Celebrating Athletic Skill

Celebrating Athletic Skill

The athletic field is a key setting for Tech students to develop their leadership and team-building skills — gifts that will help them succeed regardless of their career aspirations.


Portrait of Todd Stansbury on a sunny morning on the field inside Bobby Dodd stadium

Georgia Tech alumnus and former football player Todd Stansbury is introduced as the Yellow Jackets' ninth director of athletics by President Bud Peterson.

Alumnus Todd Stansbury Named Athletic Director

Former Tech football player and Oregon State University Athletic Director Todd Stansbury returned to his alma mater last year as athletic director.

Stansbury — a 1984 industrial management alumnus — had served as Oregon State’s athletic director since 2015 following a nine-year stint as the university’s executive associate athletic director. During his time at Oregon State, Stansbury was part of a senior management team that raised $150 million for a football stadium expansion, in addition to fundraising for the construction of a sports performing center. He also was part of a team that established several career development initiatives for student-athletes.

“Todd Stansbury is committed to athletes’ success both on and off the field,” said President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. “His global perspective and leadership experience in athletics and development, combined with a lifelong passion for Georgia Tech, make him the ideal candidate. I believe this is one of those rare golden moments in life where opportunity meets ambition. We welcome him home.”

Stansbury’s resume also includes roles as athletic director at the University of Central Florida and East Tennessee State University. He was Georgia Tech’s assistant athletic director for academics from 1988–1995.

Josh Pastner during a game with assistant coaches and players around him

Josh Pastner Begins New Era in Men’s Basketball

Former University of Memphis head coach Josh Pastner was named men’s head basketball coach last year.

Pastner, who was only 38 when he joined the Yellow Jackets, compiled a 167–73 record over seven seasons as the head coach at Memphis, where the Tigers earned bids to the NCAA Tournament four times. He is the second winningest active coach under the age of 40 in NCAA Division I.

Despite his young age, Pastner has been involved in basketball at the Division I level for 20 years, in both player and coaching roles. He has been a part of teams that have won 490 games, played in 17 NCAA Tournaments and 18 total post-season events.

At the end of his first season at Tech, Pastner was named the John “Whack” Hyder Georgia College Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. In his first year at Tech, he coached the Yellow Jackets to a 20–15 record and the final four of the National Invitation Tournament. He has won more games than any first-year coach in Tech history.

Georgia Tech Women's and Men's Basketball players competing in the NIT

The Georgia Tech women's basketball team defeated Washington State 69–61 in the semifinals, and the men's basketball team defeated Indiana 75–63 in the first round, to reach the finals of the NIT. Photos by Danny Karnik and Clyde Click, Georgia Tech Athletics

Men’s and Women’s Teams Compete in NIT Championships

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams advanced to the respective championship games of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) last spring.

Although both teams ultimately were defeated, the NIT championships represented a stellar achievement for each of the programs. The men’s team, which last reached the finals in 1971, fell to Texas Christian University in the championship game.

Despite the loss, it was a successful season for the Yellow Jackets. A program that Head Coach Josh Pastner referred to as a “major rebuild job” won 21 games and competed in a national postseason tournament. “I promise you,” Pastner said after the game, “to be playing in this final game, it’s miraculous.’”

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the women’s team 89-79 in a dramatic championship match-up that went into triple overtime.

“I’m really proud of the progress we made throughout the course of the season,” said Head Coach MaChelle Joseph. “We lost a lot of close games with a young team — four of our top eight scorers and rebounders were new to the program — so I thought we were kind of on a journey all season long to figure out our roles and strengths and weakness of individuals and then as a team.”

Jackets Cap Off Stellar Year with UGA, TaxSlayer Bowl Victories

In the final seconds of their annual “grudge match” against the University of Georgia, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets wanted to throw a pass to their quarterback.

When it was clear that wouldn’t work, Qua Searcy decided to improvise.

The result: a soaring touchdown run with 30 seconds remaining that gave Georgia Tech a stunning 28-27 victory over Georgia last Thanksgiving weekend.

Searcy’s 6-yard touchdown off a busted play capped a fourth-quarter comeback that sent the Yellow Jackets (8-4) into a joyous celebration before a mostly stunned crowd between the hedges in Athens.

The white-clad players stormed the field, defiantly planting their gold flag in the “G” in the middle of the field — a bit of payback for Georgia doing the same thing at Georgia Tech’s stadium a year ago.

“Not bad for a bunch of 80th-ranked recruiting classes,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “I’m proud of our kids. They fought back.”

A little more than a month later, on New Year’s Eve, the Jackets defeated the University of Kentucky 33-18 in the TaxSlayer Bowl. Formerly the Gator Bowl, the TaxSlayer Bowl marked Georgia Tech’s 44th all-time bowl appearance, which ranks 13th in major college football history.

NCAA Graduate Success Rate Sets New Record of 87 Percent

Georgia Tech athletics’ NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) reached an all-time high this past year of 87 percent, according to NCAA data.

The Institute’s 87-percent GSR is its highest since the NCAA began using the metric in 2005 and marks the fourth-straight year that Tech’s GSR has increased.

At 87 percent, Georgia Tech’s GSR also surpasses the Division I average of 84 percent.

Individually, 10 of Georgia Tech’s 13 intercollegiate sports have GSRs higher than the national average for their respective sports. Five programs — men’s cross country/track and field, women’s cross country/track and field, golf, women’s tennis, and volleyball — own perfect 100-percent GSRs.

GSR measures the success of an athletics department in graduating its student-athletes within a six-year period. Unlike the Federal Graduation Rate, which assesses only first-time, full-time freshmen, GSR also includes transfer students and mid-year enrollees in the sample.

The latest GSR cohort includes student-athletes that enrolled at Georgia Tech from 2006-09.

Swim Team Goes Viral with Snow Video

At a moment when most Atlantans were left asking “Where is our snow?”, the Georgia Tech swim team found itself snowbound in Virginia with its meet canceled.

A few of the teammates took advantage of the fresh powder to get some laps in despite being stuck in their hotel.

Georgia Tech shared a video originally posted by freshman Aidan Pastel that features several of the swimmers — clad only in Speedos and swimmer’s caps — that went viral.

The Yellow Jackets were in Christianburg, Va., for a two-day tri-meet with Virginia Tech and Kentucky.

Institute Annual Report 2017