if enthused, and he should, you dear Tech football fan should also recall that Thomas opted to play for the Jackets rather than as a defensive back at Alabama in order to run this very style of attack. Johnson’s pleased as well. He was particularly candid in a recent one-onone interview with “Sports On Earth,” a longform publication conjoined with USA Today. There, he said, “Really, this spring we’ve tried to get back to basic fundamentals. We’re getting back to our roots and what we do. “It’s been fun because we’ve got guys who want to do what we’re doing.” For the offense to operate with great efficiency, the line is key. Senior guard Shaquille Mason, an All-American candidate, anchors the front five. Juniors Trey Braun and Bryan Chamberlain are both returning starters and look for sophomore Freddie Burden to take over at center. Redshirt freshman Chris Griffin got first-team snaps in the spring and the Jackets are hopeful sophomore tackle Chase Roberts can return from injury. The X-factor is 6-7, 370-pound redshirt freshman Shamire Devine. On defense, where Tech ranked 27th nationally in total defense (361 yards per game) and 29th in scoring defense (22.8 ppg), Roof and the
staff in the spring worked a great deal with four defensive linemen, two linebackers (Quayshawn Nealy and Tyler Marcordes/Paul Davis) and five defensive backs – in the nickel. That will be the Jackets’ baseline, as more opponents not only spread the field but often deploy three wide receivers or some permutation therein. Adam Gotsis, the junior defensive tackle from Australia who is tracking like a young man whom the NFL will one day watch closely, is the only returning starter among four up front. Notably, junior Jabari Hunt-Days, who as a freshman registered 84 combined tackles and assists only to tally 45 last season as he often left the field in “nickel” situations, has been moved to rush end. There, he is occupying the spot vacated by linebacker—turned-pass rusher Jeremiah Attaochu. That worked a year ago. Attaochu figures to be drafted in the first three rounds by an NFL team after leaving Tech as the school’s all-time sack leader. He had 12.5 last season to rank among national leaders. “In the nickel package it’s a way for him (Hunt-Days) to get on the field a little more,” Roof said. “We’re giving a guy with some experi-
ence and ability a chance to show what he can do at that position. He’s long, he was a good blitzer for us . . . as coaches, we’re looking to see how we can get the best guys on the field.” Senior Shawn Green is likely to start at tackle along with Gotsis, and the other end spot in August will see an interesting competition among Tyler Stargel, early-entry freshman KeShun Freeman, Jimmie Kitchen and sophomore Kenderius Whitehead, a junior college All-America player from Georgia Military College (and previously NC State). At linebacker, senior Quayshawn Nealy is coming off his best spring and has emerged as a team leader as well as one of the top defenders in the ACC. Safeties Isaiah Johnson and Jamal Golden, who missed all and most of last season, respectively, with injuries, are back. The return of Golden to the return game, where in 2012 he was among the most dangerous players in the Southeast and perhaps the nation, surely won’t hurt. “At this point, it doesn’t even seem like I was gone,” Isaiah Johnson said after the spring game, in which he returned a Byerly fumble 86 yards for a touchdown. “It’s the second year under Coach Roof, and as time goes by you get
Senior Zach Laskey (37) enters his senior season with 1,182 career rushing yards. WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM
Junior Adam Gotsis, the only returning starter on the defensive line, is coming off a super sophomore season.
to feel more comfortable under a new system.” At cornerback, Demond Smith and D.J. White, who started 19 games last season between them at multiple positions, give Tech experience. The kicking game is in good hands – or feet – as Paul Johnson thinks sophomore kicker Harrison Butker could be one of the nation’s best specialists. Butker, who booted a 54-yard field goal in a driving rainstorm in the spring game, is joined by sophomore punter Ryan Rodwell, who played more than half the season in 2012. Which brings us back to the offense. “We’ve kind of gone back to grass roots a little bit and . . . just being good at what we do and not trying to be too cute or get outside the box too much,” quarterback and B-backs coach Bryan Cook told Sports On Earth. “I think we’ve simplified and narrowed our focus a little bit.” Johnson was not during the spring big on talking about how the Jackets spent considerable time running offense without huddles. His teams have always done that in hurry-up situations at the ends of halves, he explained. After Tech spent much of the spring game operating without a huddle, however, it’s easy to believe that is going to be a
more prominent approach in the fall. Count Laskey as having taken a liking to a playbook down-sizing, and the speeding up of the offense. “Whenever you add something, you get something less out of something else,” he said in reference to last season’s diluted attack, in which the option suffered. “Taking out the shotgun, and we put in a little bit of the hurry up which kind of gives us a different tempo. “I think that is going to give us a little more of an edge. We definitely have gotten back to more of the basics . . . I think we can be great.” Most of the so-called experts are predicting Georgia Tech to finish in the lower half of the ACC’s Coastal Division. Of course, over the last six years, the Yellow Jackets have exceeded those same experts’ predictions every season. Expect the Yellow Jackets to play with a little bit of a chip on their shoulders this fall, perhaps embracing the role of the underdog. “I think we’re going to be better at running the ball than we were last year,” Johnson said. “I think we have a chance to be better than what a lot of people think.” ■
OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF GEORGIA TECH速 ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION
THE COLLIER WAY
NEW HEAD COACH MICHELLE COLLIER BRINGS HER LOVE OF VOLLEYBALL AND WINNING TO GEORGIA TECH BY JON COOPER
