Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich signed a five year contract extension last week. The contract, brought about as the result of a performance initiative from the past two years, will become effective July 1 and will pay Radakovich upwards of $500,000 per year.
The salary consists of a base $300,000 yearly payment. Promotional incentives that include speaking engagements as well as radio and TV interviews will earn him an additional $260,000 in the first year and an increase of $20,000 per year until 2012.
Since joining Tech as the athletic director in 2006, Radakovich has balanced the athletic association budget and stabilized funding for the future.
Radakovich has implemented pay-for-parking for home football games and basketball games. He has also increased the student athletic fee to help with the stabilization as well as implementing the TECH fund.
The TECH fund was set up as a pay-for-area type donation program where season ticket holders had the option to request tickets in certain areas of Bobby Dodd Stadium for football and Alexander Memorial Coliseum for basketball.
Under the TECH fund, patrons pay from $100 to $450 in addition to the cost of tickets to help alleviate the budget deficit.
Among the reasons Radakovich gave in his presentation to increase the athletic fee and implement the TECH fund are a decreasing cash reserve for the athletic department as well as increasing tuition and travel fees for each sport.
Radakovich also put into a place a point system for season ticket holders that would help allocate away game tickets and postseason tickets such as bowl games for football and ACC and NCAA tournament games for basketball.
Tech’s athletic teams have also thrived under Radakovich. In the two years Radakovich has been at Tech, the baseball team had successfully rebuilt around six promising young players and made the NCAA tournament after missing out in 2007.
The basketball program had a 20 win season in 2007. The football team won the coastal division title in 2007 and was three points away from the ACC title. The women’s tennis team won the school’s first NCAA title in 2007 and Amanda McDowell won the school’s first NCAA singles title in 2008.
Radakovich has also moved towards entertainment as a source of increasing ticket sales.
Last season, Tech invited several high profile guests including Diana DeGarmo to since the national anthem and Big Boi for a half-time show against Virginia Tech.
Radakovich and his team have tried to increase the entertainment value in order to increase ticket sales amongst non-alumni.
Two of the more high profile events under Radakovich’s tenure were the hiring of new coaches.
Softball coach Ehren Earlywine left Tech for Missouri after Spring 2007. Radakovich hired Sharon Perkins, formerly the associate head coach at UGA, as his replacement.
Perkins, led the team through the tournament schedule with a losing record before they surged through the ACC schedule. Tech finished with a 32-31 record after losing to Central Florida in the Gainesville Regional in the NCAA tournament.
Radakovich also fired football coach Chan Gailey after six seasons as head football coach. Gailey, lost at least five games every season and his teams showing little signs of improvement was one of the reasons given for his firing.
For his replacement, Radakovich hired Parker Executive Service to help with the search that ultimately led him to Paul Johnson, the former Navy and Georgia Southern Coach.