10 things you didn’t know about Tech assistant Mike Sewak

In his playing days, Georgia Tech offensive line coach Mike Sewak was a handful, occasionally given to using a tactic that he didn’t want in print for fear his own players would try it and blame their coach.

“I would have a hard time coaching me sometimes,” said Sewak, who played offensive line at Virginia.

Sewak, 53, is a man of faith, a father of three and a golfer who used to think nothing of playing 45 or 54 holes in a day. Prior to the start of the preseason, he volunteered that information and more, part of a series with Tech’s assistant coaches.

1. Sewak and his wife Robin have three children, Michael Robert, Olivia and Nick. Michael Robert is at Tech, Olivia is at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and Nick is at Lassiter. Nick is a long snapper for Lassiter hoping for a chance to play in college, possibly at a mid-major FBS school.

On a visit to see Olivia in New York, the two went to an exhibit of Alexander McQueen, the famed British fashion designer. Sewak figured it would be an act of paternal sacrifice in order to spend time with his daughter, but ended up enjoying it so much he encouraged his sons to go, too.

“I’d go four or five rooms ahead and run back and say, ‘You’ve got to check this out,’” Sewak said.

No word if Olivia has any interest in re-designing Tech’s uniforms.

2. When Sewak came to Tech with coach Paul Johnson in 2008, it was actually his second time on staff. He served as a graduate assistant to then-coach Bill Curry in 1984, his second coaching job after graduating from Virginia. A dining staple of his was Junior’s Grill, a campus landmark that at the time was located on North Avenue. It later moved on campus and closed down in April 2011. As a grad assistant having to stretch his money, Sewak dined often on the $2 vegetable plate.

“And it was a good vegetable plate,” he said.

3. Sewak got to know Johnson at Georgia Southern when both were assistants to Erk Russell in 1985-86. They both went to Hawaii in 1987 and coached together through 1994. Wide receivers coach Buzz Preston also came on staff at Hawaii in 1987, leaving after the 1993 season. All three have families with children in similar age groups.

“We’ve celebrated their birthdays and they’ve celebrated our birthdays,” he said. “Everybody babysat everybody.”

4. After he was fired as head coach at Georgia Southern following the 2005 season, Sewak and his family stayed in Statesboro. Sewak, in fact, used the time to earn his master’s in sport management at Georgia Southern, which required him a few times to guest lecture classes taken by his former players.

He also took his boys to see college games around the Southeast and visited assisted living homes with his daughter to help lead worship services. Olivia sang and her dad accompanied on piano. Sewak said he would have taken another coaching job during those two years, but relishes that time.

“I got to see my kids grow up,” he said. “I really got to be a part of their lives.”

5. Part of Sewak’s final assignment in his master’s program was to get a sports management internship. Sewak found a decent one – co-offensive line coach for Tech. For the sake of the degree, professors permitted him to count the position, which he was hired to in Dec .2007 shortly after Johnson’s hire, as an internship.

“The timing couldn’t have been any better,” he said.

Sewak’s final project, which included a detailed 12-month calendar for starting up a football program, with plans for academics, recruiting, purchasing, fund-raising, drug testing and more, is on a DVD in the Georgia Southern archives.

6. During his time in Statesboro, Sewak coached his son Nick’s youth baseball and basketball teams. Among Nick’s teammates was a youngster named Freddie Burden, who is a freshman offensive lineman for Sewak this season. Burden knows what he’s getting into. Sewak said that when Burden played for him, he got onto Burden for not running out pop flies.

Sewak’s ties to Burden don’t end there. When he was pursuing his master’s, one of his professors was Burden’s father Willie, an associate professor in the sport management department.

7. Georgia Southern’s 27-23 loss to New Hampshire in the first round of the 2004 Division I-AA playoffs eats at Sewak more than any other. A cold rain came through Statesboro just as the team took the field to stretch, which played a hand in the Eagles’ six fumbles, three of which were lost. The Eagles, who led 21-6 in the second quarter, had gone into the game averaging 49 points a game.

“That game hurts more than any other, because that was a good football team,” he said. “It was coached up well, the kids played and believed in one another. They deserved a chance to win it all.”

He still wonders what he could have done differently.

“I don’t know what I would have done, but I know what I did wasn’t very effective,” he said.