What’s in a name? New Georgia Tech volleyball head coach Michelle Collier (pronounced Mi-shell-EE Call-ee-AY) believes a lot. Hired as the eighth coach in the program’s history on March 21, following Tonya Johnson’s resignation, Collier knows all about the Georgia Tech volleyball name and tradition, having seen it first-hand. She is intent on restoring prestige to both. “I played against Georgia Tech back in the day when it was making the NCAA Tournament, so I knew what Georgia Tech was capable of,” said the Recife, Brazil, native. “I’m ready for the challenge and excited with the opportunity to bring the program back to where it was before.” Collier was the star outside hitter for the University of South Florida team that played against the Yellow Jackets on Sept. 14, 2002. She still remembers the match vividly. “We beat them, 3-2, but it was a battle,” Collier recalled of the Bulls’ victory (30-28, 28-30, 28-30, 30-21, 15-12), in which she had 35 kills (eighth-most in school history). “I remember Lynnette [Moster] (whose 31 kills rank eighth in Tech history) and I were just kind of going back and forth at the net trying to see who would have the most kills and Kele [Eveland] was fiery. It was such a fun match to play.” Eveland, a 2013 Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame inductee, remembers the loss in the South Florida Tournament — one of only six the Yellow Jackets would suffer all season — and especially remembers Collier. “Being a girl from Michigan, I really wanted to beat [Michigan State]. My team and I put such focus on beating MSU that when we played South Florida, we thought we could just play well and win. “Number 10 on USF (Collier) began to, as we say, work us!” remembered Eveland, a junior at the time. “She began to score at will. We would change our defense and she changed her shots to score on us. We ended up losing the match. If you know me you know that I hate to lose, but after this match I remember being so impressed with No. 10 on the USF team that I went up to her and said how great she played. She and I got to talking and that began our respect as both players, and later on, as coaches.” That year, Collier would go on to become the first USF and Conference USA Volleyball All-American, earning third-team honors, to
New volleyball coach Michelle Collier led Jacksonville to a 30-4 record last season en route to earning Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year.
go along with her second Conference USA Player of the Year award (she won it in ’00 and was the 1998 Freshman of the Year). She would graduate setting school-career-records for kills (2,729, fifthmost all-time in NCAA history — still 900 more than the nearest Bulls player), and digs (1,747) and is second in aces (257). She still holds three of the top five kill and attack seasons in school history, four of the top five kills-per-match seasons, seven of the top nine highest single-match kills (including the match against the Yellow Jackets) and three of the top six highest single-match aces totals. The school retired her number and inducted her into its athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, the first USF volleyball player to receive both honors. Collier played professionally for the next four years, on a global tour that visited such places as Cyprus, Indonesia, Puerto Rico,
Spain and The Netherlands then embarked on a coaching career, serving an assistant at her alma mater (2008 through 2010), then at South Carolina (2010 through 2012). By 2013, she was ready to become a head coach and was hired by Jacksonville University. She made quite the first impression, directing the Dolphins to 30-4 season (16-2 in Atlantic Sun) and winning both the Atlantic Sun regular-season and Tournament titles, while securing an NCAA Tournament berth. The 30 wins were the third-most in school history and the most in 30 years, while the NCAA Tournament appearance was the school’s first in nine years. Collier was named Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year, only the second coach in school history to win the award. With her reputation in the volleyball world and her resume, Collier’s name jumped to the top
of Georgia Tech’s short list. “I got a phone call from Theresa Wenzel, asking me if I was interested in the position,” she said. “I was honored with just the phone call. My goal was to come to the interview and just learn from the process but I got in here and it didn’t feel like a real interview. People were easy to talk to. They were very welcoming. There was a lot of excitement about the volleyball program.” Collier would like to ratchet up that excitement in 2014, the 10th anniversary of the Jackets’ last Sweet 16 appearance, and bring Georgia Tech back to the Tournament, a place they’ve been only once since - in 2009, when they were eliminated 3-0 by Baylor in the first round. Collier believes that turning the program around begins with her players playing with a passion for the game. “One of the main characteristics of the Brazilian players is that they play with so much heart and passion and I’m going to try to get that out of my players,” she said. “They’ve got to love what they do and they’ve got to understand how much work needs to be put into it but that it’s all worth it. We’re going to be thankful for the opportunity that we have and we’re going to work hard to be the best team that we can be.” While the 2014 Yellow Jackets will be young — fielding only one senior and four juniors — Collier believes they can have a similar reversal of fortune as her 2013 Dolphins, which made a 20-game turnaround (30-4 from 10-24), despite a team that also had only five upperclassmen (three seniors, a junior and a redshirtjunior). Her personality and ability to communicate will go a long way to that end. “I was always a leader naturally when I played and even when I was an assistant coach. I was easy to relate to people coming from a different country and having to adjust to a new culture,” she said. “So I think all of those things helped mold me to the kind of head coach that I am and I think it helps the team feel comfortable around me. Everybody sees eyeto-eye with what we’re looking for and to be able to work together toward achieving that vision.”
