Stansbury Happy to Be Home at Tech
For Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury, Georgia Tech has felt like home since he played football for the Yellow Jackets in the 1980s, and again when he returned to Tech as assistant athletic director for academics from 1988 to 1995. Since then, he always hoped to make it back to Tech but didn’t expect it to take so long.
“I’ve been on a 22-year walkabout,” Stansbury said at a recent Inform Georgia Tech event, where he shared his vision for Tech’s athletic programs with faculty, staff, and students. “So much has changed, but the culture, the DNA, the constant commitment to excellence has not.”
When discussing priorities for Georgia Tech Athletics at the Feb. 23 event, Stansbury put the success of student-athletes as No. 1.
“These students are special from the day they decide to come here. They had other easier options, but they chose Tech,” he said. “Our job is to make them market-ready when they leave here.”
As a student-athlete at Tech, Stansbury was a benefactor of this strategy. His first year as a player was also the first year for then-athletic director Homer Rice, who designed and implemented Georgia Tech’s Total Person Program. The program is based on an ethos that excellence should encompass academic excellence, athletic achievement, and personal well-being. It provides a well-rounded training package for student-athletes to prepare them for life beyond sport, including stress and time management, financial planning, drug and alcohol use, sexual assault awareness and prevention, etiquette, and nutrition.
Stansbury has implemented the same program at each university where he has worked. At Tech, he believes it to be the differentiator for student-athletes.
“I consider it as important as a revenue-producing sport,” he said. “That means it gets the same dedication and support we put into those programs.”
Another emphasis is on innovation in sport, but not just among Tech’s teams or in locker rooms. Stansbury wants to capitalize on the leading research and innovation that is found across campus.
“We want to be part of that excellence and consider ourselves the center for innovation in intercollegiate athletics,” he said. “We want to incubate ideas with our faculty.”
As a Tech alumnus, Stansbury can speak from personal experience about what makes the Institute unique but has found that others who didn’t go here share his sentiments.
“I love that people are so passionate about this place,” he said.
For faculty and staff, Stansbury hopes they attend an athletic event soon. “We want you to know we appreciate you and want you at our games. It’s pretty incredible to see these young people who are going to change the world competing in collegiate athletics at such a high level.”
The campus community will have another chance to hear from Stansbury on Tuesday, March 28, from 11 a.m. to noon in Room 301 of the Student Center, as part of the ADVANCE Demystifying Georgia Tech series.
The next Inform Georgia Tech event, hosted by Staff Council, is set for Tuesday, May 9, featuring Georgia Tech Police Chief Rob Connolly. The time is not yet set but will be shared at staffcouncil.gatech.edu.