A timeline of Paul Hewitt’s career at Georgia Tech. He was fired earlier today after 11 seasons as the Yellow Jackets coach.
April 6, 2000: Hewitt is hired as Georgia Tech’s 12th head coach.
March 15, 2001: Hewitt guides the Yellow Jackets to a 17-13 record and 8-8 finish in the ACC. The season ends with a 66-62 loss to St. Joseph’s in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It was Tech’s first appearance in the NCAA’s since 1995-96.
March 8, 2002: Tech is beaten by Wake Forest in the ACC tournament to finish the season 15-16, 7-9 in the ACC.
March 26, 2003: Tech is defeated by Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the NIT tournament to finish the season 16-15, 7-9 in the ACC.
Nov. 26, 2003: Tech defeats top-ranked Connecticut, 77-61, to advance to the preseason NIT championship game.
March 19-April 3 2004: Tech wins five consecutive NCAA tournament games to reach the championship game for the first time in school history. The Yellow Jackets are defeated by Connecticut, 82-73. They finish the season 28-10.
April 15, 2004: Former athletics director Dave Braine and Hewitt’s representation amend the coach’s contract to include a provision that causes for the deal to automatically rollover each year. It is in effect a lifetime contract that includes a $7.2 million buyout should Tech decide to fire Hewitt.
March 20, 2005: Hewitt leads what is arguably his most talented team to the second round of the NCAA tournament, where it is beaten by Louisville, 76-54. The team was beset by injuries for most of the year. It finishes the season 20-12, 8-8 in the ACC.
The loss also begins Hewitt’s sometimes prickly relationship with a member of Atlanta’s media. He said he was bashed after the loss to the Cardinals, so he decided he would no longer read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
March 9, 2006: After three consecutive winning seasons, the Yellow Jackets finish with an 11-17 record, including an 0-for-10 mark on opponent’s courts. The inability to win on the road becomes a disturbing trend.
March 16, 2007: Tech bounces back with another NCAA tournament appearance, albeit a first-round loss to UNLV. The Jackets finish the season 20-12 with an 8-8 mark in the ACC. They go 1-8 on opponent’s courts. It is Hewitt’s third 20-win season in Atlanta.
March 14, 2008: Tech loses to Duke in the second round of the ACC tournament. It finishes 15-17, 7-9 in the ACC.
March 13, 2009: Tech loses to Florida State in the second round of the ACC tournament. It finishes 12-19, 2-4 in the ACC. It’s the worst conference mark since 1980-81 when the team went 0-14.
April 9, 2009: Tech breaks ground on the Zelnak Center, an $8.5-million practice facility adjacent to the Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The construction of the facility was also a stipulation of the 2004 contract.
Late February, 2010: He sends out a series of tweets that seem to challenge the fan base: “Are you a critic or a supporter of this team? Supporters will continue to watch this team fight.” He later implies that the comments were directed toward the local media and that his team was a victim of “cyberbullying.”
March 21, 2010: Tech is beaten by Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The team finished 23-13, 7-9 in the ACC. It also played for the ACC championship for the second time under Hewitt. It is the fourth 20-win season for Hewitt in Atlanta.
March 25, 2010: After a quick courtship, Hewitt withdraws his name from consideration for the vacant job at St. John’s. “I strongly believe in what Georgia Tech can do for young people, and I am committed to returning the Tech basketball program to the level of success our fans have come to expect,” he said. “We took a step in that direction this past season, and I fully intend to continue on that path.”
April 2, 2010: Gani Lawal declares for the NBA Draft. He also did so the previous season, but elected to return to school for his junior campaign. Freshman Derrick Favors, arguably the biggest signee Hewitt ever landed, declares for the NBA Draft a week later. During Hewitt’s time, at least five players left school early for the NBA.
Nov. 15, 2010: Tech loses at Kennesaw State, 80-63. It is the Owls’ first win over a team from one of the power conferences and continues the trend of Tech’s inability to earn victories on the road. The Jackets’ previous road win came on Jan. 16, 2010 at North Carolina. The loss joins other notable defeats such as Illinois-Chicago (twice), UNC-Greensboro, Winthrop and IUPUI under Hewitt.
March 10, 2011: The Jackets lose to Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC tournament. The loss snapped a two-game win streak. The Jackets, the conference’s worst shooting team, lose eight consecutive games in the conference at one point. They didn’t win on an opponent’s court until defeating Wake Forest in the next-to-last regular-season game.
March 12, 2011: Hewitt was fired.
– Doug Roberson, AJC