Braine to Retire Due to Health Concerns

Dave Braine, Georgia Tech's Director of Athletics since 1997 who has presided over the unprecedented growth and success of the Yellow Jackets' overall athletics program, will retire due to health reasons, Institute President Dr. Wayne Clough announced Wednesday.

Braine, 62, has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an intestinal disorder. He will continue to direct the athletics department until a new director takes over. (Please note: More information about Crohn's disease is available at www.ccfa.org)

"Georgia Tech means a great deal to me," said Braine. "I have always said that it takes a special person to coach at Georgia Tech and a special student-athlete to go to school here, and because of that I have had the opportunity to work with great people. It starts with Dr. Clough, and it continues through our coaches, our administrators, and most importantly, our student-athletes, who all work so hard to make the Georgia Tech program what it is.

"I had fully intended to complete my contract, which runs through June, 2007, so it is difficult to leave on these terms but there really is no other way," Braine continued. "I was diagnosed last summer with Crohn's disease. My condition is not life-threatening, but it is necessary for me to step down and take care of my health.

"Again, I want to thank Dr. Clough for everything he has done for me personally and for Georgia Tech. I want to thank our coaches, administrators and staff, and I especially want to thank all of the student-athletes who have played for Georgia Tech the last nine years."

A native of Grove City, Pa., Braine was named Director of Athletics on June 3, 1997, following a 10-year stint in the same position at Virginia Tech. His administrative career also includes two years as athletics director at Marshall University (1985-87) as well as stays at Fresno State (assistant/associate athletics director, 1983-84) and Virginia (assistant athletic director, 1978-83).

Braine previously spent two years (1974-75) at Georgia Tech as an assistant football coach under Pepper Rodgers, and he also coached at Virginia (1976-77), Richmond (1971-73) and Virginia Military Institute (1967-70). He earned his B.S. and M.A.T. degrees from North Carolina, where he lettered three years in football (1962-64).

Georgia Tech's overall athletics program enjoyed unprecedented success during Braine's tenure, highlighted by the men's basketball team's 2004 NCAA runner-up finish and a school-record streak of nine straight bowl games for the football program, as well as continued excellence in sports such as baseball and golf and remarkable growth in women's athletics. Each of the last two years, Tech has placed 31st in the NACDA Directors' Cup standings to shatter the Institute's previous high of No. 45 in 1993-94. Other athletics highlights under Braine include 18 Top 10 national team finishes, No. 1 national rankings in baseball and golf, and 12 ACC team titles in seven different sports.

Facility upgrades include the $75 million renovation and expansion of Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, the reconstruction of Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium and the new Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, which will host the 2006 NCAA Swimming Championships.

"Dave Braine will leave Georgia Tech with a long list of accomplishments and his leadership will be missed," said Clough, who hired Braine in 1997. "I know Dave as a colleague and friend, and he has been a steadfast resource to Tech.

"Dave will be known for building the strength of our intercollegiate sports programs across the board, and leading us to the highest overall rankings in our history. He will be remembered for his courage in taking on the challenge to both rebuild our baseball stadium and complete a major renovation of our football stadium. His efforts led to the raising of $50 million towards these major improvements."During his tenure Dave hired talented coaches like Paul Hewitt, Chan Gailey, Bond Shymansky of women's volleyball, and Bryan Shelton of women's tennis, who have taken their teams to levels never before reached," Clough continued. "He helped us to a football streak of nine consecutive bowl appearances. He will leave big shoes to be filled, and we will miss his good service and friendship."

Clough said that a national search for the new Director of Athletics will begin immediately. He will chair a search committee which will report to the Athletic Association Board of Trustees. The search committee also includes Dan Schrage, Faculty Representative for Athletics; Joe Irwin, President of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association; Chuck Easley, former Tech football standout and current member of the Athletic Board; and David Anderson, President of the Student Government Association.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.