8. What inspires him?

“Guys that have done it the right way,” he said. “I get inspired by our players. To see somebody working hard to achieve something they’ve never achieved before and even though I know it’s difficult for them, and I see them do it for the first time (is inspiring).”

For Sewak that includes, among others, former center Sean Bedford, B-back Anthony Allen and wide receiver Stephen Hill. Sewak admired Hill’s performance under considerable pressure to replace Demaryius Thomas.

“Last season, he came along and he got better, really good,” he said.

9. In an ideal world, Sewak would rotate two lines. Tech is probably closest to being able to do that at guard, where Shaquille Mason and Trey Braun are pushing starters Omoregie Uzzi and Will Jackson. At tackle, Morgan Bailey is challenging starter Ray Beno and part-time starter Tyler Kidney, with Errin Joe and Bryan Chamberlain also making a bid. Center Nick McRae has proven a capable backup behind Jay Finch.

“You’d like to be in a position where you could play two lines and just go throw a fresh body at ’em every time and hit ’em the hardest you possibly could hit ’em every single time,” he said.

10. Sewak loves the depth the offensive line has built up, with four returning full-time starters, three more linemen who played considerably and a crew of promising freshmen. Sewak likes the group’s intelligence and unity and believes players know the scheme well enough. To him, the challenge will be in players’ mental toughness.

“You don’t have to double (team) everything all the time because you’re not going to (be able to),” he said. “I guess the thing I want to say for those kids is their self-reliance – know that they’re capable of doing it and doing it.”

Other “10 things”

Defensive coordinator Al Groh

Secondary coach Charles Kelly

Wide receivers coach Buzz Preston

Special-teams coordinator David Walkosky

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

178 comments Add your comment

headley lamar

August 10th, 2012
11:06 am

The following is supersizes prediction for the upcoming Tech season.

@ Headless…..that was actually a fairly intelligent post for you. I don’t agree with your results, but that’s beside the point; it’s still a decent assessment. This, however, is my rundown on the season —

Va Tech (toss-up, but very likely GT win)
Blue Hose (Win)
UVA (Win)
Miami (DEFINITE WIN)
MTSU (Win)
Clemson (probable loss, but Tech does have their number)
BC (Win)
BYU (Win)
Maryland (Win)
UNC (Probably win by Tech, but I will never forget 1990)
Duke (Win)
UGA (WIN, but close)
Bowl (Depends on the opponent—hopefully a win)

dwagdawg

August 10th, 2012
11:16 am

2 trolls walk into a bar. 1 is named heady lamar, the other is named dawgfan. They have an old English bulldog with them, his name is Herschel and he is 80 in dog years. He passes gas a lot and urinates on their legs, but the trolls don’t seem to mind. Heady orders a Seabreeze, dawgfan orders a Zima. They sit at the bar and run their mouths, sipping their drinks. After about 15 minutes some guy walks in, picks up the old bulldog’s stump of a tail, looks, then shakes his head and walks out. This happens several different times, and finally heady lamar asks the bartender what is going on. The bartender replies, “Word on the street is that there’s a bulldog in the bar with 2 buttholes.”

True story.

Thanks

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
11:18 am

@ Headless……do you not have any kind of life at all? You just cruise the Tech blogs waiting for the chance to spout your ignorant garbage? GET A LIFE, BUBBA !!!!

headley lamar

August 10th, 2012
11:25 am

Call it ignorant garbage if you want. All I did was post your thoughts on the upcoming Tech season.

Personally Id like to find out if all Tech fans are as unrealistic as you.

Do many Tech fans see the Jackettes ( see I can play around with names 2 ) going undefeated or maybe one loss such as yourself ?

Or is the average Tech fan a bit more rational. And more in line with Vegas which has Tech winning around 8 games.

Call it correspondence school curiosity but I really would like to know.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2012
11:30 am

both sides – comment on the posts, not about each other. nobody wants to read it. consider this is a warning.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
11:30 am

How many games did Vegas have the dwags winning last year? How did that work out for you?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
11:30 am

Ken…..I will concur.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
11:36 am

Ken, btw, that was a very interesting article. That’s the kind of stuff I doubt any of us knew about Sewak. He’s had quite a history, hasn’t he? You might want, however, to check # 4 and # 8 for word omissions. I think you probably left the word “remained” out in # 4 regarding his family in Statesboro, and in # 8, it looks like you started to write it one way and then changed midstream, regarding Hill replacing Thomas. Not trying to be a grammar or spelling Nazi, but it was a little confusing in those two places.

headley lamar

August 10th, 2012
11:36 am

How many games did Vegas have the dwags winning last year? How did that work out for you?

