Todd Stansbury, the newly-minted athletic director at Georgia Tech, sat down for an interview with the AJC over the weekend to discuss his plans for the future and the journey which led him full circle, from Tech to Tech once more. The Oregon State athletic department that he left behind is not exactly the benchmark for successful programs, but the brevity of his tenure and the fact that he really didn't get the opportunity to make many big personnel changes more or less absolves Stansbury of any real wrongdoing. All things considered, it looks like a very nice hire for Tech. Stansbury is happy to be here, having called the Tech athletic director position his dream job, and his history indicates that he will start making positive changes very quickly. It's unfortunate that he missed the opportunity to choose his basketball coach by a few months, not to imply that the hiring of Josh Pastner was a bad decision. We just don't want to see another situation where he feels stuck with a coach like Mike Bobinski reportedly did with Paul Johnson, a hire made by Dan Radakovich.
Georgia Tech may have dropped a game to No. 5 Clemson on Thursday evening, but the Jackets are still ready for the start of ACC Coastal play. It kicks off this weekend at noon with a matchup against Mark Richt's Miami Hurricanes, currently a top-25 team with an excellent quarterback. For those who are unfamiliar, perhaps mercifully, that quarterback would be Brad Kaaya, the man who has manned the helm in Miami for three seasons now. This game is certainly winnable -- almost unquestionably more so than the Clemson game -- but Richt's presence as the head man doesn't do much to further Tech's cause. Will we ever be rid of that man? It sure doesn't seem likely. Hopefully the learning curve for his Hurricanes will be much greater than I expect.
I hate to depart from the realm of college sports, but I feel that it is important to address the tragic passing of Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. Just 24 years old, Fernandez died in a boating accident off of Miami Beach along with two friends early yesterday morning. Though his baseball career almost certainly would have ended with a Hall of Fame induction had it not been so unceremoniously cut short, Fernandez's life story is what really stands out about him as a person. One of a handful of Cuban defects in the MLB, Fernandez attempted to leave his birthplace four times before finally reaching land. He even saved his own mother from drowning during that final defection attempt, only to meet his end in the very same body of water less than a decade later. I can't think of another player whose passing would bring about such a large national response, in large part because Fernandez himself was such an active member of the Miami community, such an excellent ambassador to the game of baseball, and such an inspirational person all-around. He will be missed tremendously.