SBD/October 30, 2012/Colleges

Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich To Replace Terry Don Phillips At Clemson

Radakovich was "immediately interested" when the Clemson AD job became available
Clemson Univ. yesterday introduced Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich as its new AD, concluding a three-month national search that drew more than 30 candidates. Radakovich served as Georgia Tech's AD since ’06, and replaces current Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips, who announced his plans to retire in August (Clemson). Radakovich said that when he heard of Phillips’ decision, he was “immediately interested in Clemson.” He added that he has “revered Clemson since his first visit.” Clemson President James Barker, who chaired the school's search committee, said that the opening “attracted interest from every BCS conference, smaller divisions and even the private sector.” Barker said that the “final four candidates" were Radakovich, Clemson Associate AD Bill D’Andrea, Univ. of Georgia Exec Associate AD Carla Williams and Appalachian State Univ. AD Charlie Cobb. Barker said that Radakovich’s candidacy was “strengthened by his plans for accountability, growth and transparency." Barker said that Phillips' term will end "as soon as Radakovich's begins, although Phillips will remain in Clemson to assist the transition” (GREENVILLE NEWS, 10/30). In South Carolina, Greg Wallace reports Radakovich will make $725,000 annually "over a 5.5-year contract," making him the ACC's second-highest paid AD "behind Duke’s Kevin White." One of the “biggest questions surrounding Radakovich was his involvement with Georgia Tech’s recent NCAA probation.” GT in '09 was “placed on four years probation, fined $100,000 and stripped of their 2009 ACC football championship win over Clemson.” The NCAA took a “harder tack against Tech after learning Radakovich broke NCAA rules" by alerting football coach Paul Johnson that WR Demaryius Thomas and S Morgan Burnett would be interviewed by the NCAA. Barker “spoke with NCAA contacts, read the report thoroughly and was happy with Radakovich’s remarks” (Anderson INDEPENDENT-MAIL, 10/30).

WHAT'S THE BUZZ? In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura writes Radakovich’s time at GT “makes a compelling case for his ambitiousness.” In a weakened economy, Radakovich "led construction projects for an indoor football practice facility, a softball stadium, a tennis complex, a basketball practice facility and the renovation of Alexander Memorial Coliseum.” He instituted the TECH Fund, which "requires a donation to the department in order to purchase prime football and men’s basketball season tickets.” But Sugiura writes, “Undeniably Radakovich’s albatross will be the NCAA investigation into improper benefits to two football players.” Radakovich’s final day at GT “will be Nov. 15 and he will begin working at Clemson at the end of November.” GT President Bud Peterson said that the school “will interview search firms and assemble a search committee.” Peterson yesterday said that he “expects the process to take two to three months” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 10/30). Also in Atlanta, Mark Bradley wrote Radakovich is “ducking out on a program in disarray.” Those who know Radakovich “always believed that when he left … it would be for a big-time SEC school.” Facility-wise, Radakovich “did well for Tech.” But with "football in decline and men’s basketball in rebuilding mode, the eyeball diagnosis is of an athletic program on wobbly legs.” Bradley: “There’s no buzz, pun intended, around Tech sports.” The next AD “needs to be more a promoter than a money man” (AJC.com, 10/29).
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