June 29, 2005
6:15 pm EST
SI.com Names Chan Gailey Best Coach in America
ATLANTA -- There was considerable celebrating on The Flats today as Georgia Tech's Head Coach Chan Gailey was named Best Coach in America by SportsIllustrated.com. The award recognized Gailey as the Best Coach in America...at being the Worst Coach in America.
The SI.com article compared Gailey to ultra successful coach Pete Carroll of the Southern Cal Trojans. The article also highlighted Gailey's ability to command respect from his players and demonstrate discipline both on the field and off.
"Sure, the comparisons to Carroll weren't favorable, the comments about our off field problems were all negative and being named Worst Coach in America would be frowned on by many Athletic Directors, but I see it as a badge of honor for our program," said Dave Braine, athletic director for Georgia Tech. "Finally, we're the best at something. Yes, we're the best at being the worst. But it's something."
Legendary Dallas Cowboy and NFL Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman was contacted for comment on the award. "It's about time that Gailey was honored for his relentless pursuit of mediocrity. I'm only shocked that this type of recognition came so late in his career," said Aikman.
Sources close to SI.com said there was a "moment of clarity" when the choice to name Gailey as the Best Coach in America...at being Worst...was made. Factors such as the 2003 blowout loss at Duke, the blowout loss to UNC in 2004 and the 51-7 spanking at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs were certainly factors in his favor. But the decision to have star[sic] quarterback Reggie Ball spike the ball against UGA on 3rd down in 2004 with time running out was the moment "where the stars aligned."
Coach Gailey is part of a long line of distinguished Georgia Tech coaches who have won the award. Former Coach Bill Lewis won the award 3 consecutive years in the early 1990s and Pepper Rodgers had a near mortal lock on the award before that.
There has been no word from Georgia Tech on when the official trophy presentation will be scheduled.
#1 Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech: What's the difference between failed NFL coach Carroll and failed NFL coach Gailey? An ability to command respect from his players. For three years, the Jackets have demonstrated a lack of discipline both on the field (where they continually lay eggs just before or after flashing potential brilliance) and off it (numerous academic and legal casualties).
Gailey Poses with his Prize Recruits from the 2005 Recruiting Trail
Posted by Paulwesterdawg