Coaches speak out on new AD hire

by - Senior Writer -
Dabo Swinney and new Clemson AD Dan Radakovich after Monday's press conference.

Dabo Swinney on Radakovich

Jack Leggett on Radakovich

Brad Brownell on Radakovich

Terry Don Phillips on Radakovich

CLEMSON – Clemson University announced Dan Radakovich as the school’s new athletic director in a press conference in the McFadden Team Room Monday afternoon, and the head coaches of the “big three” sports of football, baseball and basketball at Clemson were in attendance.

Obviously, one of the aspects of his resume that drew university president James Barker and the search committee to Radakovich is the success he has had in fundraising and facilities improvement, especially at Georgia Tech. Clemson is still putting the finishing touches on the West End Zone project, but major upgrades are needed in both basketball and baseball.

Men’s basketball coach Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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said that it helps to have someone come in who understands what it takes to compete in the ACC.

“I think it helps from the standpoint of him understanding what we are all competing against,” Brownell told TigerNet Monday afternoon. “Understanding the lay of the land in the ACC. I think certainly Georgia Tech and Clemson are different, but hopefully his experience at different places will make his transition here easier. “

Brownell said he has been impressed with the changes that have occurred at Georgia Tech in regards to the basketball facilities in the past couple of years.

“I am very impressed with Dan. I don’t know him well, but we’ve talked a couple of times over the years,” Brownell said. “I’ve always been impressed with him. It is easy for me to see what he has done at Georgia Tech and the changes they have had in their basketball facilities over the past four or five years and understand that he is a big part of that. It takes those kinds of changes sometimes to give your program a shot in the arm.

“I think that is going to help Georgia Tech a tremendous amount. We have been working at that here and trying to put some things in place and we really need for that to happen with our program, especially with the new schools coming into the league. It is really exciting for me to have an AD that has that kind of experience. It is exciting for me to have an AD that really believes in basketball.”

Baseball coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett
Baseball Head Coach
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said that he hopes Clemson will continue to upgrade the baseball facilities, including the planned locker room renovation and upgrades to Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

“I have met Dan before. He is on the ACC Baseball Coaches Committee,” Leggett said. “He is a very good communicator and will help in the fundraising part of things. He understands how important facilities are. He can carry on where Terry Don left off. I have admired a lot of things that Georgia Tech does from afar. We need some help, there is no question about it. To go to the next level and recruit and put ourselves in a position to win championships, our facilities need to improve. Hopefully we can sit down and talk about it and work towards improving those facilities. “

Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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said he has heard only good things about Radakovich.

“Obviously, the committee has done a tremendous job” Swinney told TigerNet. “I don’t have a lot of working knowledge about him personally. I will say this - I’ve never heard anything bad about him. It has all been positive. Paul Johnson has talked to me numerous times about his thoughts on Dan and they have all been very positive. Just excited to get started, put this behind us and continue to move Clemson forward. I look forward to spending time with Dan. I am excited about it and looking forward to getting started.”

More quotes from Monday's press conference

Jack Leggett’s thoughts on AD hire:
“I’m very impressed with what Dan has had to say and I am excited about his enthusiasm for Clemson and his excitement and passion for what this challenge holds for him. I have known him some through his work on the ACC Baseball Committee and I have always had a lot of respect for the program at Georgia Tech. I think he has really good communication skills.”

Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney:
“The committee has done a tremendous job and took their task very seriously. I don’t have a lot of working knowledge about Dan personally, but everything that I have heard of him is very positive.

“Paul Johnson has talked to me numerous times about his thoughts on Dan and they’ve all been very positive. I’m excited about getting started. I look forward spending time with Dan and talking about his experiences and helping him learn about Clemson and our program.

“He has a good background in raising revenue. There are a lot of positives that he will be able to carry from his career experiences, especially at Georgia Tech. I have a lot of respect for Georgia Tech and what they have been able to do throughout the years.

Head Men's Basketball Coach Brad Brownell:
"I certainly want to welcome Dan and his family to Clemson. I'm really excited to have a man with his kind of experience. He brings a wealth of experience from a many types of institutions. I'm eager to sit down and talk to him about the recent facilities at Georgia Tech, and how we can work together to put our vision for the future for Clemson basketball."

“His recent work at Georgia Tech with their new facility tells me he sees the significance of having first-class facilities for the student-athletes. If you want to be successful in the ACC in basketball, you've got to provide your student-athletes and coaches with the type of facility that will give them the opportunity to be at their best.
“The fact that he's done that in the past couple years with both a practice facility and an arena is exciting because he knows what it takes and how to get things done."

Head Women's Basketball Coach Itoro Coleman:
"I want to welcome Dan to Tigertown. With the experiences that he has, we are looking forward to his leadership. He spoke about the practice facility, which is something that's high on our agenda right now, and I am looking forward to sitting down to speak with him about it. I would love to see where he could take it. I'm excited about what can happen here under his leadership."

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