The team showed during spring practice that they have already bought in. The players especially enjoyed her letting them problemsolve. “She has a very calm demeanor that she’s brought to practice,” said junior defensive specialist/libero Wimberly Wilson, the team’s top returning server (.934). “She likes to see if you can figure out what’s wrong before she approaches you and says, ‘Hey, you need to fix this.’ So we kind of have to work through our own struggle before she interjects, which I think is helping people mentally focus in on ‘How am I going to get better?’” “She doesn’t like to over-talk and doesn’t over-think and overanalyze things,” added senior outside hitter Courtney Felinski, the team’s leading returning hitter (2.03 kills per set). “She’ll just make changes to our game plan and make suggestions that are very casual and put in very simple terms. It’s just play and figure things out as you go. “ The Jackets are ready to turn the page and usher in a new, successful era. “We definitely believe in her and the system that she brings,” said Felinski. “We’ve bought-in as a team and are really excited to see what changes she makes and go along with her.” The promise of a new era of Georgia Tech volleyball has rekindled excitement for Eveland, who was part of Jacket teams that went to four straight NCAAs, capped off by a program-best Elite Eight appearance in 2003. She’s sure Collier is the right person to bring back the swagger and the reputation. “One thing about Michelle is that success follows her,” said Eveland. “I’m so excited to see her at Georgia Tech and look forward to great things.” Collier’s mission is clear. “Obviously, the overall goal is just to be getting better and to make sure that we’re moving toward the vision that we want to bring in to the program,” she said. “Georgia Tech has been an established program. They’ve been to the NCAA Tournament. Those are the expectations and those are the goals that we’re going to have.” ■
gt GEORGIA TECH
A NUMBER OF GEORGIA TECH STUDENT-ATHLETES HAVE WELL-KNOWN, FORMER PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES AS PARENTS BY ADAM VAN BRIMMER
Corey Heyward can’t hide his lineage, not with his unmistakable resemblance to his famous father. “Pretty much from middle school on, strangers would take one look at the shape of my noggin and say ‘There’s Ironhead’s kid,’” says Heyward, whose dad, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, was a star NFL fullback for a decade. “But I was glad to inherit some other attributes from him as well.” Namely, athleticism. Corey Heyward grew up to be a talented basketball player, known for his hard-nosed play, just like his father. He now demonstrates those skills as a sophomore point guard on Georgia Tech’s basketball team. Heyward is among an impressive number of sons and daughters of accomplished athletes to compete for the Yellow Jackets. From the first family of Georgia Tech athletics, the Rhinos, to the children of legends who are or have donned Old Gold and White -- like Robert Sampson, Jon and Drew Barry and Michael Nicklaus -- Georgia Tech might as well be Offspring U.
THE OFFSPRING CURRENT
Child Sport Parent Background Kaela Davis Basketball Antonio Davis Played 14 years in NBA Anthony Harrell Football James Harrell Played nine years in NFL and USFL Corey Heyward Men’s Basketball Craig Heyward Played 11 years in NFL Keenan Innis Baseball Jeff Innis Pitched six seasons in Major League Baseball Rasheeda McAdoo Women’s Tennis Bob McAdoo Played 14 years in NBA A.J. Murray Baseball Michael Murray Played four seasons in Chicago White Sox organization Stacey Poole, Jr. Men’s Basketball Stacey Poole Florida Gators’ all-time leading scorer Robert Sampson Men’s Basketball Ralph Sampson Four-time NBA All-Star Matt Weibring Golf D.A. Weibring Five-time winner on PGA Tour Donavan Wilson Football Kevin Wilson Former NBA player
Child Joe Anoai Briny Baird Jon and Drew Barry Jordan Carter Nick Cassini Nick Foreman Talisa Kellogg Caitlin Lever Monique Mead Nicki Meyer Michael Nicklaus Kelley Rhino Glen Rice, Jr. Jessica Salinger Alexis and Mariah Woodson Kyle and Colby Wren
Sport Parent Background Football Sika Anoai Part of pro wrestling’s Wild Samoans tag team Golf Butch Baird PGA Tour golfer Men’s Basketball Rick Barry NBA legend Baseball Joe Carter Baseball all-star Golf Igor Cassini Pro tennis player Men’s Basketball Willie Foreman Harlem Globetrotter Volleyball Clark Kellogg NBA player Softball Donald Lever NHL star, coach Volleyball Al Mead Paralympic gold and silver medalist Volleyball Urban Meyer College football coach Golf Jack Nicklaus PGA Tour legend Football Randy Rhino Three-time football All-American Men’s Basketball Glen Rice, Sr. NBA star Softball Bob Salinger Major League Baseball player Volleyball Mike Woodson NBA coach Baseball Frank Wren Major League Baseball general manager
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“I don’t know what it is about Tech and star’s kids, but it certainly benefits the teams,” says women’s basketball phenom Kaela Davis, whose father, Antonio Davis, played 14 years in the NBA. “It’s a statistical anomaly, but around here it just seems kind of normal.” Davis and Heyward are among 10 current Yellow Jackets blessed with storied athletic genes. Tech women’s tennis standout, Rasheeda McAdoo, is the daughter of former NBA great Bob McAdoo. Men’s hoops senior Stacey Poole, Jr.’s father is the Florida Gators all-time leading scorer. Golfer Matt Weibring grew up on the range alongside his father, longtime PGA Tour pro D.A. Weibring. Genetics is just one of many advantages the offspring leverage from their parents. Growing up around athletics, whether the parent is a player, coach or front office pro, makes an impression on a child. Most tend to be particularly driven and determined. “I’m very down to business and detailed in everything I do, and that’s from watching my dad all those years,” says former Georgia Tech volleyball player Nicki Meyer, whose father, Urban Meyer, coached Florida’s football team to two national championships and played two years of minor league baseball. “You can tell the kids who come from athletic families. They understand how athletics applies to so much more than practicing and playing.”
