GoJackets.com recently had the opportunity to interview Georgia Tech Athletic Director Mike Bobinski. In January 2013, Bobinski succeeded Dan Radakovich and took over the job of athletic director at Georgia Tech after serving as athletic director at Xavier for 12 years. Two years later, Mike gives us his thoughts on a variety of subjects regarding the current Tech landscape. Today, we bring you part 1 of that conversation.
Mike came to Tech with the initial perception of Tech as a high quality institution. When asked if his perceptions were accurate two years in to the job, Mike replied, “It’s even more powerful, stronger, and impressive in person.” One of his first objectives when he arrived at Tech was to paint that picture of high quality to the public. He also had perceptions about the athletics. “Athletically, I knew we weren’t 100% where we wanted to be when I came here.” Bobinski feels that progress has been made but there he isn’t satisfied yet. “We’ve had some good things happen but we still have plenty more to accomplish.”
Since Mike arrived at Tech, several facility projects were given attention. One of the first projects undertaken by Bobinski was an upgrade to the baseball locker room, weight room, and training facilities. Mike is more than happy with the results. “The new upgrades are awesome.” One baseball player described it as going from the little leagues to the big leagues.
There is also some additional work on Russ Chandler Stadium that is still in the planning stage. The planned work will be more visible to the fans. “We hope to get that organized and raise the dollars for that project.”
The golf program will be the next target for facility upgrades - slated for the current golf practice facility off of Tenth Street. The facility will add buildings to house innovative instruction areas that will allow the athletes to work on specific aspects of their game. “We hope to kick that off in late spring or early summer.” The money has been raised to the point where they are ready to begin the project. But, a specific start date has not been determined as they continue to go through the permitting process. “If we hit our marks in May or June, we’ll have it ready to go in the fall.”
The final major project will be a rework of the Edge Building – the headquarters of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. “We are trying to re-imagine the spaces and trying to imagine what we’ll need 20 years from now. “ The focus will be on the areas that affect the student-athletes the greatest. “We’ll focus on the academic support areas, the nutrition areas, and the dining areas.”
Georgia Tech is working with an architect who will do a study to see how they can re-organize all the available space. The outside of the building will also be a part of the project. “When you walk by this building, it’s like walking by the CIA. It’s not presented very well.” They will be working to fix that. “We need to get it right.”
A smaller project will involve the football locker room. “The locker room has plenty of real estate but it’s time to look at updating the locker room.”
Bobinski knows that the facilities are neither the beginning nor the end of the story when it comes to the success of Tech’s athletic programs. But, he does know that they are a big part of the story.