clear
Thursday September 3rd, 2015 1:11PM

Radakovich transitioning into AD role at Clemson

By The Associated Press
CLEMSON, S.C. -- New Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich has spent the first two weeks on the job in meetings, getting an earful about what works and what doesn't before putting together an action plan.

Radakovich took over earlier this month for Terry Don Phillips, who retired after 10 years leading Tigers' athletics. Radakovich was serving as Georgia Tech's AD when he heard of Phillips' plans to step down this summer and told him of his interest in the Clemson position.

Radakovich, 54, grew familiar with Clemson as a young athletic administrator at the school's rival, South Carolina, from 1994-2000 and even after taking on the Yellow Jackets job in 2006, saw the Tigers' rural campus as a destination job rather than a stepping stone to something bigger.

"It was going to take a real special place for me to leave Georgia Tech," Radakovich said. "There's not a lot of them, but this was one."

And Radakovich doesn't want to make snap judgments he might regret down the road. So he's gotten input from Clemson coaches, boosters, fans and athletes to learn more about the university before choosing how best to enhance the athletic department he'll lead.

"When you walk into a position, you'll have some preconceived ideas of what need to be done," Radakovich said. "And in 100 percent of the cases, six months down the road that will be a totally different list."

Radakovich hopes to keep the school's signature sport, football, trending upwards as it has the past few seasons. Phillips led a facilities upgrade that modernized the football offices and built a sprawling, new, 80,000-square foot indoor practice facility the team used for the first time on Thursday.

The efforts have led to consecutive 10-win seasons for the first time in 22 years. The program brought in more than $15.1 million in 2011 and Radakovich is aware it's up to him to develop ways to keep fans filling 80,000-seat Memorial Stadium instead of setting in front of big-screen TVs at home on game day.

"What can we do to make the experience from their driveway back to their driveway be a very positive circumstance," he said. "We need to make our facilities as friendly as they can be. That's important."

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney said he'd only heard positive things on Radakovich from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. Swinney and Radakovich say they have gotten along well so far.

"The important thing is just developing a relationship, getting on the same page and trying to do a great job for Clemson," Swinney said.

Not that football's the only sport at Clemson. Radakovich says it's essential he keeps his eyes on all sports in the department, providing coaches and athletes with the support to make them successful.

Tigers basketball coach Brad Brownell said Radakovich as a track record of improving facilities in that sport, something he's hopeful will happen at Clemson. Georgia Tech recently opened a new, $50 million arena, the McCamish Pavilion last month.

"It's pretty easy for me to see what's happened at Georgia Tech in their basketball facilities and understand he's a big part of that," Brownell said. "We've been working at that here and trying to put some things in place."

Radakovich made sure all Clemson coaches understand his unbreakable tenets: Follow the rules. Graduate your players. Win.

"All three of those things work in concert," he said. "What I want to do over the next three-to-six months is understand how things work at Clemson to make those three things happen."

Radakovich said the time was right for him to leave the Yellow Jackets. With two grown children - son Christian is set to graduate from Georgia Tech while younger son Grant is a freshman football player at Mercer - Radakovich and wife Marcie had flexibility to move.

And Radakovich said he was long drawn to the fervor Clemson fans feel for their Tigers, win or lose.

"I really grew to appreciate that," he said.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Top 10 sports stories of the year: 2012 one for the history books
2012 has been all things to all people in the sports world. The last 12 months have run the gamut of emotions and given fans and spectators much to awe, rue and everything in between.
2:33PM ( 2 years ago )
College Football Hall to break ground in Atlanta
Groundbreaking for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will be Jan. 28 and the museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
2:15PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
Tech's 2nd half surge beats Fordham 73-48
Daniel Miller and Robert Carter Jr. each scored 14 points and Georgia Tech scored 17 straight points in the second half en route to a 73-48 victory over Fordham on Saturday night.
10:17PM ( 2 years ago )
Djurisic's career night leads Dogs past Florida A&M
Nemanja Djurisic scored a career-high 21 points and Georgia won its third straight Saturday 82-73 over Florida A&M.
7:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Ga. Southern beats Ga. State, 68-64 in overtime
Eric Ferguson scored 24 points and Georgia Southern overcame a late double-digit deficit to beat Georgia State 68-64 in overtime on Saturday.
7:25PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
Trojans' focus is on themselves as they open season on road
Come Friday, it will be North Hall’s chance to see if it can slow down what has so far been a dominant and punishing Jefferson ground game. But Trojans’ coach David Bishop said that’s not his team's biggest priority as it prepares to open the 2015 campaign on the road against the Dragons.
8:01PM ( 6 hours from now )
Tom Brady beats NFL in 'Deflategate' as judge nullifies 4-game suspension; NFL will appeal
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge let the air out of "Deflategate" Thursday, erasing New England quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for a controversy the NFL claimed threatened football's integrity. N...
12:43PM ( 28 minutes ago )
SEC's title hopes may rest on an influx of new starting QBs
The Southeastern Conference has gone two whole years without winning a national title...
11:45AM ( 1 hour ago )
Justin Thomas looks to lead Ga Tech to another big season
Justin Thomas has a bunch of new guys around him heading into Thursday night's opener...
11:03AM ( 2 hours ago )
G-Braves sweep doubleheader to keep pressure on in playoff race
The Gwinnett Braves kept their hopes of winning the International League South Division title alive on Wednesday night, defeating the Norfolk Tides 6-2 and 7-2 in a doubleheader at Harbor Park.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:42AM ( 2 hours ago )