With Jamir Gibson and Zach Jaeger’s seasons recently completed in Austin, TX at the NCAA Track & Field Championships, the 2022-2023 athletic year for Georgia Tech has officially concluded.
Gibson competed in the shot put and discus finishing 23rd and 18th respectively. Jaeger ran the 3000M Steeplechase in 8:47.94, finishing 17th. Both athletes received All-American nods in their events. Gibson finishes the season having set school records in discus (57.88 m) and weighted throw. Jaeger is the first All-American for Tech in the 3000m Steeplechase since Eric Smith in 1987, the current school record holder.
As a way to look back and take in the best moments of the year, we’ve polled multiple Georgia Tech sports writers across our little corner of the sports world to compile the Best of Georgia Tech, 2022-2023 Season.
Our categories are: Team of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Moment of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Best Game/Match of the Year, and Coach of the Year.
Team of the Year - Golf
There was complete consensus here, it’s the Golf team. They stormed through the ACC Championships, taking out Wake Forest in the final after losing in extra holes last year. Then they run the floor in at the NCAA Regionals with a record setting day, then nearly had an individual champion in Ross Steelman during stroke play at the NCAA Championships. After taking out ACC foe North Carolina in the semifinals, they barely fell short to Florida, losing 3-1.
Female Athlete of the Year - Julia Bergmann
If you’ve followed any of our coverage on FTRS or on Scions of the Southland, you’ll know that one name has probably come up more than any, and it’s Julia ‘Lavagirl’ Bergmann. After being recruited by Mariana Brambilla to join forces with her at Tech, Bergmann became one of the most dangerous outside hitters in the country, posting multiple 30+ kill games in her final season, including tying the single-game school record with 38 against Florida State. She finished with 538 kills in 2022 and 603.5 points to her name. While she had one more year of eligibility, she will forego it and has already begun playing internationally with Brazil.
Others receiving votes: Carol Lee (women’s tennis)
Male Athlete of the Year - Jamir Gibson
While not receiving a majority of votes, but at least a plurality, track & field’s Jamir Gibson gets the Male AOY nod. The graduate transfer with a future in the Army ahead, Gibson set school records in the weight throw and discus, and earning Honorable Mention All-American honors in the discus and shot put. He finished third at ACC Championships in discus. With how long Tech’s current sport slate has been around, new school records do not come easy, so it’s truly impressive what Gibson was able to do in a single season at Tech.
Others receiving votes: Christo Lamprecht (golf), Andres Martin (men’s tennis), Angelo Dispigna (baseball), Bartley Forrester (golf), Ross Steelman (golf)
Moment of the Year - Ross Steelman
We had multiple moments worthy of taking the crown here, but only one received multiple votes, and was the only moment that launched a Georgia Tech team to an national championship appearance. On 17 green, after laying up at the driveable par 4, Ross Steelman was left with a long birdie putt that he drained to remain one up in his match against Peter Fountain of UNC. He was then able to earn a concession on 18 green to send Tech to the national championship, just two days after bogeying his final three holes to lose the individual title by a stroke.
Others receiving votes: Angel Cabrera firing Todd Stansbury & Geoff Collins, Jackson Finley’s walk-off grand slam, Georgia Tech Volleyball breaking school attendance record in McCamish Pavilion vs. Pitt, Zach Pyron’s rushing TD vs. Virginia Tech, Hassan Hall’s 3rd & 11 conversion vs. Pitt, the first lead against UGA in over 1,000 days.
Newcomer of the Year - Deniz Ertan
Deniz Ertan, a 2020 Olympian for Turkey came to Tech this year and promptly joined the ranks of Turkish swimming record holders at Tech. She finished as the Jacket’s best in the 400 IM, 500 freestyle, 1000 freestyle, and 1650 freestyle this season, recording school records in each event. While Tech overall didn’t have the best performance at NCAA’s, Deniz was a huge asset to the women’s team that had been struggling the past couple years, and continuing the burgeoning impact of Turkish swimmers at McCauley Aquatic Center.
Others receiving votes: Jamir Gibson (T&F), Angelo Dispigna (baseball), Ja’von Franklin (men’s basketball), Hiroshi Tai (golf), Cameron Swartz (women’s basketball), E.J. Jenkins (football),
Best Game/Match of the Year - Golf vs. UNC NCAA Semifinal
As previously mentioned, Ross Steelman’s birdie putt on 17 was the critical moment in a match that propelled Tech to their best shot at a team national championship since the 2007 women’s tennis team. UNC came into the NCAA Championships as the #2 team in the country, winning the stroke play portion by four strokes as one of only three teams finishing under par. By no means was it going to be easy for Tech to win, but in the most important match for Georgia Tech in any sport all season, Steelman, Hiroshi Tai, Christo Lamprecht, Bartley Forrester, and Connor Howe clutched up to take a 3-2 win to send Tech to the finals.
Others receiving votes: volleyball vs. Louisville, football vs. Duke, golf at NCAA Regionals
Coach of the Year - Bruce Heppler
It was a tumultuous year at best for some coaching positions at Tech, but Bruce Heppler has built a powerhouse in the college golf world that consistently exudes excellence. The Dave Williams Award finalist (national coach of the year award) helped guide Tech to their 32nd NCAA Championship appearance and their best finish since 2013.
Other receiving votes: Brent Key
My thanks to Rod Mackenzie (247Sports), Ken Sugiura (AJC sports columnist), Jackson Caudell (All Yellow Jackets), Will Fuss (former Technique sports editor), Rahul Deshpande (former Technique editor-in-chief) and Jake Grant/Akshay Easwaran of From The Rumble Seat for participating