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Sons and daughters of athletes also benefit from their parents’ knowledge and experience. Paralympic gold and silver medalist Al Mead often helped his daughter, Monique, prepare mentally and physically, for the adversity all athletes face. When Monique, one of the great players in Georgia Tech volleyball history, struggled with scoliosis as a child, she drew strength from her father, a champion long jumper despite having only one leg. “With my life story and how I didn’t give up and didn’t get discouraged, that really encouraged her,” Mead says. The drawbacks to being the child of a storied athlete are the expectations. The average fan measures the offspring’s production against that of his or her father or mother. When the performance falls short, the criticism can cut deep.
DAYS GO BY
“People know who your dad is and automatically assume you are strong and athletic, and that’s not necessarily true,” Heyward says. “Fortunately, most fathers who are great athletes will try and shield their kids from that kind of thing. My dad supported my decision to play basketball instead of football. He let me find my own success.” Family success on the field or court is always special, particularly if the son or daughter
is trodding the same grass or hardwood his or her father or mother did. Such is the case with the Rhino family at Georgia Tech. Three generations have starred on the football field, starting with Chappell Rhino in the early1950s. Best known for a surprise touchdown pass in an upset of rival Georgia, which earned him the nickname “One Play” Rhino, Chappell fathered two Yellow Jacket stars. The older of Chappell’s football-playing boys, Randy Rhino, was a three-time AllAmerican and set several school records for return yards in the 1970s. Randy’s son, Kelley, starred for the Yellow Jackets in the 1990s and broke several of his dad’s marks. “That was very special,” Randy Rhino says. “How many fathers can say their career records were broken by their own son?” Sons and daughters often cite the example set by a parent in explaining their success. Many see those standards, as much as DNA, as the most important attribute an accomplished athlete passes on to his or her offspring. “You have a parent who played the game at a high level, like the NBA, you naturally play the game the way he played and how the game should be played,” says Davis. “I’m always thinking about that and finding ways to help myself improve.” ■
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IT IS SO, JOE
YELLOW JACKET GREAT JOE HAMILTON IS ON THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME BALLOT BY ADAM VAN BRIMMER
The question, according to Ralph Friedgen, is not whether Joe Hamilton is a hall of famer, but which of Hamilton’s attributes most makes him hall worthy. His competitiveness? His intelligence? His rifle arm or lightning feet? “How he had it all, I don’t know. God gave it to him,” says Friedgen, Georgia Tech’s offensive coordinator for much of Hamilton’s storied career. “He stands 5-foot-9 and was a success at every level. He didn’t fit anybody’s mold for a dominant quarterback, but you’d be hard pressed to find one who could make an impact the way Joe could.” Hamilton’s impact could soon be recognized beyond Georgia Tech and the Atlantic Coast Conference fans. He was among 75 former Football Bowl Subdivision players placed on the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame ballot in March. The inductees for the hall, which will open its new home in Atlanta this fall, will be announced in May.
Hamilton’s resume makes him a favorite. He set multiple ACC and Georgia Tech passing and total offense marks in accounting for 10,640 yards and 83 touchdowns in his four seasons as a starter. He led the Yellow Jackets to 30 wins, including two bowl victories, and an Atlantic Coast Conference co-championship. He was the runner-up for the 1999 Heisman Trophy, won the Davey O’Brien Award given to the nation’s top quarterback and was a consensus first-team All-American. For Hamilton, those accolades were never much to brag about. He simply loved to play, and the hype that followed was to be “dismissed.” Yet his hall of fame candidacy began to resonate
once he studied the list of nominees, which includes college greats like Warren Sapp, Keyshawn Johnson, Reggie Brown, Brian Bosworth, Randall Cunningham, Eric Dickerson and Rocket Ismael. “Some of the other names on the list, I can’t describe what it’s like to be on there with them,” says Hamilton, currently part of Georgia Tech football’s recruiting staff. “I don’t deny anything I did on the field -- I had a great career -- but when it comes down to being in that category, it is unbelievable. I am overwhelmed.”
