The search was fast. The search was quiet. The search was conducted with far more efficiency than many things at Georgia Tech have been in recent years.
Todd Stansbury will be the new athletic director at Georgia Tech. He checks all the boxes.
He played football at Georgia Tech for Bill Curry. He learned under the wise old athletic director, Homer Rice. He climbed the ladder in various athletic departments around the country, spending several years as an assistant as an assistant athletic director at Tech, then moving on to Houston, East Tennessee State and Oregon State.
When Central Florida was hit with NCAA scandal in 2012, it was Stansbury they hired to clean up the mess. He did such an impressive job over three years in fundraising and overseeing the school’s move from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference that he was offered a job at a Power 5 Conference school: Oregon State.
Central Florida president John Hitt couldn't be upset, just thankful: “Oregon State hired a winner in every sense of the word. Todd fostered a culture of academic and athletic success at UCF. He has done a marvelous job and the UCF family appreciates all he and Karen have done for the Knights. He will be missed.”
That was only last summer.
How badly did Georgia Tech want to bring Todd Stansbury back home? He was only one year into a five-year contract at Oregon State that paid him $500,000 per year plus incentives. Logic says this had to have cost Tech something. Maybe seven figures. With nearly four full years (or $2 million in salary) still left on the contract, there’s an assumption that Stansbury (read: Georgia Tech) had to satisfy Oregon State to some degree with a buyout.
So credit to Tech president Bud Peterson and members of the search committee for going to the wall to make this hire. Stansbury should be a significant improvement over his predecessor, Mike Bobinski, who left Georgia Tech for Purdue only six weeks ago.
Stansbury touched on all of the right talking points at his introductory news conference this morning. He said the Tech position is "more than just another A.D. job," to him and he went on to credit Curry and Rice for impacting his life. "I'd like to thank Bill Curry for showing me what the Tech way was. For the last 20 years away from the Flats I’ve done everything to bring the Tech way there.
"I was a freshman (during Rice's) first year here. My whole career, everything I’ve done, every program I’ve led, the DNA can be found here on The Flats."
Peterson said he "didn't have to twist his arm," when he asked Stansbury if he wanted the job."
Stansbury, responding to a question about keeping pace with facilities with institutions like Clemson and Georgia, said it's important to identify what an athletic program needs but added, "You don’t need a waterfall in your locker room."
As someone who just came from Oregon State, my guess is that was a veiled shot at Oregon, which has a waterfall in its football facility.
Stansbury has small shoes to fill.
Bobinski probably didn’t fully understand what he was getting into when he was hired to replace Dan Radakovich (who went to Clemson) and he certainly wasn’t prepared to either handle the budgetary issues in athletics or run a major athletic department with a football program.
Morale among Tech employees was at an all-time low. Some were fired. Others left. Bobinski’s uncommunicative management style was a contrast to Radakovich’s, leaving coaches uncertain about where they stood and what was expected.
One Tech insider told me, ““People in the department referred to him as ‘Sasquatch’ because we never saw him.”
Tech has lacked leadership and direction. But Stansbury's hire could be the first step toward fixing a lot of problems.
Previously on this subject
- Bill Curry knows: Georgia Tech needs a unifying presence
- Georgia Tech was dysfunction junction under Mike Bobinski
- Mike Bobinski won't be leaving Georgia Tech in great shape
- Bobinski finally ends stall on contract for Paul Johnson
- Bobinski's hiring of Josh Pastner has been overly criticized
- Nothing Gregory did this season was going to be enough to save job
Other recen t ramblings
- Overreaction Monday: Everybody wins! What can possibly go wrong?
- Falcons' 35 points, 528 yards should quiet criticism of Shanahan
- Falcons put on an offense show -- and, yes, win
- Falcons try to avoid going from 0-1 to off the rails
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs rebound, Jackets win, Falcons fall
- Coppollella acknowledges on Twitter starters have been disappointing
- Politicians need to understand: Sports has a hammer -- get used to it
- Overreaction Monday: Red zone, tackling and can anybody run block?
- As season opens, it's Mike Smith 1, Falcons 0
- Georgia exposed by opponent it should've easily handled
- Smart's limited media access accomplishing nothing
- Weekend Predictions: Falcons over their exes; Dogs, Jackets cover
- Mets sign Tebow but he looks more like 'Sideshow Tim' than player
- If Braves sign Tebow, it's about circus and revenue, not baseball
- Georgia worthy of high expectations -- but proceed with caution
- Digi-Blog puts a wrap on Georgia Tech's trip to Dublin
- Justin Thomas rescues Georgia Tech -- with his arm
- Short takes on Georgia Tech's opening win (or escape)
- Game day: In any country, Georgia Tech needs to be better
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets win (but Lilly pulls an upset)
- A solution to satellite camps: Hold them in Ireland
- Until there's football in Ireland, I had a more important mission
- Foreign land couldn't be worse for Georgia Tech than U.S. was last year
- Reading between the lines on Smart's "No News For You" news conference
- Weekend Predictions: It's 'Sack Schultz' time, suckers -- win prizes
- Falcons reminding all: These games don't count
- Predicting Georgia Tech's season: game-by-game (from AJC special section
- Keanu Neal injury 'minor' but Falcons can't afford any bad news
- (Full Q&A) Chipper Jones likes Braves' future but says moves needed
- (Blog) Chipper Jones: Braves need moves but he likes future (and being back home