Tech’s expert AD sends Paul Johnson yet another love note

One more year tacked onto a contract that already had six years to run won’t keep Paul Johnson from going to Notre Dame — or to Oklahoma, should Bob Stoops wind up in South Bend — should PJ want to leave. Georgia Tech will never be able to outspend the big boys. (Example: Even with Johnson’s deal having been redone twice in 11 months, Mark Richt still makes more.)

But that wasn’t the intent of the one-more-year tack. This was designed as a love note, a reminder that nobody anywhere is going to love PJ more than the folks at GT. As Dan Radakovich noted in the official release: “We remain committed to Paul in every way, and we foresee a long-term relationship with much continued success.”

We knew already that Tech has a splendid football coach. What was evident with Friday’s announcement is that the Institute’s athletics director is every bit as good. Homer Rice was a great AD. Vince Dooley was a great AD. D-Rad is cut from that same regal cloth.

Hiring a splendid coach is only half the battle. The care and feeding of that man is the trickier part. How long do you wait to renegotiate? (With PJ, D-Rad waited less than a calendar year, and that proactivity was warranted because Auburn was believed to have offered Johnson a blank check.) But Notre Dame once deemed Charlie Weis was the real deal, and now it’s facing an elephantine buyout. You have to be quick, but you also have to be right.

An AD has to read both the terrain and his constituency, and Radakovich has done that since Day 1. You’ll recall that certain of Tech’s big contributors — the Old Guard — were displeased when D-Rad was hired over Bill Curry. Within six months, those same folks could be heard to say of Radakovich, “We’ve got ourselves a star.”

Radakovich gets that Johnson isn’t just a good coach but the right coach. He’s beloved by Tech backers both old and new, and he has done in two years what Chan Gailey couldn’t do in six — he has made Georgia and Richt play catch-up ball. It was instructive that one of Radakovich’s first hires was Wayne Hogan, who as associate AD for public relations has a politician’s ear and a journalist’s nose. Between D-Rad and Hogan, Tech is rarely surprised by developments and seems to hit every grace note.

And that’s what this added year is — a grace note. It’s Tech sending another bouquet to PJ. It’s Dan Radakovich saying, “You might make more money somewhere else, but you’ll never find a better fit.”

317 comments Add your comment

Jamaaliver

November 20th, 2009
4:31 pm

doggit

November 20th, 2009
4:33 pm

does he get 4 slices and 4 drinks /w that too?

Joe Schmoe

November 20th, 2009
4:33 pm

McDawg

November 20th, 2009
4:33 pm

CHOP BLOCK CHOP BLOCK CHOP BLOCK CHOP BLOCK

AtlantaNative62

November 20th, 2009
4:34 pm

Great article and yes, Paul Johnson is the right FIT for Tech. I hope he stays a long, long time and we have to name (or rename) something after him.

TDone

November 20th, 2009
4:34 pm

Roger That!!!

Go Jackets!!!

gtfan55

November 20th, 2009
4:34 pm

I like it!!!

Joe Schmoe

November 20th, 2009
4:35 pm

Crap…. Oh well… He may get 4 cokes and 4 slices, but he will not have morons calling for his head after every game.

AEPi1990

November 20th, 2009
4:35 pm

Dawghater

November 20th, 2009
4:35 pm

As a Tech Grad I regularly would email Mr. Radakovich during the Chan Gailey era. In today’s society not too many take personal responsibility for their job. Dan Does! He not only would respond back but in a timely manner and the response was not a form letter. He’s done a great job at Tech and I don’t want to lose him either! Continue to good work Mr. Radakovich!

roger dawg

November 20th, 2009
4:35 pm

sucks for us!

Matt

November 20th, 2009
4:36 pm

Now he just needs to fix the Men’s Basketball program. I would say that Coach Hewitt is on a VERY short leash for this season, huge buy out or not.

Jamaaliver

November 20th, 2009
4:36 pm

Mark, doesn’t renegotiating so soon, so often, set a bad precedent?

Weren’t folks just questioning PJ and the Yellow Jackets after the loss to Miami (which was really the second straight bad performance for this team)?

I’m just fearful of a letdown next year and the inevitable buyer’s remorse that comes from loving a guy TOO much. Best advice I ever got was to never get too HIGH or too LOW.

