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New Tech AD Stansbury expresses confidence in Paul Johnson

Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury, on the job for three days, gave football coach Paul Johnson a vote of confidence in remarks to the media Wednesday.

Stansbury said last week’s 28-27 win over Georgia was a statement and more evidence of Johnson’s skill as a coach. Stansbury, a former Tech player, attended the game.

“Any time you can go between the hedges, no matter who you are, and win a game there, it says a lot,” Stansbury said.

“There’s nobody out there that wants to play us. That tells a lot about the state of the program and fear that opposing coaches have of our head coach.”

Johnson led the Yellow Jackets to an 8-4 record that including a three-game win streak to end the regular season. He has led the team to the Orange Bowl twice, including a win over Mississippi State in 2014. Johnson is 69-48 at Tech.

Stansbury said he didn’t pay attention to speculation that he may have wanted to make a change had Johnson not won the final three games against the Bulldogs, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

“There’s always speculation during a season,” he said.

He said he finds any discussion about a coach’s future during the season to be detrimental.

“It creates issues and talking points that only enable those that are competing against you,” he said. “A lot of times people forget about the current student-athletes that have committed to the program because of the coach they are playing for. We forget about their parents and how they are going to react to that chatter, and obviously the recruits.”

Stansbury said he met with Johnson for an hour earlier this week and they discussed what he needs to continue to build the program. He didn’t share any specific ideas that came from the conversation. Johnson has previously said he would like to renovate the locker rooms. Stansbury led a project that did something similar in his previous job as athletic director at Oregon State.

“My goal, what I hope to bring to the table, is to help provide him with what he needs to continue that success, build on that success, so that we can continue to compete at a highest level,” Stansbury said.

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