Radakovich: No question Gregory will succeed

Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich said there’s “no question” that new men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory will succeed.

“Brian Gregory is not only an outstanding basketball coach, but he is a tireless worker and recruiter who cares deeply about his players,”
Radakovich said in a statement.  “There is no question that he will succeed as basketball coach at Georgia Tech, and he will win by doing things the right way.”

Tech released a statement at 3:42 p.m. to confirm the hiring, which has dominated the Atlanta news throughout the day. A press conference is scheduled at 5 p.m.

Gregory said leaving Dayton for The Flats was a tough decision.

“It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever made in my life,” he told the Dayton Daily News. “It’s been eight great years. I love this place. People have been great to us. I can’t express how much I appreciate all the support and all the great times we had.
“We’ve built up a lot of relationships. As my wife (Yvette) said, it’s not a job or an occupation. It’s our life. It’s been our basketball life for eight years, and it’s tough to say good-bye to that.”

Gregory’s contract terms haven’t been announced. His pay package was at Dayton was near $1 million annually. Paul Hewitt, Tech’s former coach, made approximately $1.3 million annually. He’s also due $7.2 million per the buyout terms of the contract. That total will be paid out monthly over the next five years.

Gregory, 44 and a native of Mount Prospect, Ill., had coached the Flyers since 2003, amassing a record of 172-94 overall and 70-58 in the Atlantic 10 conference. He led the Flyers to the NCAA tournament twice, once during his inaugural season in 2003-04 and again in 2008-09. Dayton won the NIT championship in 2010.

The Flyers have had three winning conference records, including marks of 12-4 (2004) and 11-5 (2009). They went 22-14, 7-9 this year, losing in the first round of the NIT. They have won at least 20 games each of the last four seasons. Before taking over in Dayton, Gregory served as an assistant coach to Tom Izzo at Michigan State from 1999-2003.

“I know what this guy can do,” Izzo told Wes Durham on 790AM this morning. “He can have discipline yet still be a player’s coach. The hours he is going to work, that’s the only area I can say for sure that he’s No. 1. No one can outwork him. At the end of the day that’s the most important thing. Do you work your way through the good times, the bad times, the in-between times? ”

Tech has been looking for a coach since Radakovich let go of Hewitt more than two weeks ago. Hewitt led the Jackets to a 190-162 record in 11 seasons. Tech did reach the 2004 national championship game as part of five NCAA tournament appearances. However, Tech didn’t win the ACC’s regular-season or tournament titles under Hewitt.

Eventually, attendance at Alexander Memorial Coliseum began to decline. Paid attendance dropped to a few more than 6,000 this season, its lowest figure in more than a decade. However, that many rarely attended games. Tech will likely play its home games at Philips Arena and Gwinnett Arena next season while the $45 million McCamish Pavilion is constructed. It will replace AMC.

Multiple websites reported on Friday that Tech had offered the job to Gregory. However, the school issued a statement later in the day saying that the search was still ongoing.

Tech was supposed to talk to Richmond’s Chris Mooney on Sunday, but he signed a 10-year contract extension to stay with the Spiders.

Gregory was one of five candidates interviewed. The others were Tulsa’s Doug Wojcik, Missouri State’s Cuonzo Martin (who accepted the job at Tennessee on Sunday) and former alums Mark Price and Craig Neal, who is an assistant at New Mexico.

Gregory doesn’t have any previous ties to the ACC or the South. His coaching experience has been exclusively in the Midwest, starting as an assistant at Michigan State in 1990. He then moved to Toledo in 1996, Northwestern in 1997, and Michigan State again in 1999.

He played at Navy before transferring to Oakland.

In 15 years, he has coached 20 players who have made it to the NBA. He has a reputation for winning big games, going 12-5 against teams from the big-six basketball conferences in the last four years. They were also 7-11 against ranked teams during Gregory’s time as coach, including a win against Georgia Tech in 2009.

The team has done well in the classroom as well. Its Academic Progress Rate, a measurement used by the NCAA to ensure that students are moving toward graduation at an acceptable pace, has never fallen below 974 since the 2004-05 season. The NCAA considers 925 to be the minimum score before penalties are considered. He’s a perfect 23-for-23 on seniors graduating.

“The academic part of the school really fits the type of school I want to be associated with,” he said. “That’s really important. At Georgia Tech, you can recruit the highest quality player without compromising the important character components necessary for success. They have great tradition there. I’m excited about re-establishing that tradition and re-energizing the program — and getting the former players back, like we did here, and becoming engaged in the community, like we did here.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC

576 comments Add your comment

Mr Terry

March 28th, 2011
8:02 am

LET DOWN

March 28th, 2011
8:06 am

what a let down DRAD blew this one

Justin

March 28th, 2011
8:06 am

Way to energize the fanbase! /sarcasm

JOD

March 28th, 2011
8:08 am

boooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg!