We appear to be ridiculously high on Coach Johnson. How can he possibly live up these standards?

AEPi1990

November 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

CPJ, please keep up the excellent work.

Big Time? Not

November 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

Tech may give free pizza, but my dogs still suck.

Bandwagon

November 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

Tech82

November 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

Too bad we couldn’t give Johnson one of the years off Hewitt’s contract.

AEPi1990

November 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

DRAD, please keep up the excellent work and thank you.

Johnny Weissmuller

November 20th, 2009
4:37 pm

McDawg

GT soon to have 5 national titles, UGA has 2; GT soon to have 5 national titles, UGA has 2; GT soon to have 5 national titles, UGA has 2; GT soon to have 5 national titles, UGA has 2;GT soon to have 5 national titles, UGA has 2

Joe Schmoe

November 20th, 2009
4:39 pm

Matt

November 20th, 2009
4:36 pm
Now he just needs to fix the Men’s Basketball program. I would say that Coach Hewitt is on a VERY short leash for this season, huge buy out or not.

I agree, if CPH does not have atleast an 8 seed team, he is history. That leash is getting tighter.

Jack

November 20th, 2009
4:39 pm

Good to see PJ getting the recognition. Coach of the year again is next. Then a nat champ. Things are very nice on the Flats.

Not Disappointed

November 20th, 2009
4:40 pm

I will put extra little something for my dues next month. Thank you Coach Paul Johnson!

Solid Gold Dancer

November 20th, 2009
4:40 pm

Great start for the weekend!!

Born2Buzz

November 20th, 2009
4:41 pm

Your right MB, DRad and made the right moves since he’s been here. In 3 months on the job he communicated more with the fan base than Dave Braine did in 8 years. The Athletic Board of Trustees needs to give DRad and bump and an extra year or two as well.
Now let’s see if we can get the BBall program to keep in step with the new paradigm set by CPJ.

Keep USA #1

November 20th, 2009
4:42 pm

Hewitt still makes more than Johnson. HEWITT needs to go………………………

rex

November 20th, 2009
4:43 pm

If Tech wants to move tickets, instead of free pizza and coke, they should hand out free energy drinks and World of Warcraft.

Mark Bradley

November 20th, 2009
4:43 pm

Hewitt does not make more than Johnson.

Corch Alpha Male

November 20th, 2009
4:45 pm

One year?? That’s it?? One year??? He’s playing Tech like a fiddle and treating them like a rented mule and Tech is loving it. You’ll see, this is going to end uggggggly and the coaching carousel at Tech will begin again. “Calling Ralph Friedgen, come in Coach Friedgen…..”

Johnny Test

November 20th, 2009
4:45 pm

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Which league is the best this season?

I don’t think there’s great separation between the leagues this season, which wasn’t the case in 2008. Still, there is one constant from last season: The SEC is best. No league can match the SEC’s power at the top, with Florida and Alabama setting the pace in the nation. And LSU has been a top-10 team this season, as well. The only other Big Six leagues with legit national title contenders are the Big 12 (Texas) and Big East (Cincinnati). Enough said. The SEC also stands out for its depth. Is there any easy out in the league? No. There isn’t a conference in the nation that can match the SEC from 1-12, with the strength at top setting it apart from every other conference.

- TOM DIENHART
I hope CPJ stays. UGA will have to get better to compete. It does not hurt us for him to stay. It helps. Even if we lose a couple. Beware of the big head.

Dawghater

November 20th, 2009
4:45 pm

Hey rex, UGA’s package is 2 cans of snuff, a six pack of Bud and some dentures to replace those missing teeth. If you supersize that deal, UGA gives you a degree as well.

Matt

November 20th, 2009
4:45 pm

BTW, Tech beat GW in Puerto Rico today. But, my GOD, they shot 50 something percent from the free throw line?? What part of FREE do today’s basketball players not get? My 68 year old Mother could do better than that shooting “granny” style.

rex

November 20th, 2009
4:45 pm

If UGA wants to win, we should also find a coach that can coach up all our “5 star” talent.

McDawg

November 20th, 2009
4:46 pm

is it legal to chop block in the NFL?