Hamilton’s path to the hall of fame’s doorstep started in his grandfather’s sweet potato patch. Growing up in the tiny hamlet of Alvin, S.C., Hamilton would host impromptu neighborhood football games in his granddad’s front yard. The patch’s sweetness took root in Hamilton as well as the potatoes within the soil. Hamilton’s talent was apparent by his freshman year of high school. But the stadium was not grandpa’s potato patch, and Hamilton participated in his first varsity practice thinking he would back up the veteran, a senior, for one year before making it “my show.” His father, upon hearing of his son’s mentality, asked a simple question: What are you waiting for? “That moment changed my life,” Hamilton says. “From then on, I wanted to win at everything. Whether it was horseshoes or whatever, I never wanted to be on the sideline. I wanted to play. Win or lose, it was about competing.” Hamilton won the starting job at his high school a few weeks after his father’s challenge. The veteran moved to wide receiver. Hamilton went on to become a prep legend in the South Carolina lowcountry. Yet he didn’t reach his full potential until he connected with Friedgen. The coach came to Georgia Tech in early 1997 from the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. Friedgen had coached with the Yellow Jackets before, mentoring quarterback Shawn Jones and coordinating the Georgia Tech offense. He was the offensive coordinator for the 1990 national championship team. Friedgen recognized Hamilton’s physical talents immediately upon his arrival. One of the coach’s first tasks at his new job was to compile a video of every play from the previous season. The Yellow Jackets finished 5-6 in 1996, largely due to an inconsistent offense led by a freshman quarterback: Hamilton. Friedgen sat his quarterback down, showed
Joe Hamilton, one of Georgia Tech’s all-time greats, is a nominee for the College Football Hall of Fame.
him the tape and said “about 50 percent of your plays are great and 50 percent are not so great. You have to get rid of the bad ones to succeed.” Hamilton took the challenge from Friedgen in much the same way he accepted the one from his father half-a-decade earlier. His next three seasons would be hall of fame-like, prompting an opposing coach, Maryland’s Todd Vanderlinden, to say, “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen in college football an athlete like Joe Hamilton. I’ve never seen a quarterback like Joe Hamilton ever.”
Hamilton surprised Friedgen daily. There was nothing the coach could dream up that Hamilton could not master, and master quickly. Hamilton’s senior year, 1999, Georgia Tech opened the season against Navy. The Yellow Jackets won, but head coach George O’Leary, a defensive guru, was stung by the effectiveness of Navy’s triple-option offense. The Monday after
the game, he asked Friedgen how difficult it would be to incorporate the triple-option into Georgia Tech’s offense. “We were running several option-style plays, so it was just a matter of getting the timing down,” Friedgen says. “That afternoon at practice, we put the triple-option play in. With Joe back there, we had it down in less than five snaps.” Together, Hamilton and Friedgen could quite literally draw up plays in the dirt. Hamilton, while not one to study video, has a visual mind and could mimic anything he saw. If Friedgen could draw it up on a whiteboard or demonstrate it on the practice field, Hamilton could do it. Hamilton’s intellect allowed him to play two seasons in the NFL and star in the NFL Europe and the Arena Football League. He led the Orlando Predators to the Arena League championship game. Yet Hamilton was at his sharpest as a Yellow Jacket. Florida State coach Bobby Bowden once said of Hamilton “I haven’t seen anybody do more for his football team than he’s done. And he does it in a lot of different manners -- running the
ball, throwing the ball, leading.” Hamilton’s versatility still amazes his old coach. New acquaintances still engage Friedgen in conversation about Hamilton.
Many insist on crediting Friedgen for Hamilton’s development. “I do deserve credit for being a smart coach,” Friedgen says. “The smartest coaches are those
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who don’t screw up talented players. And Joe Hamilton is one of the best, if not the best, I’ve ever had.” ■
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A VOICE AT THE TABLE
THE STUDENT-ATHLETE ADVISORY BOARD HAS SERVED MANY PURPOSES FOR MANY YEARS
BY ADAM VAN BRIMMER
Google told Georgia Tech track and cross country standout Morgan Jackson the value of serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Board. A cursory web search reveals participation on the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, better known by the acronym SAAB, looks good on a résumé. The organization doubles as the voice of Yellow Jacket players to the school’s administration and the studentathletes’ collective community service arm. Many employers find demonstrated leadership and civic-mindedness attractive in job candidates.
SAAB service’s long-term benefits weren’t what led Jackson to volunteer for the board following her freshman year on the Flats, however. She recognized SAAB’s importance in connecting studentathletes to the world beyond Georgia Tech’s athletic facilities. Competing in a varsity sport while studying for a degree can be all consuming, but the StudentAthlete Advisory Board ensures community outreach and campus stewardship remain priorities. For Jackson and the other 28 board members, SAAB is more than just a résumé-padder. “It’s no walk in the park; serv-
YELLOW JACKETS IN THE COMMUNITY The Student-Athlete Advisory Board coordinates several community outreach initiatives, including: Michael Isenhour Toy Drive -- The annual toy collection campaign is held each fall to benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlanta; the Ronald McDonald House; and the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. The brainchild of one-time Georgia Tech basketball player Michael Isenhour, the drive was renamed in Isenhour’s honor in 2002 following his death from cancer. Twilight Cub Scout Camp -- Georgia Tech’s football team visits the scout camp in Canton and conducts football drills and participates in other activities. Special Olympics Georgia Winter Games -- The Yellow Jackets volunteer to help coordinate the annual event that attracts 1,500 athletes competing in a number of sports. Girls on the Run -- Georgia Tech’s female student-athletes participate in the national life skills program. They visit various schools, community centers and other sites around Atlanta, leading training sessions for the annual 5K road race. Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer -- Georgia Tech student-athletes participate in this annual fundraisers and awareness event. The 30-mile route passes through campus, and SAAB coordinates activities surrounding the walk.