Luke

March 28th, 2011
8:08 am

Not impressed.

Buzz

March 28th, 2011
8:08 am

Is that the best you could do DRAD!!!! Now lets fire him!!!!!!!!! What a joke!!!!

GTBL

March 28th, 2011
8:09 am

GTT

March 28th, 2011
8:09 am

How is this any different than Paul Hewitt? Well, at least don’t give him the same contract. Good job, D-Rad. Not.

buzz

March 28th, 2011
8:09 am

Well, no apparent reason to renew my season tickets.

Tech Man

March 28th, 2011
8:10 am

I guess that’s all we could afford. Say good bye to all the Tech players who will transfer and good bye to the incoming recruits. What was Rad thinking?????????

JB

March 28th, 2011
8:10 am

Well they ceratinly got the big hot name out there…

Oh, wait a minute…

No fear from that hire.

HBTD!!!!

The Truth

March 28th, 2011
8:11 am

If true, this guy will energize the fan base – just like Chan Gailey

GTPhenom

March 28th, 2011
8:11 am

Hmm, interesting decision, not my first choice, but I guess we will see. And for all of you idiots commenting, how bout waiting and seeing how he does first. Ever think about that? I would laugh so hard if he ended up being a crown jewel for GT basketball and revitalized the programs. Justin, just to let you know, all it takes to energize a fan base is winning, so I’m pretty sure the jury is still out on that case bud. Good try though guys.

Deuce Coupe

March 28th, 2011
8:11 am

+ GOOD Hire !

ga tech 92

March 28th, 2011
8:12 am

Agreed…yawn.

Wake Forest Fan

March 28th, 2011
8:12 am

I guess Ron Wellman isn’t the only AD in the ACC incapable of hiring a quality basketball coach. Although I still like Brian Gregory more than Jeff Bzdelik….

Gordon

March 28th, 2011
8:12 am

I guess we couldn’t even afford the Tulsa coach. I was actually warming up to him. Obviously Radakovich was being less than candid when he said paying Hewitt would not affect paying the new coach.

GTT

March 28th, 2011
8:12 am

Negative comments — 100-percent. Unless, Mr. Terry was not being sarcastic. Way to unite the fans.

GTPhenom

March 28th, 2011
8:13 am

Love it how posts like this bring out the biggest judgmental idiots who haven’t even seen the guy coach GT yet. You guys are absolutely incredible. I figured it would be bad, but you guys have surprised me somehow.

George

March 28th, 2011
8:13 am

If he wins, he will be loved. Lose and we get another coach in 3-4 years.

mountain_jim

March 28th, 2011
8:13 am

this alumnus not impressed.

ga tech 92

March 28th, 2011
8:13 am

His recrords dont’ impress me. What sort of style of play and players does he use?

GTT

March 28th, 2011
8:14 am

I stand corrected. The PR department has got a couple of staff working on posting positive comments. Yawn.

GTPhenom

March 28th, 2011
8:14 am

Gordon, to be quite honest I like this guy a heckuva lot more than the Tulsa coach. Just my personal opinion. I’m just surprised at all the vitriol and hate before ever seeing the guy even get close to coaching a GT Basketball team. Way to be smart people.

dayton???

March 28th, 2011
8:14 am

ncaa tournament 2 times in 8 years, from a no name school? Are you serious?? Look for the mediocrity to continue. What a joke. They’ll be paying this guy millions for a few years, then fire him with some huge buyout. The Tech AD must go!

Bob

March 28th, 2011
8:15 am

This is it? All of the great coaches out there and this is it? Really?

Dacula Jackets

March 28th, 2011
8:15 am

I for one am excited about Gregory coming to Tech. This is going to work out just fine. Go Jackets!

GT Dad

March 28th, 2011
8:15 am

Not excited yet…..who knows what all transpired and who was off the table. After all the hype, not that enthused but may end up being a good choice.

Sure hope so…….

GTPhenom

March 28th, 2011
8:15 am

Right GTT, get over yourself for once if you don’t mind and use something called your brain for more than two seconds.

ormewood

March 28th, 2011
8:16 am

On the surface, this does not look that good, but this guy actually can coach. Dawg nation was not inspired by the Fox hiring. This strikes me as similar. Spent some time on Tom Izzo’s staff, which can’t be bad.

It's Basketball. Who cares?

March 28th, 2011
8:17 am

Dude’s a Dud. But who cares?

The important thing is D-Rad didn’t spend a lot of money on a stupid, unimportant boring sport.

THAT MAY COME IN HANDY IN THE FUTURE, IF/WHEN OTHER SCHOOLS APPROACH PAUL JOHNSON!

