Todd Stansbury: He’s a Tech man, and he’s the right man

Todd Stansbury, right, listens to Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson speak during a news conference in which he is introduced Stansbury as the new athletic director at the school, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Atlanta. Stansbury had served as Oregon State's athletic director since June 2015 and is a former Georgia Tech football player and 1984 alumnus. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Tech president Bud Peterson with Todd Stansbury. (AP Photo/John Amis)

I can’t imagine any Georgia Tech alum feels anything but jubilation over this move. Todd Stansbury, himself a Techie, has been hired to replace Mike Bobinski, who did little to endear himself to Techies, and in his introductory briefing the new athletic director struck every right note.

He invoked Homer Rice and Bill Curry, Tech’s most beloved post-Dodd figures. Stansbury was among the first class of Rice’s Total People, which sounds corny if you didn’t matriculate along North Avenue but utterly resonates if you did. As AD at Central Florida and then Oregon State, Stansbury instituted a similar program. “We called it Everyday Champions,” he said. “I have a feeling it’s going to revert back to Total Person.”

Curry was Stansbury’s coach. “As young people, we think it’s like this everywhere else,” Stansbury said. “Coach Curry showed us it wasn’t like this everywhere else.”

For Tech alums,  such sentiments are heavenly music. Tech folks love their Institute and consider it special, and they consider themselves special for having been smart enough and dedicated enough to be handed a diploma. (For the record, most every graduate of most every college feels the same.) Tech’s a public school but not a sprawling one, heightening the feeling of exclusivity. To have One Of Their Own in such a visible position is one big deal.

“This is home,” Stansbury said. “This is where I became who I am.”

He’s from Canada and grew up playing, duh, hockey. As a 10-year-old, he met Scott Zolke, the legendary former Tech academic advisor, on a Florida beach and gravitated toward the Flats and football. (Everyone who hung around Tech sports in the ’70s and ’80s has a Zolke story. Not all involve the seaside.) Stansbury again: “It’s always been my goal to come back to the Flats.”

Anyone who gets hired to a big-ticket job will wax rhapsodic about the new environs, but in Stansbury’s case they’re old environs. He lived here. He played here. He worked here. He took calculus. (And presumably passed._ Asked if, when he heard Bobinski had split for Purdue, he had interest in the job, Stansbury said: “Are you kidding?”

He was believed to have interest in 2012/2013, when the search committee recommended Bobinski. (Several alums were irate that Stansbury, then at UCF, wasn’t given a real look.) There was a different search committee this time, advised by the former Villanova/Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo. I’ve known and liked DeFilippo for 25 years, but Harpo Marx could have hit on Stansbury’s name. Because he’s not just a name. He’s a fit.

Stansbury spoke very little about specific sports Thursday; he talked mostly about athletes. He said he has sought to carry the Rice Total-Person concept wherever he has roamed — “I’ve become an evangelist.” And that’s OK: An athletic director isn’t paid to coach a team; he’s commissioned to Set A Tone. In Stansbury, the Jackets have found someone who already knows the words and the tune.

He’s a Tech man, which makes him a heck of an engineer. And this is a heck of a hire.

Further reading: What a football-first Tech AD might ask Paul Johnson.

Reader Comments 0

7 comments
kman81
kman81

It doesn't really matter. He is stuck with Pastner and PJ for the next five years.  Pastner may turn out to be good but we know that PJ and the triple option are done and he will never have another seven win seasons unless he makes huge changes.  Unfortunately, his ego won't allow that


GTBee
GTBee

1st course of business - fire Paul Johnson once and for all.  Do it now - don't wait.  We're going 3-9 again any way.  Hopefully everyone finally sees the difference between a team with 2 & 3 star players vs 4 & 5 star players.  We will never compete, moving forward against the top 20-25 teams.

DawgNole
DawgNole

The undefeated home team is playing the undefeated No. 5 team in the nation and there's no live game blog???

Disgraceful.

shortsqueeze
shortsqueeze

First job needs to be fire Paul Johnson.  What a joke. This is better than last year? 11 yards? At least they scored 23 last year at clemson.

DawgNole
DawgNole

As I said on Schultz's blog: Congrats to GT on what appears to be an excellent hire.

Hopefully he can elevate your football program--and Smart can lift ours--to the point that our games Thanksgiving weekend every year are major players on the national stage.

CoronaGT
CoronaGT

Great hire!  Welcome back, Todd!