8

We won 10.

Okie Doke Ken

Getting bored with supersize anyway. Not exactly a mental giant.

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
12:00 pm

So, Mikes wife should be the Best Dressed or Funkiest Dressed depending on what you think of his daughter’s creations.
I would like to see that DVD. I am interested in what a COACH want-to be getting a Master’s Degree would do in the area of Drug Testing and accompanying penalization for failures of said testing.
Hey, the man did his time at JUNIORS he can’t be all bad for sure.

Jacket Man

August 10th, 2012
12:16 pm

Ken; I guess some people just don’t “get” you after all…Okie Doke Ken

Getting bored with supersize anyway. Not exactly a mental giant.

By the was, great article, as usual. The only other thing I would be interested in knowing about him is how he feels about having to recruit along with his coaching duties and whether he thinks he does a good job at it; is he responsible for recruiting a territory of a position? Those types of questions. I think you could have an interesting conversation on this “topic” with all the coaches, in fact.

collegeballfan

August 10th, 2012
12:23 pm

This years OL returns players that did not block UVA, UM or UGA. That must change or it will be another 6 to 8 win season.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2012
12:26 pm

Thanks, Jacket Man. Good questions. Coaches are responsible for an area. They split up the state of Georgia and then they also get states or parts of Florida or both. I believe they’ll also cross check on their own positions.
thanks for the editing help. i’ll take all i can get.

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
12:33 pm

KEN SUGIURA…….If I can be banned from the Junkyard blog & Chip Towers blog then you can Ban “WnE, dawgfan & headly lemar”…They bring NOTHING and and just have HATE. They don’t have friends on this blog to chat with. People like Dawg 48, Big Crimson 75, Kingdaddy have friends and know how to joke and have good banter. “dawgfan & headly lemar and WnE” do nothing for your blog.

Losers

August 10th, 2012
12:37 pm

<————— This is what UGA and Georgia State fans are their entire lives.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
12:39 pm

@ Ken……thanks for the changes. I really hesitated to point them out, but you took it well and acted on it immediately. VERY VERY COOL !!!!

HighTech

August 10th, 2012
12:47 pm

Ken makes all the other AJC writers look like amateurs. We are lucky to have him covering the Jackets for us.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

August 10th, 2012
12:48 pm

At least we don’t have any of those delusionoids from the GSU blog posting on this article…yet.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
12:54 pm

@ HT…….I TOTALLY AGREE !!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
12:54 pm

I’m sure GSUDud will chime in eventually

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
12:55 pm

HT…KEN is doing the JOB of a Reporter. He doesn’t just go for crazy headlines to get hits. KEN works his profession like a WRITER should and not a Blogger.
Ken needs to read old Outlar and Bisher columns to get the FLAVOR & COLOR of sports writing. KEN is great I just want him to get that VOICE like Outlar & Bisher.

Born2Buzz

August 10th, 2012
1:07 pm

Ken, as always you did a great job. Sorry about the folks that can’t stay on subject.
Super, I know it’s hard but you really need to not let the silly little fools get under your skin.

Great stuff on Sewak and I’m glad he thinks we have the depth at line needed. The OL and DL play will be key for our success this year.

Now the real issue I pulled from this interview…JUNIORS IS GONE?!?!! I knew if moved into the basement of the Admin building awhile back but I didn’t know it was completely gone. Say it aint so! No more “slaw fry 10s”???

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
1:15 pm

@ Born2Buzz……Headless and I have been going back and forth for more than a year. But you’re right, I need to just ignore him, like I now do WnE. You are surprised that Junior’s is gone; I was surprised that it didn’t go away till 2011. I thought Junior’s was history a long time ago. I remember it being on North Ave, next to the Techwood Movie Theater (the “armpit”), and across from Smith Dorm, where I lived for 2 years. I seldom ate there, but it was definitely a staple of campus life.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
1:16 pm

So Junior’s had been in the basement of the Ad building? When I was in school that space (I assume it’s the same space) was occupied by Bradley Dining Hall, affectionately known as the “Robbery”. The original Tech bookstore was next to it.

