Mike Bobinski explains process behind Tech’s assistant hires

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Josh Pastner of the Memphis Tigers talks with a referee during a timeout in the team's game against the Indiana State Sycamores during the 2014 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on November 28, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Memphis won 72-62.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)During Georgia Tech’s search to hire assistants to add to coach Josh Pastner’s staff, athletic director Mike Bobinski heard from Pastner a lot. Pastner estimated 15 to 20 times daily.

“I didn’t keep track, but it was a lot,” Bobinski said. “And you know what? Every time he’d get in touch with me, he goes, ‘I hope I’m not bothering you.’”

As might be imagined, Bobinski found the notion laughable.

“I said, ‘You’re not bothering me,’” he said. “I said, ‘This is really important. Let’s get it as right as we can get it.’”

At last week’s ACC spring meetings, Bobinski gave his side of the hiring process, which Pastner described as a “complete partnership” between him and the Tech AD. It resulted in the hires of Tavaras Hardy, Darryl LaBarrie and Eric Reveno.

Pastner and Bobinski envisioned three different slots – a coach with Atlanta and Georgia recruiting connections, another with a national recruiting background and a third with head-coaching experience.

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 17:  Head coach Eric Reveno of the Portland Pilots  gestures to his players during their game against the UNLV Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center on December 17, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 75-73 in overtime.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Reveno during his time at Portland. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“That was our plan going in and we talked it through multiple times, literally multiple times,” Bobinski said. “Do we want to change it? Do we want two Atlanta guys? Do we want two Georgia guys? So we talked about adjusting it, but at the end of the day, we ultimately said, ‘You know what? This feels like the right move to make’ and we were able to get really good guys to check all those boxes.”

Bobinski said they cast a wide net for candidates and brought “a bunch” of them to Tech for interviews. Two were former Tulane coach Ed Conroy and Miller Grove High coach Sharman White, the latter of whom has since been hired at Georgia State, filling a vacancy left open by LaBarrie.

The thought behind hiring a former head coach was that he could provide backup when Pastner is on the road recruiting.

“So if (Reveno) is not out and Josh is, Josh knows that things are in good hands,” Bobinski said. “Somebody that’s been there, done that, is going to keep everything headed in the right direction and provides that great sort of perspective and sounding board for somebody that’s sat in that chair.”

Reveno was hired after he was let go from Portland after 10 seasons. He comes also with a reputation as a superior teacher for post players.

“Reveno is going to be great for Josh,” Bobinski said. “He’s really, really good. He’s really experienced, he’s really smart, he’s super organized. He’s going to be a great sort of anchor. But, equally, Tavaras is great on the floor. Darryl’s great. Those guys are all good in their own right.”

One outcome – all three graduated and coached at prestigious colleges, Northwestern (Hardy), Stanford (Reveno) and Tech (LaBarrie) – was unplanned.

“We didn’t set out with that special thought in mind, but as we worked through things and even some of the other candidates we had had similarly strong pedigrees, we though that, You know what? That’s value added here,” Bobinski said. “Guys that have been in our type of an environment, have both played in, lived in and recruited to those types of environments just gives them a leg up. They’re not having to figure out how it’s going to look and feel when they’re out recruiting. They can speak to it personally. I think that’s a strong advantage for us.”

It’s early, but the mix of strengths, recruiting knowledge and history of success is promising.

“As I told Josh the other night, I told him I thought it was a great process, but I think at the end of the day, he made the right calls on the right guys,” Bobinski said. “I think it’s really good.”


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