Forget about Thursday night’s game being awkward for Dan Radakovich. How about his son Christian, who earned his Georgia Tech degree in industrial engineering last December?
Will the son of Clemson’s athletic director (and Tech’s former AD) be in white and gold or orange and purple Thursday night at Memorial Stadium?
“There are 80,000 seats in the stadium,” Christian’s father said. “He can sit wherever he wants, but if he wants to sit with me, he’ll be in orange.”
Thursday night’s game will be the elder Radakovich’s first football game in which his team will oppose the Yellow Jackets, led by coach Paul Johnson, whom he hired six years ago. He attended both Clemson-Georgia Tech men’s basketball games last season.
“It’ll be a little different for sure, but I’m looking forward to the competition, because, again, it’s (against) people that you know do it right,” Radakovich said Wednesday.
Radakovich has been busy since starting at Clemson in December, first trying to understand the school and department’s culture and diagnosing strengths and weaknesses. He has begun a project to renovate Littlejohn Coliseum, with a plan sounding quite similar to the one he had for Alexander Memorial Coliseum, now McCamish Pavilion — that after it was completed, you could stand at center court and look around and the building would look completely different.
There also are projects for the baseball and football stadiums.
Radakovich also was named to the selection committee for the College Football Playoff that begins next year. Radakovich said he was asked by ACC commissioner John Swofford to be a part of the committee a few months ago, “and thought about it and gave him an affirmative answer.”
The 13-member committee met for the first time Monday and Tuesday in Washington. Radakovich said it was a meeting to plan and set a framework, “having people put different questions out on the table about issues that will need to be discussed, a lot of logistics. … Sometimes you have to get all the questions on the table before you can know what the answers will be.”
He said there were no plans for a dry run for selecting a four-team field with this season.
“The BCS has served college football so well, and we have to make sure this BCS season concludes on a high note,” he said. “Once that’s done, we’ll turn our attention to the college football playoff.”
His attention Thursday will be on two schools and teams he knows perhaps better than anyone. Radakovich said he has kept an eye on Tech’s teams since leaving and has a good relationship with his successor, Mike Bobinski.
“I know Mike is outstanding at his job,” Radakovich said. “He’s a great professional.”
As for his two major hires, Johnson and men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory, “I have a great respect for Paul and Brian and the work they do and, having been there, yeah, you look and see how they’re doing, and you want to make sure that they’re successful. I want them to win ’em all but one.”