Cross country and track standout Morgan Jackson saw value in volunteering for the Student-Athlete Advisory Board.
ing on SAAB is a major commitment,” said Jackson, the current board president. “But you see the impact Georgia Tech student-athletes can have on people on and off campus, and you realize it’s worth the time.” SAAB has been waving the flag for Yellow Jacket student-athletes for going on 35 years. The board was established in 1980 by legendary athletic director Homer Rice as part of his Total Person Program. The program became the model for a national initiative, the NCAA’s CHAMPS/Life Skills Program, and is aimed at helping student-athletes gain the skills that will serve them for a lifetime, beyond the court, field, track, pool or links. SAAB draws leaders from each athletic program. The board is a diverse mix of stars, role players and reserves, because “leadership isn’t about how many minutes you play or home runs you hit,” says
the board’s vice president, softball player Caitlyn Coffey. Most members are identified as potential SAAB members early in their careers and serve several years. Recent alumni include women’s basketball player Shayla Bivins, honored by the NCAA during the 2014 women’s Final Four for her work in the community, and football player Darryl Richard, who instituted several SAAB programs during his tenure as the board’s president. The board’s work has significantly raised the community and campus profile of Georgia Tech student-athletes in recent years, according to the Total Person Program Director Leah Thomas. Key community service initiatives like the Michael Isenhour Toy Drive, the Girls on the Run life skills program, and the Georgia Winter Special Olympics attract strong participation. And SAAB works closely with student government
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and other campus organizations to bridge the inherent gap between student-athletes and the general student population. “That is probably the biggest challenge because there is a gap -- the student-athletes live together, eat together and spend much of their free time together,” Thomas says. “But SAAB helps because board members are engaged in non-athletic events on campus.” The board has renewed its focus on supporting other campus groups and activities, according to Coffey, “because they come out and support us for our games. We should be there for them, too.” The board also exists to improve the welfare of student-athletes. Board members do represent their respective teams, and they solicit feedback about conditions and the environment from their teammates. SAAB members are the conduit between the players and the athletic administration and often give input on student support services. The board addresses issues at their monthly meetings, from minor complaints like malfunctioning Powerade machines to more heady topics such as the ongoing debate over the potential unionization of student-athletes.
THE 2013-14 STUDENTATHLETE ADVISORY BOARD Shayla Bivins, WBB, Out-going President Morgan Jackson, WXC, President Caitlyn Coffey, SB, Vice-President Kate Brandus, WSW, Secretary Errin Joe, FB, Community Service Chair Anders Albertson, Golf Bo Andrews, Golf Colleen Darragh, SB Ashley Thomas, SB Devin Stanton, BB Megan Kurey, WTN Natasha Prokhnevska, WTN Nathan Rakitt, MTN Alex Braxton, WTK Monique Pate, WTK Spencer Allen, MTK Julian Darden, MTK Jeremy Wegener, MTK Kate Clark, WSW Hailey White, WSW Elliott Brockelbank, MSW Ricky Lehner, MSW Frida Fogdemark, WBB Aaron Peek, MBB Isaiah Johnson, FB Robbie Godhigh, FB Ivona Kolak, VB Wimberly Wilson, VB Chelsea Owen, Cheer
Football’s Errin Joe has been extremely active in the SAAB and in the community as well.
Georgia Tech’s administration is generally responsive, says Coffey, the SAAB vice president. Player ideas have been incorporated into the slew of facility upgrades undertaken in the last decade, for example.
“I didn’t realize how much they cared about our input,” she says. “They want to know about issues and they jump on top of it really quick.” ■
Softball’s Caitlyn Coffey was surprised at how receptive the Georgia Tech athletic administrators have been.
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DONOR PROFILE: ROBERT WORLEY
BY SIMIT SHAH
You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger Georgia Tech fan than Robert Worley. He describes himself as a guy who was “from the wrong side of the tracks” in Toccoa, Georgia, tucked in the northeast corner of the state on the South Carolina border. It wasn’t an area where white and gold runs rampant, but he was always drawn to the aura of North Avenue from a very young age. Worley started attending Georgia Tech games as a youngster in the 1950’s when Bobby Dodd led the Jackets. “It was a completely different era,” he remembered. “We’d dress up in coats and ties and sit on the old wooden seats with splinters. Those games were the talk of the town, and this was before Atlanta had any pro teams, so it was a real event to see a game at Grant Field.”
top-ranked Virginia in 1990 in Charlottesville – “That’s probably one of the top 10 games in college football history, and it was surreal to be there in Charlottesville.” His encyclopedia-like knowledge is on display as he fondly remembers details of Gary Lee’s 95-yard kickoff return against Georgia in the fog in 1985, defensive coordinator Don Lindsey’s Black Watch defense, Gary Lanier engineering an upset of Notre Dame in 1976 and Tech toppling number one Alabama in 1962. “Of course, nothing can top beating Nebraska in 1990 for the national championship,” he declared. “That’s as good as it gets. That was a great team, and Bobby Ross has put together an especially great coaching staff. They could beat you, and then take yours and beat his… that’s great coaching. They were that good.”
