We have another candidate in the mix for Clemson's Athletic Director position, and all indications point to this one getting the job with Hill removing his name from consideration after finding out he was not the top choice. Dan Radakovich comes to us from Georgia Tech. He has been the current AD in Atlanta for the past six years, and he is from just outside of Pittsburgh, PA.
Radakovich went to Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with a degree in finance as well as spending some time playing for the football team along with doing a bit of student coaching. He also earned an MBA from Miami University in Ohio.
After earning his MBA, Dan was hired by Miami (OH) to be their Athletics Business Manager. Following 2 years at that position he moved to Long Beach State where he was an Associate AD and did some work with media agreements.
From Long Beach Mr. Radakovich moved over to our nemesis the 'Cocks as an Associate AD. While in the city that shall not be named, he was responsible for managing over 30 million dollars in facilities improvements, including the construction of the Colonial Center Arena, home to USC basketball and other sports. Radakovich was mentioned as a potential candidate this year at Sakerlina should Ray Tanner have decided to remain as Head Baseball Coach. He was also a finalist for the Texas A&M position that Eric Hyman accepted.
America University came calling with an offer to be their AD, and Dan accepted the offer but only stayed for a year. While there he was responsible for helping to get American into the Patriot League, but bigger schools came calling.
LSU decided to bring Dan in as a Senior Associate AD in 2001, working under Skip Bertmann, and his work at LSU was exemplary. He managed a $90 million dollar renovation to Tiger Stadium, as well as instituting a ticket donation program.
Finally in 2006, Georgia Tech hired him to be their AD. We can thank him for bringing in Paul Johnson as the football coach, as well as fixing some of the messes of the previous AD Dave Braine. Braine was the idiot who gave Paul Hewitt a ridiculous buyout. Between that stupid choice and renovating their basketball gymnasium, GT has been hemorrhaging cash. We don't fault Radakovich for having to fire Hewitt by any means, but it has handicapped the department financially. The CPJ buyout is very high as well, but we knew he was going nowhere this year anyway. Still, it is highly questionable, as has been their contract with MTSU on the football schedule.
By all accounts Radakovich is well thought of in the AD world and has a dynamic personality. He has a lot of experience working in college athletics, and is not afraid to make tough decisions on coaching. He thinks outside the box when it comes to fundraising and Dan is also experienced at managing facilities improvements, and with the work Clemson has done and has left to do that can only be a bonus.
Another positive is he has experience in both the SEC and ACC. Even though we will still get screwed by Swofford, it is nice to bring in someone who understands the ACC. His SEC experience only helps as we want the Clemson AD to operate at the level of the top programs in the country in all sports.
I also like the work he did at Tech with ticket sales. It is important to maximize revenue in the ACC, and ticket sales are always an easy one.
In terms of downside I'm not seeing a whole lot. Yes, he did work for USC for a few years and comes from GT, but looking at the work he is done it shouldn't matter. We are not sure what influence he may have had with the ACCCG forfeit due to some compliance decisions within the GT Athletic Department.
Doc: I suspected Radakovich would be in the discussion before now, but it appears he may be the guy they want. I have heard both good and bad about him. Some people on the flats hate this guy, and some think he's such a great businessman and salesman that he'd be a great AD somewhere, but maybe not at GT with their problems. Its very mixed.
Those who have heard him speak at TD Clubs and fundraisers all praise him though as a salesman, and that is what Clemson needs here. We don't need someone who can hire/fire so much as we need someone who can bring in cash to compete with the local schools who make a lot more money. They have told me that his vision for GT athletics was well-communicated, a main complaint of mine about TDP, but that his execution may be a little lacking in results on the field. You'll remember that GT has to renovate the basketball gym, the IPF, and tennis facilities. He acquired donors to foot the bills even though GT is losing money. They moved into a new basketball practice facility in 2009, a new softball facility, and the main basketball facility was scheduled to be completed.
And he believes that Championships are the only thing that matters, the same as we do.
My question is why we didn't go after a bigger fish than Radakovich...