Photo by John Nakano

On August 9, 2016, it was officially confirmed by Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson that Athletic Director Mike Bobinski would be accepting an offer to go to Purdue University for the same position he held at Tech.

Bobinski was originally named the eighth Director of Athletics at Tech on Jan. 16, 2013. Under his guidance, Tech athletics continued to develop, albeit in a tumultuous manner.

Although last year wasn’t the best year for football, Bobinski increased Tech’s presence in the world of college football. In his three years presiding over Tech athletics, the Jackets reached two bowls, with one of them being a coveted Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Bowl in 2014.

For his second season as Athletic Director, the Jackets went 11-3 overall, barely losing to eventual national champions Florida State 37-35 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game.  They then went on to defeat South Eastern Conference powerhouse Mississippi State in the Capital One Orange Bowl. Most importantly of all though, Bobinski stopped the losing streak against the University of Georgia by winning on the road in a thrilling overtime game, one that will hold a place in Tech’s annals.

In addition to his contributions to football, Bobinski has made sure that the swimming and diving team has constantly improved. In his first two years, the Men’s Swim and Dive team finished 7th at the ACC tournament, but just this past year they managed to climb up to 5th. Furthermore, Tech swimming and diving has produced many All-Americans over his tenure and even an Olympian in Andrew Chetcuti who represented Malta at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Bobinksi also added new members to the coaching staff with assistant coach Neil Versfeld and Andy Robins in 2015, providing new perspective to the staff.

For Track and Field, Bobinski helped recruit new field star Bria Matthews who won the triple jump at the ACC Outdoor Meet in 2016. Matthews also went onto win the long and triple jump at the Junior Nationals this past summer. While the Jackets haven’t seen the most success on the track these past few years, Bobinski has continued the tradition of having several athletes make the All-ACC Academic team every year, an impressive feat.

Moving into winter sports, Bobinski has overseen the resurgence of both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. The Men’s team recently made it to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) while the Women’s team made it through to the second round of their equivalent tournament.

Bobinski’s most important decision in regards to the basketball team, though, has been the recent hiring of former Memphis Tigers’ coach Josh Pastner to coach the Men’s team. Furthermore, he added former Portland Pilots head coach, Eric Reveno, former Georgetown and Northwestern assistant Tavaras Hardy and Tech grad Darryl Labarrie as assistant coaches to Pastner.   

Under Bobinski, both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams saw success with the Women’s team reaching the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament all three years and the Men’s team reaching the tournament this past year. Over those three years, the Jackets have also seen success in the individual NCAA tournament with athletes such as junior Christopher Eubanks receiving invitations to all the prestigious national tournaments while juniors Paige Hourigan and Johnnise Renaud received bids to the 2016 NCAA Singles Tournament.

In addition to simple athletic success, Bobinski saw what was perhaps a tough time in the Tech athletic department when sanctions were imposed by the NCAA for recruiting violations; the sanctions were the result of improper recruiting violations across three sports. Bobinski took the sanctions in stride and helped guide Tech through tough time that will continue through June 13, 2017, courtesy of ESPN.com.

Not all fans and employees admired Bobinski. He was nicknamed “Sasquatch” by his colleagues; he was never to be found, courtesy of AJC.com. At a major ACC program, Bobinski was often content to retain his existing cast of characters rather than aggressively seeking new coaches.

Overall, Bobinski’s short three years with Tech have been a controversial whirlwind. The search for his replacement now begins.