The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets embarked on a new journey Friday morning, officially introducing Mike Bobinski as their new athletic director. As Bobinski took the podium in front of dozens of reports from the Atlanta media, he assured everyone Tech is in good hands.
After spending 12 years as the athletic director at Xavier, Bobinski brings a passion for success and a winning attitude to this program. During his tenure the Musketeers appeared in 40 NCAA Championships among nine different sports. Not a bad resume to bring to the heart of Georgia.
Successful athletics weren’t the only enticing aspect of Bobinski’s background. As Georgia Tech president Bud Peterson noted, Bobinski fostered a program at Xavier that has recently achieved a graduation rate of 97 percent, ranking No. 11 in the entire nation.
“We’re going to focus on the academic achievement, and the personal growth and development of our student athletes,” said Bobinski when talking about the integral components of a successful college program.
Georgia Tech offers a rare mix of education and athletics, a fact Bobinski is excited to utilize. “There has never been a better time to be at Georgia Tech,” said Bobinski. “This is a dynamic and vibrant place, and it’s one of the very few places in the country with the capacity to be elite academically and compete successfully at the very highest level.”
We’ve all seen the accomplishments of Xavier’s basketball program over the last decade or so. Under Bobinski’s reign, the Musketeers averaged 25 wins a year in men’s basketball, including two trips to the Elite Eight. Their women’s basketball program put together Elite Eight runs in 2001, 2010 and 2011 and also achieved a record-high No. 4 national ranking.
What about football, though? Sure, Bobinski helped produce winning basketball programs. He hired Thad Matta, currently the head coach of Ohio State, and Sean Miller, now the head coach of Arizona. Those decisions paid off. But, Xavier doesn’t have a football program. Should the Yellow Jackets be worried?
“I spent the first nearly 15 years of my career around football programs,” Bobinski said when questioned about his lack of recent football experience. He worked for Notre Dame and Navy for several years each, and to this day remains an avid football fan. “I watch 15 games a weekend because I don’t have to worry about my team,” he said. “And that’s going to change because now I’ve got my team. I don’t care about those other 15 teams, I care about one team and one team only at this point.”
Bobinski understands the importance of football in today’s college landscape, mentioning recent conference alignment and television deals that have been a direct correlation of the sport. His excitement to return to a school with football was apparent. Jackets fans can rest assured Bobinski will do all he can to put the best product available out on the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
At the end of the press conference, Bobinski was presented with a book titled “The Complete How to Speak Southern” collection. Give him a few weeks to hone in on his regional dialect, and Georgia Tech should have one impressive athletic director who is passionate about all of his school’s endeavors.