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

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
4:42 pm

fuzzybee, I agree about PSU. I’d love to have both them and ND in the conference.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
4:42 pm

BLT

August 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

Sorry Ken, I guess that last post can be construed as taking a shot at a specific poster. I’m not trying to stir up trouble. Sometimes my sensitive sensibilities can get the better of me.

Now why did CPJ schedule Elon? Sorry again, I guess that could be construed as taking a shot at another poster.

Anyway, I appreciate your work. Thank you for the updates and please keep them coming. You are a beacon of truth and reason in a bleak landscape of falsehood.

GO JACKETS!

Jorge O'leary

August 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

Honey Badger and Isaiah Crowell will be bed buddies!!

BLT

August 10th, 2012
5:08 pm

Jorge, we are trying to stay above all that. It’s difficult I know.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
5:36 pm

@ BLT……Although I am among the worst about firing back, I really think if we just totally ignore any of their posts, they will get sick of it and go away. That is what I am going to TRY to do from now on. Let them rant and lie and distort all they want. We know the truth, and there’s no way we are going to be able to convince them otherwise, so to hell with them.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
6:07 pm

@ BLT……how would you feel if nobody ever acknowledged a thing that you said?

HighTech

August 10th, 2012
6:09 pm

I say it’s worth a try, BLT. I respect and appreciate Ken as a sports writer and I am willing to try it for him. Just don’t go changing your handle. Boot Licking Toady – best…blog…handle…ever.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
6:09 pm

@ Doug…..welcome to the blogs. I don’t think our offense will have any problem with the VT defense; they’re not that good. Only time will tell our our defense will perform against their’s or anybody else’s

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
6:09 pm

@ HT….I agree, I LOVE “Boot Licking Toady”

BLT

August 10th, 2012
6:17 pm

Supersize, that’s what I’m going to do as well. I’ve signed up for the rumbleseat like FL Jacket suggested. It’s troll free. LOL. My post will become less frequent…even though I don’t post much.

I believe Ken has been tolerant of the bashing in the past (much more so than CT of BK). I think he wants to try and clamp down on it now before the season starts. It got really bad last year (on both sides). I feel bad for him because to really monitor it he’d have to be awake 24/7 reviewing the post. That’s not a life. He has a new family. I want him to enjoy it without this stuff. Honestly, last year was my first year actually reading this stuff.
I asked my UGA friends about it and they all said none of these bashers are true Bulldog fans. Don’t get me wrong, we talk smack but nothing like what gets written here. They respect Tech (as a school and a team) and look forward to the game. I’m going back to that. It’s real and the talk is honest (if not somewhat biased). I would suggest Ken put those filters in “Hyper Drive” so he can enjoy his life and not be some sort of arbitrator.

I wish the Bulldogs the best except for that one game. Go Jackets!

BLT

August 10th, 2012
6:20 pm

BLT

August 10th, 2012
5:48 pm

“Do you really think that will work, ignoring them?”

Thanks dude, I think you made my point better than me. Do you even know what “BLT” stands for?

Yeah, that’s an imposter…

Paul in NH

August 10th, 2012
6:23 pm

I have to agree with Headley Lamar. UGA has an incredibly tough policy on drugs – CMR threw the book at his star CB for possession of marijuana…. and then he looked at film of Missouri’s WR’s.

BLT

August 10th, 2012
6:23 pm

There’s really nothing wrong with what he posted. Good for him…

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
6:25 pm

@ BLT…..I have heard about “From the Rumble Seat,” but I just enjoy these blogs, in spite of the trolls. Let’s just try ignoring them and communicate amongst ourselves, at least trying to stay on topic. I always enjoy Ken’s articles, so I don’t really want to go anywhere else. However, maybe he would be well served to put those filters in “Hyper Drive” so all of us can enjoy it here.

Dinner time here. TTYL

BLT

August 10th, 2012
6:25 pm

You guys have yourselves another Boot Licking Toadie! Someone is going to be so happy!

You guys who thnk...

August 10th, 2012
6:26 pm

…that CPJ has any input into the Tech football schedule outside the conference are dulusional – all ADs do the scheduling and ask the coach after the fact what they think – and no
AD worth anything is going to schedule at least 2 schools like Elon, Presbyterian, MTSU, New Mexsico State, FL Atlantic, Buffalo, La Monroe (sorry, that may not be a good example, just ask Big Crimson), etc…that is just how it is, and with GT playing 9 conference games, + UGA, they need those two 1AA games –

So, quit dreaming about playing ND or OK or TX or AU every year – it ain’t gonna happen – EVER…

Hey, Paul in NH...

