This, Tech fans, is an important edition of The Good Word, so heads up!
Translation: Big news!
You have all followed the story this week as Coach Hewitt was courted by a University in his home town, where he has had and continues to have many friends and close connections. It is a school that has solicited his services as head basketball coach before - it did in 2004 when Georgia Tech made a long-term commitment to Paul. As he did in 2004, Coach Hewitt today withdrew his name from consideration at that school. But this time the circumstances are much different, and I think some honest and thoughtful reflection on what has transpired needs to be done.
Translation: Saint John's approached Paul Hewitt again and offered to take him off our hands and help everybody out. Paul Hewitt said "NO!".
I am extremely happy that Paul, Dawnette and their girls have decided to stay here in Atlanta and continue to be a part of the Georgia Tech Family. For the moment, I ask you to put aside your emotions with Coach Hewitt and the program. Let's consider where we are and where we are going. First, understand that no one person, be it a coach, an athletic director or even a president, is more important than the Institution known as Georgia Tech. Given that, doesn't it make sense to keep Georgia Tech at the forefront of every conversation and every decision? That premise guides our lives here in the athletic program every day.
Translation: The name "Georgia Tech" > basketball. However. Football > "Georgia Tech"
Six years ago, after being handed an appearance in the National Championship game by Coach Hewitt and his team, Georgia Tech made a commitment to arguably the hottest, brightest and most desirable head coach on the planet. Georgia Tech made that commitment. But at the same time, Paul Hewitt, who could have hand-picked many jobs along the way -- including St. John's -- made the same commitment to our Institute. He absolutely wanted to be here at Tech and to make a commitment to the city of Atlanta.
Translation: We paid a lot of money to keep a guy who took us to the Final Four. We are still paying that money. And why wouldn't he be committed when his contract rolls over every year forever?!
For the last year or so I have read and heard all of the concerns and comments about our basketball program. All of them. Believe me. Some are valid, some are not. Drawing on my own experience and that of my administrative staff (Paul Griffin and Wayne Hogan alone bring more than 70 years in the business), and using the valid feedback that I receive from some of you on a daily basis, I periodically counsel Coach Hewitt as I do all of our 17 head coaches. My purpose in life is to do all I can to make Georgia Tech better in every area.
Translation: Paul Griffin, Wayne Hogan and I are old and we are tired of your badgering!
I am not oblivious that we now live in a world of instant gratification. The sports world has become all about "what have you done for me lately." In a pro sports town like ours, it is not uncommon to read about multi-million dollar salaries, $100 million payrolls and coaches and athletes who come and go on a whim. When a program or team goes through trials and tribulations the first solution has become "fire the coach." Certainly we work in a results-oriented business. However, in some cases the best course of action is to stay the course. Unfortunately, there is a feeling by some that change would solve everything. I say to that: Not always. Not now... and especially not in the light of Georgia Tech's commitment to this man, his family and our basketball program.
Translation: Don't forget that we made the Final Four in 2004.
In the case of Coach Hewitt and Georgia Tech basketball, we remain together because we are Georgia Tech. Coach Hewitt remains the same bright, desirable and coveted college basketball coach he was in 2004. If you have any doubt, just read the New York City newspapers from the past week. His credentials as a human being, a family man, a leader and builder of character are impeccable. The mission here is clear. We need to win more basketball games. We will continue to do everything within our power to do that -- as an organization -- with Paul Hewitt as our basketball coach. It is not a one-man mission. We are all committed to scour every inch of the program, suggest and effect the needed changes and to give the coach every ounce of support. This is what we do at Georgia Tech.
Translation: There is absolutely no doubt that Paul Hewitt is an absolutely fantastic representative for the Institute himself. I wish I could make him an ambassador. Georgia Tech is a team and Paul Hewitt is our leader. In addition, Chan Gailey and football are a different matter. Football is king and that HAD to change. Football pays all the bills. Besides, I couldn't pay for an already established Xs and Os coach... the football team needs an indoor practice facility.
So now that we know the lay of the land, I am asking you as Georgia Tech alums, fans and supporters, to get with the program. My experience has been that when a Tech man finds himself in choppy waters, the Tech family rises to help. This is about Georgia Tech. It's about commitment. And it's about a part of the Tech heritage -- our men's basketball program. We must pull together and continue to support this program and Coach Hewitt. This is the Georgia Tech way!
Translation: Support Georgia Tech. Buy more tickets!
Opinion (given from Ted): I have a BIG BIG problem with the last sentence of this letter. I have an issue with Mr. Radakovich's interpretation of the "Georgia Tech way". The Georgia Tech way, in my experience at the Institute, is this: if I fail a test or project, I need to figure out a way to get my shit together so I don't fail out of school. If I'm failing at something as a student, the Tech way isn't for the rest of the class or professors to feel bad for me or rally around me... Tech is a tough place where students are held to an extremely high standard... why not do the same with our coaches? If DRad wants to do things the true Tech way, then Paul Hewitt should be given an ultimatum: put out a good product THIS YEAR or get the hell out of town.