In today's feature, which assigned letter grades and (hopefully) constructive comments to each of this offseason's biggest coaching hires, I gave Georgia Tech's decision to hire former Dayton coach Brian Gregory a D. Why? Because the hiring of Gregory, though understandable thanks to the financial struggles associated with Tech's budget (not to mention that $7 million buyout for Paul Hewitt), still felt a bit uninspired.
Then again, when your other coaching candidates include a precocious 15-year-old, maybe it's best to play it safe.
Yes, as The Sporting News's Mike DeCourcy reported today, Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich was in mid-search when he received a curious letter from 15-year-old Connecticut native Ethan Peikes. That letter began with a simple sentence:
“Mr. Radakovich,” he wrote, “my name is Ethan Peikes and I am 15 years old.”
As DeCourcy writes, Peikes' chances of landing the job ended then and there. But the letter went on, and Radakovich read it all, including Peikes' assertions that the move would bring Georgia Tech international renown, that the move was financially sound (Peikes was open to not receiving a salary for his work), that he was the right coach to "take the program to even higher excellence."
Did he actually think he was going to get the gig? Not exactly. The letter was more about fun and spontaneity. But Peikes did receive a response from Radakovich, which I'm assuming was one of the funniest letters the athletic director has written since, well, ever.
“The athletics director told me I’m going to need a college degree. That’s something to work on,” Peikes said. “I don’t know exactly what the qualifications are. I should probably look into that. I’ve got to study the game more, learn more about the game.
“He was very kind, sent me a brief little note saying to come visit Georgia Tech in a few years.”
“I sort of knew the likelihood of me getting the job -- it was not a big chance.”
No, no it was not. But the idea was pretty awesome all the same.