August 10th, 2012
6:29 pm

…if you are referring to Branden Smith, what did the kid do wrong – he passed two drug tests post “arrest” – what more could he do? Are you and Super saying the kid should be suspended because his rider had some weed that may not have known about? You guys are quite judgemental…

Oops...

August 10th, 2012
6:30 pm

…that should be “and ALL ADs worth anything are going to schedule at least…”

oldeagle

August 10th, 2012
6:49 pm

Is this the right blog ? Anyway… I played for Erk when Mike Sewak showed up on the staff at Georgia Southern. Sewak is as genuine as they come and there isn’t a pretentious bone in his body. He’s still the same today. Besides that, he’s a guy you have fun playing for and pretty dang funny at times as well. Mostly, when he isn’t even trying to be. Tech is lucky to have him. He’s proof you don’t have to be an a#&hole to be a good college football coach.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
6:56 pm

@ Hey, Paul……I don’t have a clue who Branden Smith is, so I don’t know what you are talking about

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
6:57 pm

@ oldeagle……thanks for that. Very nice !!!

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2012
7:07 pm

whoever is posting as Doug Rappaport, 1 4 GT, William Casey and Jackets 2012, please find another blog.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
7:09 pm

Ken, the name thief is hitting several of the blogs tonight. But I guess you know that already. Anyway, thanks for addressing the problem

BLT

August 10th, 2012
7:19 pm

BLT

August 10th, 2012
6:34 pm

Absolutely he should be suspended because his rider had some weed that may not have known about.Don’t you agree with that

BLT

August 10th, 2012
6:37 pm

Guys that’s not me at 6:20, 6:23, or 6:25 PM.

These are not me either Ken. I really don’t care. He’s probably a kid with nothing better to do. Good for him. Have a good time. At least try to be original. Good night and god bless.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
7:21 pm

@ BLT……you handle it better than I ever was able to

HighTech

August 10th, 2012
7:28 pm

Here is a video of Ken enforcing his blog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bLf6iIlNHs&feature=related

Laying the smackdown on some troll candyasses.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
7:36 pm

Wow, HT……I didn’t know Ken was such a bad azz……LOL

5150 UOAD

August 10th, 2012
7:53 pm

KEN grow some FU…KN……………BALZ……………..ban the MOTHER..F…………….KER…………..It happens on EVERY OTHER BLOG………………….GROW some BALZ you………………P….Z……………Y.

I am mad as hell I have to put up with this CRAP but I get banned on the other blogs……………BAN the Ass”””’LES and be like the other AJC writers or make the other BLOGGERS let us post on their blogs.
I am past sick of this crap. EITHER the RULES are the same or not.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
7:58 pm

UOAD…..you know I agree with you, but calm down. No need to get Ken pissed at you, and I know you don’t mean to. I totally understand your frustration and anger, but don’t take it out on the best beat writer on the AJC staff. Actually, as I learned from dealing with my imposter back in the Spring, there are some things that are apparently beyond Ken’s control, even though other staff members might not be so limited. I had to take my complaints way up the line before I could find anybody who was willing or able to address them. I’m sure Ken is willing, but I’m not sure he is always able.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2012
8:07 pm

5150 – you’ve crossed a line. sorry. if you want, come back in a month.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
8:10 pm

@ Ken……PLEASE do not do that. I will talk to UOAD

Paul in NH

August 10th, 2012
8:14 pm

I never said that Smith should be suspended. I was amused at how one of our favorite trolls, headley lamar, was boasting how tough UGA’s policies are on drugs and alcohol.
I also love the notion that because someone passed 2 drug tests after being caught in possession it somehow means he didn’t POSSESS the drugs. All it means is he didn’t TAKE them.

Paul in NH

August 10th, 2012
8:17 pm

Supersize – I think Ken is absolutely in the right on this one. He gave UOAD a warning which was more than ignored.
I like how Ken polices his blog. He lets people say their opinions but draws the line on profanity, ad hominem attacks, etc.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
8:30 pm

@ Paul……obviously I won’t argue with you. But since I do know UOAD personally, and I know it’s just a case of frustration. I don’t in anyway condone what he said, but in a sense he just put into words what many of us think a lot. I hope Ken will be a little lenient with him, even if he doesn’t deserve it

Ken, are you sure that was the real UOAD...