It should come in handy after this season, when we need to go shopping for a real D-coordinator, and replace the 3-4 Yo-Yo, we have now, who’s in semiretirment.

cmon man

March 28th, 2011
8:17 am

Whoa let you tech fans tell gt is one of the top 3 jobs in the acc and thats the best you can do! To hell with winning the ncaa tournament you guys will be king of the nit!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

March 28th, 2011
8:17 am

Somebody wake up Schultz and Bradley, there sleeping right through their news story they been waiting on

GTPhenom

March 28th, 2011
8:18 am

GT Dad, I’m reasonable excited about the fact that the next game I see won’t be coached by Paul Hewitt. And I will become rather impressed and excited if this guy starts to win. Just got to wait and see what happens and not freak out like almost every person on here is doing. Although I note that this is the exact same response for CPJ. Small time coach, crazy scheme, all we heard was “Never going to work.” DRad did well there, I trust his judgement in this case as well as a fan. End of story. If it doesn’t work in the end, I will start to worry about it.

SHW

March 28th, 2011
8:18 am

But on Friday, Wayne Hogan said Tech hadn’t offered Gregory. Does that mean he’s some kind of liar?

40Capt

March 28th, 2011
8:19 am

@ Bob, just curious, who are “all the great coaches out there”?

GTPhenom

March 28th, 2011
8:19 am

Wow, reasonable, before the grammar police get on my case, reasonably excited.

devildawg

March 28th, 2011
8:19 am

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Dr Fever

March 28th, 2011
8:19 am

mountain jim……how many games did you go to this year?

Dadgum......

March 28th, 2011
8:19 am

First, I am totally shocked at this news if it indeed is true. SSecond, this is a slap in the face nationally to the perception of GT basketball. Once so proud a program it could get just about any coach to come to the flats. Now we have to search lower and settle for less.

Exactly why do you need an advisor helping you to make this pick? Seriously.

Drad wanted to excite the fanbase instead it appears he is further distancing them. Gregory was nowhere on the initial short list which means at least 5 coaches declined either an offer or said they weren’t interested. GT has egg on it’s face.

Why in the world not reach out to Smart? So what if it would have taken another week. Neal and Price combo were always in the wings and them alone is better than Gregory if Smart said no thanks. This appears to be GT flinching. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised and Gregory will turn the program around but I will be just as happy if he pulls a Cremins.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

March 28th, 2011
8:20 am

Drad’s last official move before going to Miami. Saboteur

javier

March 28th, 2011
8:20 am

you guys are idiots. stop ripping this decision before you see the guy coach. i will forever root for georgia tech…but sometimes the fans are total morons. this hire wasn’t one i had heard of, but i have confidence d-rad knows what he’s doing.

GTBL

March 28th, 2011
8:21 am

I said “BORING” in my 1st post. Lets give him a chance. You never know what someone can do. I will support him and I am sure he doesnt have a long contract so if it doesnt work out we can easily get rid of him. I just want the Jackets to do well! Welcome aboard Coach. Now please go win some games!

devildawg

March 28th, 2011
8:21 am

Thought u were gonna get Shaka Smart? Thought u were gonna get Brad Stevens? Thought u were gonna get Chris Mooney? Nope. Second rate program with a third rate fanbase, and a 4th rate AD.

USMC dawg

March 28th, 2011
8:22 am

I know my Comrades at Tech wanted a “splashier” name, but isn’t Dayton always ranked in the top 20 in Basketball?

At least you got rid of Hewitt. I was really feeling your pain.

You might be pleasantly surprised.

Indydawg

March 28th, 2011
8:22 am

Really Tech???

This guy is terrible from what I’ve seen. You’ll be looking for a new coach in two years….

O'Brien

March 28th, 2011
8:23 am

So we wait 2 weeks for a hire, and this is the guy we end up with? I was expecting more from DRad.

However, lets keep in mind how many fans were excited by the Mark Fox hire at UGA? All he did was lead them to the NCAA in his second season.

I will give Gregory the benefit of the doubt for the time being. But look at it this way. If he doesnt work out, then Tech will be in a richer position when they let him go, because:

1) Chan Gailey will be paid off 2) Hewitt will be at least halfway to being paid off 3) The new Arena will be up and running, making GT more attractive

Snore

March 28th, 2011
8:23 am

BORING!!!

BORING!!!

BORING!!!

BORING!!!

BORING!!!

BORING!!!

BORING!!!

BORING!!!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

lanier

March 28th, 2011
8:23 am

if you read his bio he did a pretty good job

he even beat Ole Miss this year lol

Tech fan plus

March 28th, 2011
8:24 am

DRad has done an excellent job with ALL his hires. Not fair to make any kind of judgment at this time.
Give the guy a chance Save your negative comments for another day. Go DRad. Go Jackets..