ABAC-North Doggies

August 10th, 2012
1:20 pm

Mike Sewak is a Class Act. He deserved better than he got from GSU’s president. The fans still have great repect for him.

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
1:28 pm

HONEY BADGER is Gone from LSU….
LSU might not have reported every violation like UGa but they were keeping track.

GTfan 2012

August 10th, 2012
1:30 pm

No offense to Ken, but calling him the best sports beat writer at the AJC… is kind of like calling him the tallest midget. How about we say that he provides among the best coverage of any schools beat writer in the Southeast.

GT Lee

August 10th, 2012
1:43 pm

Ken, you asked Al Groh about his cd collection. As a music fan I would also like to hear what some of the other coaches listen to as well…..

BUZZ Fan

August 10th, 2012
1:48 pm

Sewak for President!!!

Jefferson Davis Hogg

August 10th, 2012
1:49 pm

@ Supersize….Unfortunately the ignorant banter comes from both sides. Being a Dawg fan I can agree with you though on the above mentioned bloggers. There ARE good one’s on both sides such as yourself who offers up objective talk about both our teams. It seems as though too many people here have nothing more than a personal vendetta against the other which spoils the fun talk we could have on these forums. I personally see GTBob, even being first on a UGA blog quite often just to throw a dagger and stir things up which seems to get under many peoples skin although it shouldn’t. Seems as though he would have better things to do as well. Other than that I believe both GT and UGA has the potential to surprize with special seasons. I’ve always said that with a good D, Tech would be hard to beat and with UGA, if we had a consistant offence, the same could be said. Wishing both teams well and maybe we should all worry more about our own back yards first. Good luck Tech!. Except the last wknd in Nov!

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2012
1:51 pm

thanks for the kind words and for sticking (mostly) to the topic at hand. just a thought – saying things like, “it’s just a matter of time before Commenter X shows up” or “i want to see how Commenter Y spins this” is kind of an invitation for them to do so.
5150 – thanks for the suggestion. please do your part, too. coarse language, getting baited into trading trash talk and bringing up politics and uga, when completely unwarranted, don’t help the dialogue.
I fortunately had lunch at Junior’s in 2008 with the two guys who made the “Perfect Option” rap video, who were a fun story to write. I think i had the chicken fingers, but don’t remember. evidently, business had kind of slowed.

NCJacket

August 10th, 2012
1:56 pm

Thanks for taking a stand ken! So many immature people on here. The only way to get the mean UGA fans off of here is to stop acknowledging them. Every time you respond, they win. Thats it! Just don’t respond PLEASE! Now lets talk some football.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2012
1:57 pm

GT Lee – I wish I’d thought to do so. I asked Groh because I’d heard about it and he had the big CD case on his desk. If I am able to do more, I’ll ask.

POAD got banned by Towers and King...

August 10th, 2012
2:05 pm

…because he would not take serious their demand that he change his name and quit the carping – once he got banned he changed his name, but still carps – who says you cant teach a bumble bee not to sting?

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
2:12 pm

name me a STARTER High Profile player UGa/RICHT has kicked off the TEAM for Rules violations that didn’t involve the REAL POLICE and an ARREST?

Born2Buzz

August 10th, 2012
2:14 pm

Not only does Sewak have more depth on the OL to coach up this year, I believe we’ve got a few big boys coming in next year to keep that depth growing. Shamire Devine and Jeremi Hall are both HUGE. Too bad CPJ can’t recruit real FBS talent :) .

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
2:16 pm

WOW……LSU doesn’t report every violation like UGa but when the LIMIT of screw ups are met(without Police Arrest) LSU kicks them off the team. Does RICHT do that? NO.
Richt don’t kick off Starters after many issues unless the POLICE were involved.

WHEN will RICHT show as much GUTS as LES?