August 10th, 2012
8:30 pm

…I mean, he had been warned, and then to respond like that makes me think it was someone using his moniker – but, if it really was him then I am in total support of your banning him…

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
8:32 pm

I’m pretty sure it was actually UOAD. And Ken can tell for sure since he has access to our email addresses which we give when we post messages

Sorry, Paul in NH......

August 10th, 2012
8:32 pm

…I was only responding to what you wrote, i.e. – “UGA has an incredibly tough policy on drugs – CMR threw the book at his star CB for possession of marijuana…. and then he looked at film of Missouri’s WR’s”

This, to me, sounded like you were bashing Richt for not suspending Smith related to the aforementioned spring break traffic stop in AL…

And, surely, Super, you knew that about whom I was referring…

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
8:34 pm

@ Sorry…..I don’t pay any attention to what goes on in Athens, unless it’s on the front page of the paper, which it often is.

And, Paul in NH......

August 10th, 2012
8:34 pm

…evidently you believe in being guilty until proven innocent, and then when proven innocent you believe someone is still guilty by association – RRRIIIGGGHHHTTT….

True, Super......

August 10th, 2012
8:35 pm

…so true…and I think this probably was…

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
8:36 pm

Guys, we evidently have a troll in here, so just do what many of us decided to do earlier——IGNORE HIM !!!!

Jackets 2012 (Robert Barron)

August 10th, 2012
8:39 pm

Ken, Supersize emailed me about some comments I have not made.
I do not have the time some do to always be on these blogs
Supersize has been good enough to watch my back a time of two.
I am going to add my real name as Mr. Casey dared us all to do one time.
Check the email addresses and boot this imposter who is trying to start fights between fellow Jackets.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2012
8:44 pm

Guys, what Jackets 2012 just posted refers to the kind of things that go on on these blogs that sometimes drive us over the line. Until you have experienced having to put up with somebody else using your name to make posts totally contrary to what you think, then you can’t really understand how hard it often is to hold it all in. I put up with it for more than a year before somebody (apparently) got rid of the guy. Although this may be the same guy back now doing this crap, but just no longer posing as me.

Coach

August 10th, 2012
8:47 pm

Sewak is a good coach and probably a better offensive line coach. However, at the real GSU, he was NOT that great of a communicator. At Alumni functions, it was tough to get through with him the lead speaker. However, where he is at Tech is a good fit.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2012
9:03 pm

Jackets 2012 – For the moment, at least, he’s been banned. Unfortunately, it’s not always an airtight solution.

Auburn cheating big surprise NOT

August 10th, 2012
9:48 pm

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn freshman running back Jovon Robinson is being held out of practice while the NCAA investigates allegations that his high school transcript was falsified.


Athletic department spokesman Kirk Sampson said Friday that Robinson’s academic status is being reviewed.

Memphis City Schools said in a statement that NCAA officials contacted the school district Tuesday regarding allegations involving a former Wooddale High School athlete. The statement said schools superintendent Kriner Cash ordered an immediate investigation and that a school guidance counselor resigned after admitting to creating the fake transcript.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal first reported the allegations Friday.

The statement did not identify the counselor or the student.

“Know that the District has clear and strict policies and procedures regarding student transcripts,” the school district statement said. “Academic fraud is not and will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and accordingly.”

Robinson was one of Auburn’s top prospects, and had a chance to contribute in a backfield trying to replace starter Mike Dyer. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder is easily the biggest of Auburn’s tailbacks and would bring a physical presence to the backfield if he’s eligible.

Messages left by The Associated Press at the school were not returned.

Emails sent to guidance counselors, head coach Keith Spann, assistant football coach Michael Collins and the school principal, Michael Kyle, were not returned.

A phone number listed for Spann was disconnected.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

Auburn cheating big surprise NOT

August 10th, 2012
9:49 pm

hey NCAA, go back to 2010 and check to see how many transcripts were falsified then

Straight Jacket

August 10th, 2012
10:16 pm

Going to be a long season!!!!!!!!!

gt40pinhd

August 10th, 2012
10:41 pm

brought back a lot of memories: juniors, only ate there once. still remember. freshman game: tech vs uga. wow, what a great photo.
sewak is producing: uzzi, maybe more.
bobby dodd scheduled clemson every year at tech. no home and home. he wanted a breather (we chanted “big fat farmboys). yep, dodd always won. our biggest rival in those days other than uga was auburn (turkey buzzards).
don’t remember many “easy” games. played nd home and home.