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Ken Sugiura

Bobinski speaks on state of football team

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Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski has heard from the fans. He wants them to know he’s frustrated about the football team, too.

“Are we satisfied, are we happy with where we are?” Bobinski asked on a video interview posted on the Tech website. “No, obviously we’re not.”

Bobinski spent much of the 14-minute interview with Tech voice Brandon Gaudin answering questions about the season past and the offseason ahead. He said he had a roughly four-hour meeting with coach Paul Johnson following the bowl game loss to Ole Miss (standard procedure for any head coach) and that Bobinski called “productive” and “positive” and that the two had “an awful lot of agreement on how we might move this thing forward, and that, to me, was very encouraging.”

Some other fferings from Bobinski:

1. He called the continuing bowl streak, now at 17 games, “an amazing run of sustained success” and a “platform to build on.”

2. Of the Music City Bowl loss, Bobinski said that “I think we were all disappointed that we didn’t give what we believe was the very best effort Georgia Tech was capable of that day. Had we, I think we would have seen a different result.”

3. In his conversation with Johnson, the two “didn’t leave anything untouched; no topic was off limits. We hit ’em all, really, with the focus of, how do we make our football program better? How do we improve our results and really get this program where we want it to be as time goes by?”

4. Bobinski is not satisfied with seven-win seasons and doesn’t accept the notion that Tech should be limited in its ability to compete because of academic restrictions. “My response is that I don’t buy any of that. Georgia Tech is a place that’s about excellence in everything that we do. All you have to do is look around the campus at our students, at our faculty, at our graduates, and see the things that they do on a day-to-day basis. It’s on the very highest level. There’s no reason our athletic program shouldn’t reflect that level of performance and excellence. … I certainly didn’t come here to have mediocre or average performance. That’s not in my DNA, nor is it in Georgia Tech’s DNA. We will and can be better as time goes by, but obviously, we’ve got to take steps to make that happen.”

5. He will not make decisions or changes based on emotion.

“As I look at who we are, we’re not a quick-fix place; we’re not going to go to the junior-college ranks and all of the sudden, in with a new roster full of folks and run people off. That’s not what Georgia Tech’s about. We can’t settle.”

6. Johnson is in agreement with Bobinski’s outlook. “I know this: He’s as focused and energized as I’ve ever seen him since I’ve been here. I saw him stand up in the locker room after the Ole Miss game and could tell, sort of, the level of dissatisfaction he had with how that ended. He didn’t like it. He flat said to everybody in that room that things need to and will change as we move forward here. He said, ‘That starts with me as the head coach, that starts with the assistant coaches, that starts with all of you as our football team.’ I don’t sense any turning down the heat here whatsoever. In fact, I see a distinct turning up of the heat in terms of our level of intensity and our focus moving forward.”

7. Bobinski said he was disappointed by quarterback Vad Lee’s decision to transfer but not surprised, and disappointed because of the esteem he holds for Lee personally and because he won’t be able to earn a Tech degree.

“That being said, this was purely a football decision and you can’t argue with that. When somebody makes a decision that they believe is best for their future – this was clearly based on his own evaluation and the people around him’s advice to him about his football future – it’s hard to trump that and overcome that. We hope it ends well and lands well for Vad.”

8. Having been at Tech since last April, he said, “it’s clear to me that it’s not easy (to be successful). We’re not one of those places that can be sloppy or inefficient or be unfocused and be as unsuccessful as we’d like to be. We don’t have a great margin for error.”

To him, that means having “great people,” sound strategy and “we need to execute our tails off. … If we hit those marks, I believe this program will continue to do nothing but improve and progress and progress and progress in years ahead.”

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