RICHT ONLY kicked off PLAYERS that were ARRESTED not Starters with TEAM VIOLATIONS. Big Difference

Hey KIDS…….you just got to see a $10-15 million dollar “mistake”.
We don’t always to get to see a “mistake” like that cause Business “mistakes” are covered in TIME and the NYTimes but this should hit the Ghetto kids right between the eyes.
The Baseball Bat of REALITY just knocked honey badger OUT of the 1st round of the NFL draft.

dawgfan

August 10th, 2012
2:19 pm

LOL @ 5150 UOAD’s 12:33 post. Simply unbelievable. I am sorry that I offer up opinions that differ from your own. I sincerely and deeply apologize if this offends the sensitive sensibilities of the typical Tech fan. Granted, I can be a little obnoxious and antagonistic sometimes, but I try my best not to call specific people names (its really hard) and overall keep it relatively tame compared to a lot of the garbage I read on here. When I say that Tech fans are a joke I do not mean that you are a joke as people. I don’t know any of you so that obviously couldn’t be the case. What I mean is that collectively as a college football fan base you are a total joke. Its true. You are. What is wrong with saying that Georgia Tech football is a joke if I truly believe it? Why do I have to keep that to myself? You Tech fans seem to think you can say whatever you want about UGA but can’t take your own medicine. You don’t just trash our football team. You trash the integrity of our entire university on a daily freaking basis. You’ve been doing it for years. A lot of UGA fans take the high road and ignore you. I’m not one of them. You created this monster. Live with it.

Good day.

HighTech

August 10th, 2012
2:20 pm

Honey Badger tokes what he wants.

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
2:25 pm

Honey Badger thought it was a snake he was putting in his mouth.

HighTech

August 10th, 2012
2:27 pm

What do you think missing a player like Honey Badger is going to do to LSU’s ranking?

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
2:27 pm

POAD got banned by Towers and King…

So how is what I did now different than the posters I called out?

EXAMPLE……How was I different?

dawgfan
August 10th, 2012
2:19 pm

LOL @ 5150 UOAD’s 12:33 post. Simply unbelievable. I am sorry that I offer up opinions that differ from your own. I sincerely and deeply apologize if this offends the sensitive sensibilities of the typical Tech fan. Granted, I can be a little obnoxious and antagonistic sometimes, but I try my best not to call specific people names (its really hard) and overall keep it relatively tame compared to a lot of the garbage I read on here. When I say that Tech fans are a joke I do not mean that you are a joke as people. I don’t know any of you so that obviously couldn’t be the case. What I mean is that collectively as a college football fan base you are a total joke. Its true. You are. What is wrong with saying that Georgia Tech football is a joke if I truly believe it? Why do I have to keep that to myself? You Tech fans seem to think you can say whatever you want about UGA but can’t take your own medicine. You don’t just trash our football team. You trash the integrity of our entire university on a daily freaking basis. You’ve been doing it for years. A lot of UGA fans take the high road and ignore you. I’m not one of them. You created this monster. Live with it.

Good day.

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
2:30 pm

HT NOTHING…..it didn’t HURT the dWags losing Crowell.

The preseson polls are a JOKE and therefore the BCS polls are a JOKE. The BCS uses the other polls to factor in their poll at week 5.

NO POLLS before week 5.

George Stein

August 10th, 2012
2:39 pm

Did you have the opportunity to ask him about how different it is coaching the line without help this year, Ken?

HighTech

August 10th, 2012
2:47 pm

If some dwagtroll wants to bark on Ken’s blog, I am going to try my best to ignore it. Trolls are not worthy of response or consideration.

HighTech

August 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

That’s a good question, George Stein. I wonder how Coach Sewak would answer that one.

George Stein

August 10th, 2012
2:51 pm

Yeah, I never fully understood the co-offensive line coach thing, HT.

24 days, boys.

fuzzybee78

August 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

With all the discussion on depth on this team I think many are already fast forwarding to the roster we will have in ‘13 and ‘14. We have I believe 10 scholarship seniors this year and the 2013 class as mentioned above has the most talent since 07. We will close the gap some with Clemson, FSU, and VT in recruiting and be written and discussed as ACC contenders. We may get there this year.

Ken, who are our out of conference matchups in 13 and 14 ? Will that change with Pitt and Cuse coming in???

explosive offensive line

August 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

The number two rushing attack in the nation
with fresh bodies up front hittin’ hard every single time.

GT Lee

August 10th, 2012
2:55 pm

HighTech are you going to Presby game?