It is with tremendous gratitude that I have this opportunity to introduce myself to the students, faculty and staff of the Georgia Institute of Technology. I am very appreciative of having been selected to serve as director of Athletics, but also extremely energized and fully prepared to assume the leadership of this great athletics program.
My excitement and enthusiasm about joining the Tech family have only increased since President Peterson appointed me in mid-January. In the interim, I concluded my tenure as athletics director at Xavier University in Cincinnati and have spent many hours working as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. That once-in-a-lifetime assignment culminated in last weekend’s Final Four. Since then, it has been exhilarating for me to join you as a colleague.
It’s extremely important to me to have this chance to reach out and say hello to our campus community as I come aboard. While I’ll have the privilege of working directly with 350 or so Tech students in my role, the development of a positive and productive relationship with our entire student population is very much a priority. After many years in intercollegiate athletics, I fully appreciate the essential role of student support, spirit and attendance in our ability to be successful. I also recognize our responsibility to earn your trust and confidence by conducting an athletics program you can be proud to support.
I look forward to maintaining a close relationship with our student leadership, with the intention of assuring that we receive input from the student perspective and give appropriate consideration to student concerns as we move ahead. The financial support provided by our students through athletics fees and the purchase of season tickets are critical components in our ability to compete at the highest level, and we don’t take that for granted. It is our goal to become an athletics program that mirrors the excellence and achievement that defines Tech.
Over the coming months, the athletics staff and I will be working with a number of student groups to create strategies for increasing student involvement and attendance at our events. An example of this is the international student football clinic that members of our team and coaching staff will be conducting next week to better familiarize our students with the game and its rules. We want to provide the entire campus community with a sense of welcome at our athletic events and an opportunity to truly be part of the game day experience. There is no substitute for the atmosphere created by student and campus involvement, and it’s critical in creating the spirited home field/court environment that will be important to our future success.
As the spring semester moves towards its conclusion, I wish you all the very best. We have a number of spring sports still in full swing and hope you’ll attend while you’re on campus and looking for something enjoyable to do. Also, we have one final special event planned for Friday April 19, when our annual spring football game takes place at Bobby Dodd Stadium at 7:30 p.m. There will be special tailgating-style food and beverages in front of Brittain Dining Hall, a pre-game concert on Techwood Drive and a fireworks display post-game. I hope you’ll make plans to attend. In the meantime, I look forward to meeting many of you personally as I make my way around campus.