Johnny Test

November 20th, 2009
4:48 pm

Johnny w. 59/39/5… soon to be 60/39/5. The last tek NC before 1990 was 1952. UGA has 3 NCs.

Joe Schmoe

November 20th, 2009
4:48 pm

Matt

November 20th, 2009
4:45 pm
BTW, Tech beat GW in Puerto Rico today. But, my GOD, they shot 50 something percent from the free throw line?? What part of FREE do today’s basketball players not get? My 68 year old Mother could do better than that shooting “granny” style.

Thats what erks me more than anything with our basketball team. When they get to the FT line under CPH, they choke. Can we not recruit players that can play an all around game? All our big men are god awful at the line.

Pensacola dawg

November 20th, 2009
4:49 pm

Atlanta Native 62 CPJ is a fit for tech…what are you smoking? The glory days are gone you old fart..assuming tech is as tough a academic school as alleged how in the hell do you think you can compete with the Alabama’s of the world. CPJ is a throwback but if in fact geek u is all that academically do you really think he can get the atheletes to compete reguarly on a national level? Eithe geek u academics are smoke and mirrows or CPJ will move on which is it?

Brian Jones TECH FAN

November 20th, 2009
4:50 pm

hey Mcdawg must suck to have all those 4 -5 start players and your team sucks to high heavens get used to it with CPJ there TECH will always be tougher than saint richts teams

GTMike

November 20th, 2009
4:50 pm

Hmmm, Tech announces that Johnson signs an extension the day after UGa passes away from heart failure. You think maybe the poor Dawg had an inkling of what was coming and passed away out of fear???

Sting71

November 20th, 2009
4:50 pm

CPJ gets contract extension. Uga dies. Which came first?

Just A Fan

November 20th, 2009
4:51 pm

They’re called Cut Blocks and they’re legal McPuppy

Not Disappointed

November 20th, 2009
4:51 pm

Thanks Mark! I was wondering when the blog was coming up for this subject.
So, are you @ Georgia vs Kentucky tomorrow or waiting until the Flats next weekend?

Ps. I also thank you, Jeff and Doug in an email.

Good weekend all! Ramblin Wreck!

Joe Schmoe

November 20th, 2009
4:52 pm

Pensacola dawg

November 20th, 2009
4:49 pm
Atlanta Native 62 CPJ is a fit for tech…what are you smoking? The glory days are gone you old fart..assuming tech is as tough a academic school as alleged how in the hell do you think you can compete with the Alabama’s of the world. CPJ is a throwback but if in fact geek u is all that academically do you really think he can get the atheletes to compete reguarly on a national level? Eithe geek u academics are smoke and mirrows or CPJ will move on which is it?

So you cant have an athelete with a brain? What are you guys doing over at UGA? Stick with that.

Not Disappointed

November 20th, 2009
4:54 pm

Sting71 that’s not nice. :-( Ramblin Wreck!

TechMD

November 20th, 2009
4:55 pm

It’s a great move by a great AD to keep a coach who’s a perfect fit. I think he may well bring a NC to GT but I don’t know that anyone should EXPECT it. High expectations are understandable but unreasonable expectations are hubris. See UGA for example of hubris.

UGA VII

November 20th, 2009
4:55 pm

North Ave Pimp

November 20th, 2009
4:58 pm

doggit
does he get 4 slices and 4 drinks /w that too?

HEY “Doggit” isn’t this kind of like beating a dead Dawg, oops I mean horse?

McDawg

November 20th, 2009
4:59 pm

if the NFL does allow chop blocking Chop Paul Johnson would be an excellent fit-not sure how long the NCAA is going to allow all these dirty plays

where's the love

November 20th, 2009
4:59 pm

funny how there is no mention of a contract extension for Mark Richt

No Name(required)

November 20th, 2009
5:00 pm

After your article yesterday, and this one today, this is starting to get very interesting.
I’m not even going to try and speculate Im just going to sit back and enjoy the show.

b.davis

November 20th, 2009
5:01 pm

Have to say UGA passing on and Paul Johnson getting an extension is a bit errie.

All I know is I have followed Tech since Bobby Dodd with more lows than highs and I am now excited about Tech football.

Last years Georgia game, FSU and this years Wake Forest and FSU games just about put me in a hospital.

Good luck Yellow Jackets and you too UGA VII.