Familiar feeling

Dan Radakovich has been on the other side of the fence of the Palmetto State rivalry between Clemson and South Carolina.

The Tigers' new AD has lived it. From 1994-2000, Radakovich served as an associate athletic director at South Carolina.

"I will need zero indoctrination into that rivalry," Radakovich said Wednesday, during The Roy Philpott Show. "I know how important it is to the Clemson fans."

He knows the head of the Gamecocks' athletic department very well. While in Columbia, Radakovich worked alongside then head baseball coach Ray Tanner, who is now the athletic director at South Carolina.

The two recently spoke about Radakovich's role as the successor to Terry Don Phillips.

Radakovich and Tanner see big things ahead for the state of South Carolina's premier athletic programs.

"Having a great rivalry between two class institutions is good for the entire state of South Carolina," Radakovich said. "One of the challenges moving forward is how -- we know how important it is in the Palmetto State, but how do we make it even bigger in the region, to take the games the games that Clemson and South Carolina play and really put them on a more regional and even national stage?

"Those are some opportunities that we may have going forward. It's going to be a lot of fun to work those through."

Radakovich believes Phillips has a solid foundation in place for the university to take the next step in all facets of its athletic department.

"I think that, first of all, I have been a great admirer of Terry Don Phillips and the organization that he had put together, the coaches that are there that he has put into place at Clemson University," Radakovich said. "I think, in college athletics today, you always want to look for however you can get better. You need to look at how you can win in all of your sports.

"Are you giving your coaches and the student athletes the best tools that are available to you, to be able to be successful? That's number one. And looking to increase both the graduation rate and winning percentage at the same time, those are lofty goals, but those are goals that we have.

"In addition to that, you have to look that your tools -- the facilities you have to allow your student athletes to be successful -- are continually being updated and taken care of to the point where the perspective student athletes who come on visits see that there is a commitment for them to get better in their chosen field."

"Those are all things that you have to do each and every day. One of the ways that you go about doing that is interacting with the friends, the fans, the alumni, to help create the resources that help allow that to happen," Radakovich continued. "There's still an awful lot of work to do. Terry Don has done a great job of putting together those foundations, but you have to continue to build upon those each and every day throughout the year with everyone in the athletic program."

Since Radakovich's arrival to Atlanta in 2006, a number of upgrades were made to the Georgia Tech athletic department.

"I think that the things that have been done over the last 6 ½ years, there is a solid base, financially, a solid plan, financially, for how to run the athletics program long term, not just year-to-year, but long term," Radakovich said. "We have been able to move forward and change the face of a lot of facilities."

Radakovich oversaw the renovation of the Georgia Tech basketball facility, construction of a new indoor football practice facility, a new softball field and tennis center.

"We've also made tremendous strides as it relates to the academic area and the academic support for the student athletes," he said.

With six previous athletic administration stops under his belt, Radakovich hopes to bring to Clemson a piece of something he learned at each place along the way.

"I'm looking forward to coming in and adding the breath of my experiences from the places I've been, the LSUs, Long Beach State, [and] here at Georgia Tech, South Carolina, the University of Miami and American University," he said. "You take a little piece of those in your background. Hopefully, you're going to be able to be a big contributor, as it relates to moving the new program forward."

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