“There was always something about Georgia Tech,” he explained. “It was a place that valued education and also competed at a high level. Georgia Tech people possessed values and character, and I’ve always admired that.” He attended games regularly as he grew up and became a season ticket holder. “I saw a lot of good and bad football,” he laughed. “Win or lose, I still loved it.” He’s quick to rattle off some of his favorite games he’s attended, including the 41-38 thriller over
Professionally, Worley taught in the Stephens County school system. In 1979, he started his own printing company, and the business grew from just two to 26 employees. When Homer Rice became director of athletics in 1980, Worley offered to help in any way he could. Worley became one of the first
Life Members of the AlexanderTharpe Fund and assisted in printing materials for the Athletic Association. Over the years, he has been generous in donating his time, energy and resources to help the program. In 1996, he sold his company and moved to Atlanta and went to work at Bennett Graphics where he is a senior sales representative. He manages over 30 accounts including the Georgia Tech/IMG College account, which includes football/ basketball/baseball programs, information guides and posters. With deep roots in Toccoa, Worley was also helpful to various coaching staffs looking to build relationships with locals for recruiting in the northeastern region of Georgia. “Georgia Tech is a special place, so I never hesitate to make a phone
call or introduction on a coach’s behalf to help them out,” he said. “I knew that going to Georgia Tech would be a tremendous opportunity for anyone growing up here, so it was great to see them succeed. I still keep in touch with a lot of those guys, including Pat and Daryl Swilling, Ken Swilling, Anthony Harrison and Brad Chambers.” Despite some health issues in recent years, Worley and his wife Debra are among the faithful at every home game in the fall. “To me, Georgia Tech is about relationships and friendships. I’ve gotten to know so many people from Alexander-Tharpe, sports information, marketing and the coaching staffs over 25 years, and they are just good folks.”
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at RUSS CHANDLER BASEBALL STADIUM ALEXANDERTHARPE FUND
RENOVATION CHALLENGE $2.5 MILLION COMMITMENT FUNDS CHALLENGE GRANT
An anonymous donor has established a $2.5 million challenge grant designed to inspire charitable gifts to fund the first phase of renovations to Russ Chandler Stadium estimated at $5 million.
Q: WHY IS THE CHALLENGE BEING ISSUED NOW? A: The Anonymous donor recognizes the need to keep Georgia Tech’s athletic facilities up to a certain standard as a Division I school in the ACC. Russ Chandler Stadium, in particular, is in need of upgrades to provide our current student-athletes with the environment and resources required to perform at the highest level and to attract new recruits to play baseball for Georgia Tech.
Q: WHAT IS THE GOAL FOR THIS CHALLENGE GRANT? A: The goal is to provide a total of $5 million in gifts and/or commitments to complete Phase I of a twophase renovation project of Russ Chandler Stadium. The scope of this phase includes enhancements to the locker room and lounge, pitch-
ing tunnel, training room, coaches’ locker room, and study room.
Q: HOW DOES THE CHALLENGE WORK? A: Donors who wish to help meet the challenge must make a qualifying gift or multi-year commitment. Commitments are typically payable over a five-year period. Gifts from all challenge grant participants will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by the Anonymous donor for the purpose of qualifying them for any of the available naming opportunities and/or recognition, thus doubling the impact of each participating donor’s gift.
Q: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY QUALIFYING GIFTS AND COMMITMENTS? A: Only new gifts and commitments made on or after December 1, 2013 and designated for the renovation of Russ Chandler Stadium will qualify. Donors to other allocations within athletics cannot cancel and re-book a qualifying current commitment.
Q: WHO GETS THE RECOGNITION? A: The Anonymous donor is conveying all commemorative naming opportunities—including the challenge grant monies—to the triggering donor(s). The triggering donor(s) may name the respective area in the facility in their own name(s) or in honor or memory of others. Essentially, the donor will be gaining naming rights for half of the minimum gift level it would otherwise cost.
Q: WHAT IS THE MINIMUM LEVEL OF CHALLENGE PARTICIPATION? A: The minimum level of challenge participation is $12,500, resulting in a $25,000 naming opportunity for the triggering donor(s).
Q: WHEN DOES THE CHALLENGE EXPIRE? A: We expect fundraising for Phase I to conclude on or before December 31, 2014. Typically, pledges may be paid over a period of five years.
Q: DO MY CORPORATE MATCHING GIFTS QUALIFY AS WELL? HOW ABOUT FOUNDATIONS OR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS? A: Yes. There are hundreds of companies who will match the gifts of their employees and, in some cases, retirees. The entire amount would qualify for the challenge. Gifts and commitments from foundations, other organizations, and directly from corporations are also welcome.
Q: WILL THERE BE A CHALLENGE FOR PHASE II OF RENOVATIONS? A: The current plan is to announce details for Phase II as we approach the completion of the fundraising effort for Phase I. Phase II is estimated at an additional $7 million, subject to cost estimates at the time of construction.
