Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gailey Gives It Old College Try NFL Experience Aids Tech Coach

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gailey Gives It Old College Try NFL Experience Aids Tech Coach

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, Times-Union sports writer

PINEHURST, N.C. -- After two years as the Dallas Cowboys' coach, Chan Gailey is well acquainted with adversity. Those two years under the microscope, part of a resume that includes 28 seasons in the NFL and college ranks, have served him well after seven months as Georgia Tech's new coach.

Accepting the post in the wake of George O'Leary's resignation to take the Notre Dame job, and O'Leary's subsequent South Bend ouster for falsifying his resume, might have been an uncomfortable position for most. Not Gailey, a Gainesville, Ga., native who just wanted to come home and coach high school football after three seasons as the University of Florida quarterback.

"I thought if I could coach at a school like Americus High, it couldn't get any better than that," Gailey said.

Georgia Tech athletics director Dave Braine provided him with an even better opportunity; a chance to come back to his home state and coach at a school that could compete for a national championship.

"I actually thought I'd never coach in college again because of the time frame," said Gailey, who accepted the job on Dec. 29 but did not become the Yellow Jackets' full-time coach until he had completed his season as the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator two weeks later.

That Braine was willing to wait for the soft-spoken man he has compared to legendary Tech coach Bobby Dodd, made Gailey realize how important commitment was to the school.

It's nearly time for Gailey to return the favor on that commitment, reshaping a Yellow Jackets team that must replace eight starters -- six on offense -- following last season's underachieving 7-5 campaign, which began with the promise of a run at the Atlantic Coast Conference and national championships.

The Yellow Jackets, who are picked to finish fourth in the ACC this season, expedited the healing process, beginning with their 24-14 Seattle Bowl win over Stanford under interim coach Mac McWhorter. …

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