Q: WILL AN ESTATE PROVISION OR TRUST QUALIFY? A: Only in a handful of cases may a trust or estate provision qualify. If interested in exploring this option in more detail, please contact any A-T development officer or the office at (404) 894-5414.
Q: WHERE DO I DIRECT ANY QUESTIONS? OR MAKE A QUALIFYING COMMITMENT? A: Donors can direct gifts and commitments to the AlexanderTharpe Fund. Please contact the A-T office at (404) 894-5414.
NOONAN GOLF FACILITY
at ALEXANDERTHARPE FUND
PROJECT HISTORY: Kim P. Noonan, IM 1983, and Thomas E. Noonan, ME 1983, have provided the catalyst with a seven-figure commitment for the renovation and modernization of the golf teamâ€™s practice facility. Inspired by their generosity and oneâ€™s own desires to support the Georgia Tech Golf Program, many donors have made significant commitments enabling the Georgia Tech Athletic Association to purchase the land and move ahead toward making improvements.
CURRENT STATUS: Funding is currently a little over $1 Million away from breaking ground. The finish line is in sight, and with a little additional support from alumni and friends, this project can be completed! The site will then include a teaching center, a comprehensive practice area, a par-3 course, and a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art clubhouse. Georgia Tech has set a high standard of excellence in golf. The team is currently ranked 2nd in the nation and is in its 19th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 26 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Please consider making a commitment to ensure the student-athletes in the golf program continue to enjoy the important benefits of having a top-notch practice facility near the Tech campus.
For more information, or to donate to the Noonan Golf Facility, please contact the A-T Fund at 404-894-5414.
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ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM “Through the generosity of someone else, I was given the opportunity to compete and study at Georgia Tech. I feel a profound responsibility to give back to the student-athletes that come after me.”
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund hosts an annual Scholarship Endowment Dinner in honor of Athletic Scholarship Endowment Donors and Student-Athlete Recipients. Coaches and scholarship student-athletes from all sports, endowment donors, and professional athletes from Tech are amongst – Former Student-Athlete those in attendance. The event is held at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, where a few select athletes and donors have the opportunity to address the audience. This event has become a favorite by all as it allows donors to interact with the student-athletes and it provides the athletes the opportunity to realize the generosity of those who have made it possible to attain their goals and inspires them to pay-it-forward.
Upper left to right: Tom Noonan (R.J. “Doc” Noonan, Sr. Golf Scholarship), Alysha Rudnik (Softball), Jimmy Trimble with family (Trimble Athletic Scholarship) Left: Robbie Godhigh (Football) inspires the crowd Lower Left: Head Coaches Shelly Hoerner (Softball) and Paul Johnson (Football) show their appreciation Below: Shayla Bivins (Women’s Basketball) with proud parents
Georgia Tech has a long term goal to fully endow every athletic scholarship allowed by the NCAA. If you have interest in establishing an endowment in your name or making an endowment gift, please contact any of the following: Jim Hall at (404) 894-8219 or email@example.com • Mindy Hyde at (404) 894-5435 or firstname.lastname@example.org Jack Thompson at (404) 894-5427 or email@example.com
BY SHOSHANNA ENGEL, ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR COMPLIANCE PREEXISTING RELATIONSHIPS & RECRUITING
Shoshanna Engel Associate Athletic Director for Compliance
Shoshanna Engel Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance firstname.lastname@example.org (404)894-8792
Representatives of athletics interests (e.g., boosters) of Georgia Tech are prohibited from providing any type of benefit (e.g., material benefit, discount, service, etc.) to a current or prospective student-athlete (PSA). NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199.6 also prohibits preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletic reputation, skill, or payback potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment. The only exception to this rule is if there is a clear preexisting relationship between the booster and the student-athlete/PSA. The following guidelines should be used to help determine whether a relationship may be considered preexisting where NCAA legislation is concerned: 1. D id the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete’s parents) and the individual providing the benefits develop as a result of the athlete’s participation in athletics or notoriety related thereto? 2. D id the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete’s parents) and the individual providing the benefits predate the athlete’s status as a PSA?
Marquita Armstead Director of Compliance email@example.com (404)894-5507
Bret Cowley Associate Director of Compliance firstname.lastname@example.org (404)385-0611
3. D id the relationship between the athlete (or the athlete’s parents) and the individual providing the benefits predate the athlete’s status achieved as a result of his or her athletics ability or reputation? 4. Was the pattern of benefits provided by the individual to the athlete (or the athlete’s parents) prior to the athlete attaining notoriety as a skilled athlete similar in nature to those provided after attaining such stature? However, the origin and duration of a relationship and the consistency of benefits provided during the relationship are key factors in determining whether benefits provided are contrary to the spirit and intent of NCAA legislation. Individuals who have no logical ties to a current student-athlete/PSA (e.g., agent, other individuals who developed a relationship via athletics participation/ reputation) should not provide any material or other benefits to student-athletes. If you have any questions about preexisting relationships you may have with prospect-aged individuals or current Georgia Tech student-athletes (e.g., longtime neighbors, family members, etc.), please do not hesitate to contact the compliance office.
Shardonay Blueford Assistant Director of Compliance email@example.com (404)894-0416
Kyle Buffolino Compliance Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org (404)894-0416
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